A research essay is an original essay where the student poses a research question, gathers materials (designing interview questions, observing and taking notes, designing questionnaires, critical analysis of readings and sources) focuses the research, shapes the argument, and frames the materials in relation to the larger themes developed in the course. Recommended Length: 6-8 pages, double-spaced in 12pt font. APA Format.
Select a fairy tale that you remember from childhood or one with which you are familiar. Research the origins of the tale from the original versions that might be included in the Grimm Brothers collections or edited by Charles Perrault. Compare and contrast the changes in the story over time, in terms of both story elements and the effects of translating the story from text to film. What happens to the genre of the fairy tale over time? How does the purpose of the story change? Why? Why does this particular story continue to be retold? What moral/lesson is so important that it is repeated from generation to generation? Why tell this lesson/moral in the form of story? Are there criticisms of the moral/lessons of the story? Are there criticisms of the form of the story-for example the movie is not as good as the book-or liberties are taken from changing forms from the book to the movie that lessen or change the lesson/moral of the story? Do you agree with the criticisms or not? Why?
Steps to take to research this topic.
1-Identify a story.
2-Research the origins of the story.
3-Describe the different versions and note key differences in versions.
4-Research criticisms or commentaries on the versions of the stories.
5-Consider sources that comment or criticize the genre of fairy tale in general rather than only specifically related to the story youâ€™ve chosen.
6-Begin to formulate the research question that you would focus your research on, such as â€œHowâ€ does this story influence our culture? â€œWhyâ€ do we continue to read/view/learn from re-telling of this story? Now youâ€™ll be able to read/focus on specific sources that argue or comment on the answers to this question. For example, why do we continue to be fascinated by the Cinderella story?
7-Your thesis is the answer to your question. For example, if you answer the above question with a statement like: The Cinderella story continues to be told in various versions and forms because the role of women in society continues to change.
8-Once you have gone through these steps above, you will begin to notice that your interest in the topic of Cinderella reflects your interest in womenâ€™s rights. Then you will find that sources in popular culture criticism may reflect these concerns. Or if you have chosen a gruesome version of one of the Grimm stories-even Cinderella where the sisters have had their eyes pecked out-you may see that your interest is in why stories have changed to remove violence in modern versions. Then your research sources may focus on sociological or ethical issues about the impact of violence on young children. Or you may have noticed that the role of magic is essential for the happy ending, you may want to look closely at the arguments that revolve around fantasy stories on childrenâ€™s development from psychological and sociological sources.
I-Introduction (may or may not include thesis)
II-Origins of the story
III-Versions of the story
IV-Themes of the story
V-Arguments about the origins/versions/themes
VI-Conclusions-why or how is the story and your essay significant to your reader?