Henry James, “Daisy Miller: A Study” (C: 421) , “The Real Thing” (C: 460), or “The Beast in the Jungle” (C: 477), Reseach paper



Theresearch paper should be at least 1000 words and may be longer.

It counts 50% of your grade in the course.

You must follow the assignment exactly.

Please note that this is not a thesis controlled essay; it is an explorationof sources.

You will use a total of four sources, including the primary source.

The works cited list must be in MLA format. Use www.easybib.com to help you withformatting, or send me a message. If you use databases, you will often findthe entire citation at the end of the commentary. You will just need to copyand paste it in your works cited list and make whatever formatting changesare necessary.

You must follow these instructions exactly.

1. Choose one of the following stories,short novels, or plays for your research paper. You may wish to read theintroduction to the author and then to read the first few paragraphs of thestory, novel, or play to help you make your choice. If you want to know alittle more about your selection, let me know. I suggest that you read yourprimary source (the story, short novel, or play) before looking forcommentaries (secondary sources), since you’ll want to experience it as literaturewith all its interesting details and surprises first.  Once you have madeyour choice, read carefully and take notes, jotting down any questions thatoccur to you as you read. These questions will be part of your research paper.

Henry James, “Daisy Miller: AStudy” (C: 421) , “The Real Thing” (C: 460), or “The Beastin the Jungle”  (C: 477)

Katherine Anne Porter, “Pale Horse, Pale Rider” (D: 494)

William Faulkner, “Barn Burning”  (D:800)

Ernest Hemingway, “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” (D: 826)

Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire (E: 93)

Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman  (E: 238)

James Baldwin: “Going to Meet the Man” (E: 423)

Flannery O’Connor, “Good Country People” (E: 445)

Toni Morrison, “Recitatif” (E: 609)

Philip Roth, “Defender of the Faith” (E: 647)

Raymond Carver: “Cathedral” (E: 737)

Sandra Cisneros: “Woman HolleringCreek”  (E: 1131)

Preparingto Write the Essay

2. Find three commentaries (articles,interviews, overviews, critical essays, etc.) about the story or play andtake notes or highlight the parts that help in your understanding. You shoulduse at least two substantial quotations from each commentary in your paper. I encourage you to use more than three commentaries (secondary sources). Keepin mind that your research should focus on the literature itself, not on theauthor, though you may find articles in which the author (writer of the primarysource)  discusses the story, novel, or play, or you may find that theauthor’s own life is relevant to the story in a very specific way. Manybiographies include discussions of specific pieces of literature by the author.The primary source (the story, novel, or play) does not count as one of the threecommentaries (secondary sources). This means that you will have at least foursources in your works cited list. Again, I encourage you to use additionalsources, especially if you don’t find answers to your questions by using onlythree.

Don’t use:

  • No internet (or print)sources that are “notes” or “summaries” of the primarysource (CliffsNotes, Endnotes, Classicnotes, Booknotes, Sparknotes,Novelguide.com, etc) (Anything with lots ofadvertisements should be avoided.)
  • No student papers orfree essays from websites like 1234helpme.com, freeessays.tv,gradesaver.com, sunflower.singnet.com, cbronte.com, bookrags,planetpapers.com, antiessays.com, directessays.com,  academon.com,echeat.com, study.com–I’m truly amazed at how many websites like thisexist! (These papers are often already plagiarized, or they are written byhigh school students with no real evidence for their views.)
  • Noencyclopedias, especially Wikipedia, which is a goodgeneral reference but not always reliable, especially not as literarycriticism
  • Nodictionaries–definitions of words aren’t commentaries (though it’s goodto look up words, of course)
  • No unsigned internetarticles
  • No interviews withfriends about the story or play (though it’s good to discuss the primarysource with other people)


  • Books (biographies ofthe author, compilations of critical essays, critical studies of thestory, novel or play)
  • HCCS databases,especially Literature Resource Center.  See instructions foraccessing databases from home below.
  • Movies or documentariesthat relate to the the primary source (You must discuss these in thepaper, not just mention them, to count them as sources.)
  • Reliable websites (withauthors listed)
  • Websites with .org,.gov., .edu (unless the source is a studentpaper)


All HCCS students are entitled to use the college databaseswhile enrolled in Houston Community College.

Here is a link that explains how to access the databasesfrom home: http://hccs.libanswers.com/faq/108002

Writing the Paper

3. In your paper, begin with a briefintroduction in which you tell why you chose this story or play, what questionsyou had after reading, how your found your sources, which sources were mostuseful. This introduction is required. You should use “I” in theintroduction since you are discussing your personal response. 

4. Include a very brief discussion of the primary source itself, includingquotations that you think are important. This part of the paper shouldn’tbe more than a paragraph or two. (I emphasize “brief” because in thepast, some students have discussed the story, novel, or play for half the paperand responded very briefly to the commentaries.)  This part of thepaper should be similar to a short reading response.

