Introduction to literature | English homework help

ENGL 104: Introduction to Literature

Research Essay Topics

Length: 1,250 words (approx. excluding indented block quotes)

Due: Monday, April 21st    

Weighting: 35%


Submission: Electronically via LEO on the date due into the ‘Assignment Drop-Box’ in the week that the assessment is due


Digital Assignments must be submitted before 11.55 pm on the day the assignment is due

Assignments submitted after 11.55pm will be deemed LATE.



1.      “Edgar Allan Poe is one of those writers who try to terrify us about what is ‘out there’, all the while making us aware of the terror ‘within’.”


Discuss with reference to any (or all) of the (3) set stories from the Edgar Allan Poe collection.


2.      In his book The Lonely Voice, Frank O’Connor suggests the short story has been thought by some to be “at its most characteristic” when it offers “an intense awareness of human loneliness”(17-18, 19).


 Discuss with reference to the ANY of the short stories we have studied.


3.      Literary critic Jeremy Hawthorn has said of the short story form: “…a relatively short work can be given a complex unity through the use of means other than those involving the intricacies of plot development.” If “complex unity” can be understood to mean the repeated structural and conceptual elements of a story, using symbolism and irony, then to what extent does Katherine Mansfield achieve that “complex unity” in her short stories?


 Discuss with reference to any (or all) of the set stories “Bliss” or “The Canary” or the “The Fly”.


4.       The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison


 “All the time we knew that Maureen Peal was not the Enemy and not worthy of such hatred. The Thing to fear was the Thing that made her beautiful, and not us.” (Morrison 74)


What, in your view, does Morrison mean by “the Thing? 


The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison


Comment on the effectiveness of Pecola’s search for the ‘bluest eyes’ as a metaphor for the effects of racism.




Secondary sources:  Set texts are primary sources. Writing about those primary texts by other scholars is considered a secondary source.

 In this essay, you need to consult at least TWO secondary sources (in addition to your own response to the primary text/s) – you may well consult more than that and can add them to your Works Cited.

You also need to incorporate as part of your discussion via the use quotation AT LEAST ONE of your secondary sources. Remember to reference your sources using MLA referencing style. There is a link to referencing styles on the ACU library website and there is a link to sample sheets using MLA style.  



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