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The Great Gatsby
Research Prospectus and Annotated Bibliography

A prospectus is a summary of a proposed research project. The purpose of writing a short prospectus is to help you get a sense of your project and hopefully gain a starting point for your work.

How to proceed?
Start by reading and taking notes on 2-4 reference articles, review articles, or key research articles. You will most likely be using a search engine or online database. This initial phase is meant to familiarize yourself with America in the 1920s. As you read more and more, you will hopefully find a particular subject or topic that you think is worth writing about. Again, this is not only a research paper, but it is a synthesis work in which you must take elements from the time period and connect them to the novel.

Key Questions for Statement of Thesis * What two motifs will you concentrate on? * How does these motifs connect with an element from the 1920s? * What articles and research best represent this connection? * What examples from the novel best represent this connection?

Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography
Provide a summary and critique of the sources you researched. Where did you find them? Who wrote them? Who published them? It is important at this point to realize you want to eliminate any unreliable or questionable sources.

Once you have sifted through enough source material, now you will begin to write your prospectus. Below is a sample.

For my term project for American Literature, I will explore the implications of American fairytales as reflections of our cultural identities. I am specifically looking at Washington Irving's “Rip Van Winkle," and its evolution from its first published version into its popular translations for film and animation.
The thesis I intend to develop is as follows:
Fairytales uniquely define the heroic...

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