5. Then discuss each commentary (source) in a full paragraph for each source,letting the reader know what the critics have said about your story, novel, orplay. Include at least two substantial quotations from the source andyour responses to what the critics say. You will need to give the name andauthor of each commentary, but don’t use these as headings. I prefer that youorganize your essay by discussing the sources one by one in separateparagraphs. You may, of course, make connections among the sources to make theessay flow nicely. I’m interested in what you find out about the literaturethrough research. Please follow punctuation rules for quotations. Quotationmarks don’t substitute for other marks of punctuation (commas, colons,semicolons, periods). Here is a website that should be useful: Punctuating Quotations in Essays

6. Do not put the author’s name in parentheses after a quotation.You should introduce your source at the beginning of the paragraph by includingthe author’s name and the title of the source in your topic sentence for theparagraph. You may, of course, mention the author’s name again in a sentence ifyou wish, but don’t put the author’s name in parentheses. Use sentences like,”Baker goes on to say that. . . .” or “he also says that. . ..” 

7. At the end of the paper, summarize what you have learned by doing theresearch, perhaps letting your reader know which commentaries answered the questionsyou had, which gave you additional insight, which were difficult to understand,etc. Again, you should use “I.”

8. Include a Works Cited list at the end of the paper, listing allsources alphabetically, using MLA documentation format.  Be sureto list your primary source (the story, play, or novel you are writing about). Youmust follow MLA format exactly. If you need help, let me know. You may wish topick up a handout at the library or consult the following website: MLA Format. The Purdue On-lineWriting Lab (OWL) is also very useful.

Below you will find instructions for documenting your paper. You must followinstructions carefully.

ResearchDocumentation Guidelines: English 2328

1. Include the name ofthe author and title in a sentence in the text of the paper, not inparentheses. The page number should appear in parentheses just after thequotation. The page number always comes after the quotation marks and is notpreceded by a p.; the period comes after the parentheses. See example below.Websites and databases usually don’t have page numbers, so you need to includeonly the author and title. Remember that any borrowed material (a quotation,a paraphrase, a summary, an idea) must have an in-text citation.

Example 1 (In-textcitation):

 In Carlos Baker’sexcellent biography of Ernest Hemingway (called Hemingway: The Writer asArtist), he says that “‘The Snows of Kilimanjaro’ is an experiment inthe psychology of a dying man” (191).

Notice that I have not repeated “Baker”in parentheses before the page number. It is very important not to repeat theauthor’s name unnecessarily. Doing so is distracting to the reader and impliesthat he or she can’t remember the name of the author, even though you haveincluded it at the beginning of the sentence. (Imagining yourself as the reader is a good idea.)

Works Cited Entry:

Baker, Carlos. Hemingway, the Writer as Artist. 4th ed.Princeton, NJ. Princeton UP. 1972. Print.

Example 2 (In-textcitation):

In Theatre U.S.A: 1665-1957, the author,Barnard Hewitt, says the following about Tennessee Williams and the productionof A Streetcar Named Desire: “Tennessee Williams had succeeded ininvesting contemporary materials with poetry by intensifying the expression ofthe suffering of realistically conceived characters” (441).

Notice that there is punctuation after the introduction to the quotation. Inthis case, I used a colon; however, depending on the lead-in, you might usesome other mark of punctuation. It’s important to follow normal punctuationrules when using quotations. Notice also that the ending quotation marks comebefore the parentheses and that the period comes after. Notice also that I havenot repeated the author’s name.

Works Cited Entry:

Hewitt, Barnard. Theatre U.S.A.: 1665-1957.New York: McGraw-Hill, 1959. Print.

2. For your primary source (the story, novel, orplay you are researching), use page numbers only as long as it’s clear that youare quoting from the primary source (and as long as you have included the authorand title in the introduction). The full citation will appear in the WorksCited list.


Thenarrator of “The Real Thing” by Henry James explains his philosophyof illustration in the following passage:

 Iliked them [Major and Mrs. Monarch]–I felt, quite as their friends must havedone–they were so simple; and I had no objection to them if they would suit.But somehow with all their perfections I didn’t easily believe in them. Afterall they were amateurs, and the ruling passion of my life was–the detestationof the amateur. Combined with this was another perversity–an innate preferencefor the represented subject over the real one: the defect of the real one wasso apt to be a lack of representation. I liked things that appeared; then onewas sure. Whether they WERE or not was a subordinate and almost always aprofitless question. (434)

The quotation above is “blocked,” which means itis indented 10 spaces from the left margin. Quotations of four lines or more shouldbe blocked. Notice that there are no quotation marks around the quotation.Blocking it reveals to the reader that you are quoting. Also, in a blockedquotation, the period comes before the parentheses.

Examples of Works Cited Entries for primary sources:

Williams, Tennessee. A Streetcar Named Desire. The NortonAnthology of American Literature. Vol. E.  Eds. Nina Baym et al. 8th ed. New York: Norton, 2012. 90-155. Print.

James, Henry. “The Real Thing.” The Norton Anthology ofAmerican Literature. Vol. C.  Eds. Nina Baymet al. 8th ed. New York: Norton, 2012. 460-76. Print.

Notice that you should include the inclusive page numbers for thestory or play.

