Heart of Darkness Potential Topics
Provide a topic from the Book the Heart Of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. The proposal should be at least one well-developed paragraph stating which topic you have chosen on the assigned novel and exactly how you will go about presenting that topic in your essay. Include specific details from the novel that you believe will be relevant for your argument (you must have read the novel BEFORE doing this assignment, but research of critical sources should NOT be done prior to this point). This assignment involves analytical thinking, not research at this point. Research comes later in the process as a way to support what you are already interested in. Researching first to choose someone else’s idea to regurgitate only results in frustration for the student (due to an overwhelming number of sources that you may encounter without having a narrowed idea first) and creates the temptation for plagiarism to occur. The idea that you shape must be your own.Remember, the more specific you can be in your proposal, the more detailed information I can give you about keeping your research on track. As an example for a topic, you might decide to study characterization in A Farewell to Arms. From there, you would need to narrow down–just Catherine? Frederic? Rinaldi and Frederic? just the secondary characters? just the main characters? just the couples? OK, now say you decide to explore the couples in the novel. How do their relationships differ or mirror one another? Why are they necessary to the novel? How do their relationships help, hinder, or reflect the novel’s progress? Answering these questions will bring you closer to a thesis that addresses characterization in some way specific to this novel and specifically regarding a so what point for your essay as a whole.
Consider the following questions as a way of brainstorming a potential topic for your essay:
Is the central character of the novel dynamic? What does he/she learn and how does he/she achieve change?
Consider the tone of the novel. What sets the tone? How does it affect the interpretation of the events in the story?
How important is the setting of the novel? What impact does the setting have on the interpretation of events? If there is more than one setting, how do these settings work together?
Explain the use of symbolism in the novel.
Does the novel convey a moral? If so, how does the author develop the idea?
Are any of the characters foils for one another?
How important are the secondary characters to the novel?
Can particular sets of characters be compared/contrasted (i.e., just the women, certain classes of people, etc.)?
Does irony play a part in the novel?
From what point of view is the story told? Why is it important that this particular POV (or more than one POV) is used?The thesis statement you plan to use must control your essay; the thesis is generally one sentence that controls the main idea of the entire essay. The thesis is NOT a statement of intent (“In this essay, I will . . . ” is a statement of intent, for example), nor is the thesis a statement of fact (The author uses symbolism in the novel). Instead, the thesis is an argument to be proven or supported. Your thesis must be approved by the instructor prior to the submission of your paper.
Name your MS Word .docx file as YourlastnameENGL1302ResearchThesis.docx before submitting.