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First, read Shakespeare’s Othello carefully, selecting quotes that seem important and copying them in your notes.

First, read Shakespeare’s Othello carefully, selecting quotes that seem important and copying them in your notes.

The Research Paper Project

First, read Shakespeare’s Othello carefully, selecting quotes that seem important and copying them in your notes. Then read all of your notes, which should include quotations from the play and ideas that come to you as you are reading the play. This study of the play should generate a preliminary idea about your topic, i.e., a focused interpretation of the play by examining an underlying meaning that interests you. Then you should watch the play, and take notes when you watch, copying dialogue that is relevant to your ideas about the theme of the play. Freewrite a page about Othello’s theme.

Next, find literary criticism online or in the Library that analyzes the characters and/or theme in Othello. A search through the literary database, J-Stor, should produce a long list of articles written about the characters in Shakespeare’s play; you select which articles are most relevant, and save them. Once you have found at least two useful articles, you should read them carefully. This is a big part of the assignment; your careful reading will be evaluated in the paper and also the Annotated Bibliography.

Having read a lot, and synthesized the information gleaned from scholars, you are prepared to organize your argument–your interpretation of the character or theme from Othello that you chose to analyze. You can compose a traditional outline, or just start writing and organize after you have generated some material.

The Research Project Completion outline:

Come up with a topic

Find sources

Summarize and analyze the sources (Annotated Bibliography)