3. Use the following format if you’re quoting froma multi-volume source like Twentieth Century Literary Criticism, ContemporaryLiterary Criticism, Twentieth Century Views,  etc. (Alwayscite the actual author of a piece, not an editor.)

Example: In-text citation:

LionelTrilling, in “F. Scott Fitzgerald” (from The Liberal Imagination),says this about Fitzgerald’s writing style: “Even in Fitzgerald’searly, cruder books, or even in his commercial stories, and even when his styleis careless, there is a tone and pitch to his sentences that suggest his warmthand tenderness, and, what is rare nowadays and not likely to be admired, hisgentleness without softness.” (12)

Works Cited Entry:

Trilling, Lionel. “F. Scott Fitzgerald.” The Liberal Imagination.New York: Viking, 1951. Rpt. in F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Collection ofCritical Essays. Arthur Mizener, ed. TwentiethCentury Views. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1963. 11-19. Print.

4. If you’re using the Internet, follow MLA guidelines by includingthe author (if known) and title of the piece, the date the site wascreated (if indicated), the http address (optional), and the date accessed. Ifthe author isn’t known, use the title of the piece (even if it’s a simple titlelike “A Poe Chronology”).  


Melissa Byles, in a New Yorker essay called “Richard Ford onRaymond Carver,” comments on Ford’s view of life:

Life, in Ford’s view, is something that is or flowsin easily recognizable ways. About art, he makes, I believe, the followingwell-worn but not necessarily well-taken points: art can have an insignificantsubject matter (think of old shoes in Van Gogh paintings); art makes life moreworthy, and may even a surprisingly unmodern point teach us morals, a conduct;yet art is not like life, in that art is a calculated construction, while lifeinvolves less calculation than chance.

Workscited entry:

Byles, Melissa. “Richard Ford on Raymond Carver.” The NewYorker. 5 Oct. 1998. Rpt. in OffCourse: A Literary Journey. Web. 27 June 2016.

5. If you use a database like Literature ResourceCenter, follow this format:

Example (in-text documentation): 

Linda Wagner-Martin in ” ‘A Pair of Silk Stockings’: Overview,”comments on the story’s style: “Chopin’s departure from a plot-orientednarrative, to the emphasis on the inner motivation of her character, was asimportant as her abandonment of the details of local color writing.”

Works Cited entry:

Wagner-Martin, Linda. ” ‘A Pair of Silk Stockings’:Overview.” Reference Guide to Short Fiction. Ed. Noelle Watson. 1sted. St. James Press, 1994. Literature Resource Center. Web. 17 October 2009.

Do not include the web address for databases.

6. To avoid repeating all of the information abouta book with several essays about your story, you may include one full referenceto the entire book (with the editor) and then cross-reference theindividual essays. Here is an example.

Mizener,Arthur, ed. F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Collection of Critical Essays.Twentieth Century Views. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1966. Print.

Cowley, Malcolm. “Third Act and Epilogue.” Mizener64-69. Print.

Wanning,Andrews. “Fitzgerald and His Brethren.” Mizener57-63. Print. 

*To access Galenet, go to the HCCSLibrary Home Page, choose Databases by Subject, Literature, and then”Literature Resource Center.” After typing in the author’s name,choose “Criticism” to find articles about your story. Check with meif you need more information.

      Note: You willfind information for the citation at the end of the commentary in Literature ResourceCenter, so you don’t have to create it yourself.

For help with creating the works cited list, check this website:


English 2328:Sample Works Cited List

I am providing this mainly so that you will know what your Works Cited listshould look like. The list should be alphabetized by the author’s last name,double-spaced, and all lines after the first of each entry should be indentedfive spaces (not the first line).

Works Cited

Baker, Carlos. Hemingway, the Writer as Artist. 4th ed.Princeton, NJ. Princeton UP. 1972. Print.

Byles, Melissa. “Richard Ford on Raymond Carver.” The NewYorker. 5 Oct. 1998. Rpt. in Off Course: A Literary Journey. Web. 27June 2016.

Cowley, Malcolm. “Third Act and Epilogue.” Mizener64-69. Print.

Hewitt, Barnard. Theatre U.S.A.: 1665-1957. New York:McGraw-Hill, 1959. Print.

James, Henry. “The Real Thing.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Vol. E.  Eds.Nina Baym et al. 7th ed. New York: Norton, 2007.429-447. Print.

Mizener,Arthur, ed. F. Scott Fitzgerald: ACollection of Critical  Essays. Twentieth Century Views. EnglewoodCliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1966. Print.

Wagner-Martin, Linda. ” ‘A Pair of Silk Stockings’:Overview.” Reference Guide to ShortFiction. Ed. Noelle Watson. 1st ed. St. James Press, 1994. LiteratureResource Center. Web. 22 Aug. 2010.

Wanning,Andrews. “Fitzgerald and His Brethren.” Mizener57-63. Print.

Williams, Tennessee. A Streetcar Named Desire. The Norton Anthology of American Literature.Vol. E. Eds. Nina Baym et al. 7th ed. New York:Norton, 2007. 2186-2248. Print.