Interesting Ideas

Contemporary World Literature – 2 Papers

World Lit Project

The Big Picture

Contemporary World Literature is an introduction to 20th-century literature featuring selected works by authors from around the world. You purpose is to read and analyze these works to learn about some of the important literary movements and themes within their cultural contexts in the century. To apply your learning, you will write a research paper for your World Lit Project.


Write a 6-7 page research paper in which you critically evaluate up to three literary works on a structural and thematic level. You will select a topic from a list of questions on the Week 02 World Lit Project – Topic page.

Technical Requirements

1.Original research paper in APA format with a minimum length of 6-7 pages. In general, pages consist of:

Title Page – Captivating title, your name, title of the course, date

Body – 6-7 pages in length. Follow this rough outline:

I.Introduction – introduce topic- (Remember you will choose from a list of questions.) Bring focus to your study through thesis statement.

II.First Point coming out of thesis statement

a.Support #1 from research

b.Support #2 from research

c.Personal observation


III.Second Point coming out of thesis statement

a.Support #1 from research

b.Support #2 from research

c.Personal opinion


IV.Third Point (if needed) coming out of thesis statement

a.Support #1 from research

b.Support #2 from research

c.Personal opinion


V.Conclusion – restate thesis and close with striking point or quotation.

References Cited page – in APA format.

2.Proper mechanics (clear, concise, and complete sentences and paragraphs), proper spelling, grammar and punctuation.

3.10-15 citations (quotes) for the paper from the primary texts plus your research in one or two secondary sources. (Primary texts are the original works of literature you choose to study. Research focuses on secondary sources, which are critical books and essays about the texts. You should spend most of your time in the original works!) Your textbook is a good resource. Please use one or two sources as available from your college’s Online Library. Visit the Online Library for help on conducting research. The Online Library is accessible through the Resources tab. Internet resources should be reliable as at a university, website.

4.Use statements and ideas that are your own writing and blend these in with your research. Do not plagiarize. If you want to use actual words from a source, put them in quotation marks with the source.

5.Follow APA format for the paper and for citing your sources. For APA guidelines in your college’s Online Library, see Resources tab.


Identify which question below you want to discuss as the topic of your research paper. The 4 topics below take the form of a series of questions. These questions are meant to guide your thinking as you do research and are not to serve as your outline. In each case, you will have to “narrow your topic” in order to give your paper focus. Your focus then enables you to organize your thoughts.

1. Writing about the past.

Marcel Proust, Bessie Head, and Leslie Marmon Silko are all in one way or another writing about the past, or with the past in mind. How do each of these authors gain access to information about the past? What influence does the past have on each of their literary works? In what ways are these works similar with regard to treatment of the past? In what ways are they different? Do you feel that the past had an influence on any of these authors in their ability to be creative? Explain.

2. A reality check.

Much of modernist literature challenges a typical view of reality – a view that is said to be obtained by a sense of objectivity. In the stories by Franz Kafka and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and in the descriptions given in Andre Breton’s poem, what does the real world look like? In what ways is the world they describe different from the world you live in? In what ways is it similar? What motivates these writers to represent a world that is so different from the one we experience? Explain.

3. Going to the Theater.

In the three plays you read (Bertolt Brecht, Luigi Pirandello, and Samuel Beckett), the subject matter had a moral and ethical content (though Beckett might have been talking about the complete lack thereof). What were each of these dramatist’s methods for portraying moral and ethical issues? What are the similarities and differences between these methods? Which method was most effective? Explain. Would you agree or disagree that the stage is better suited than a work of fiction for portraying moral and ethical issues? Explain.

4. Who am I?

Many of the works of literature you’ve read portray an individual on the horns of a dilemma. Zhang Ailing (Eileen Chang), Bertolt Brecht, and Leslie Marmon Silko show characters struggling to make very difficult choices. What is the nature of these choices? What are some of the artistic means used by these authors to portray the fact that the character is facing a difficult dilemma? Taking these three works together, is there a common message about the self in the modern world? Explain. With regard to the individual (or self), are these works an example of modernist literature? Explain.

Steps to Narrow Your Topic

Step 1

As you read over the questions that are raised for each of the above topics, you should attempt to answer them. You will find that some are factual questions that can be answered by looking at the primary source (i.e. the original work of literature under study). It is a good idea to write down where in the literary work (page, paragraph) you find these answers because you will probably need to cite them later in your paper. Other, more critical, questions will require you to draw your own conclusion. These questions will require research that you can once again cite in your paper later in order to support the conclusion you draw.

Step 2

Begin thinking about your thesis statement. A thesis statement should be reduced to a single sentence that reflects the research you have done on the topic. Then begin to rough out a tentative outline. Examine the findings from your research and try to arrange them in such a way that best makes your case. It is typical to have done more research than you need to make your point. You should be discriminating with your research and use only what you need.


It may be a good idea initially to select more than one topic from the list, and then dive into your background reading and research. You might find that you are more comfortable with one topic than another after you have begun to do a little research. On the other hand, sometimes it’s possible to know right away what you want to write about! Note that if you want to adjust or add to this list of topics, you must receive approval from your instructor.

World Lit. Fiction Project – Dystopian Fiction Option #5

# 5: Explore the dystopian vision in modern literature: What was the dystopian vision of humanity’s future? Dystopian literature can be seen in many science fiction novels of the 20th century as man moved into the technological age. Many feared the industrial revolution would erode man’s highest ideals and man would be ruled by the machines he created. In reading and comparing works like George Orwell’s 1984 and other modern novelists like Ray Bradbury’s Farenheit 451or Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, we are shown visions of a future where corporations run the world and survival depends on adhering to “Big Brother’s” decrees on what is acceptable. How do relate our society with these visions of the dystopian author’s view of what the 21st century would be like? Discuss dystopian literature and at least 1 author from the following list that published significant novels in this genre.

George Orwell: 1984

H.G. Wells The Time Machine

Ray Bradbury: Farenheit 451

Margaret Atwood: The Handmaid’s Tale

Margaret Atwood: Oryx and Crake

Richard Bachman: The Running Man

Anthony Burgess: A Clockwork Orange

Aldous Huxley: Brave New World

Philip K. Dick: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Any of the newly published series, like Divergent, Hunger Games, The Giver, etc. are also Dystopian fiction and are acceptable.

Paper #1

Please submit your World Lit Project thesis and outline for feedback and final approval. An example of an outline, thesis statement and reference page is shown below. You can pick any of the three literary works from the list only.

This paper should be at least 1-2 pages and in APA format.

Please include the thesis statement and outline.

Example provided for outline:

Thesis is clearly stated for the intended audience as required in the assignment and follows one of the assigned subject areas in contemporary world literature provided in the course or option 5 (Dystopian Literature).

1.Paper is organized around a unified outline that develops the thesis.

2.Opening “grabs attention” and leads into thesis.

3.Thesis anticipates the key points in the paper.

Outline for Paper clearly illustrates the key points to be covered in the paper. Use of APA outline format required. That is Roman Numerals for each section of the the paper and capital letters for the topics under each Roman Numeral. The outline should look like this:

Title of Paper

I. Introduction to authors, and or terms like modernism or dystopian fiction..





II. The background of your chosen authors or author in the case of the outside novel –dystopian author





III. Next area you will discuss according to the questions–put it as heading here.






III. Your next topic to discuss

A. etc. continue in this fashion until you have the last Roman Numeral and that is your Conclusion.

Paper #2

Submit the rough draft of your World Lit Project for instructor review. Include your Thesis Statement and Outline at the end of your paper.

Remember to proofread your paper both for grammatical errors and for clarity. Don’t underestimate the importance of this stage! You may have researched very thoroughly and come up with some interesting ideas about your topic, but all that work is wasted if you fail to communicate them clearly. A good guide to follow is that if something you’ve written sounds even a little awkward to you, it will be even more difficult for someone else to understand. You may have to rewrite a passage several time before it’s finally clear.

This paper should be 6-7 pages and in APA format. Above will show the technical requirements and also the citing requirements. This paper requires 10-15 citations (quotes). References Cited page needs to demonstrate that research was conducted in the primary source and in at least two secondary sources. Sources are credible and are cited correctly using APA style.

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