English IV world Literature Research Paper Assignment Examining Genocide Research Paper Assignment

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English IV World Literature Research Paper Assignment

Examining Genocide

Research Paper Assignment

A research paper is very similar to the papers you have completed so far in which you discussed a particular aspect of a novel using a thesis statement and examples from the text. In this assignment, you will add support from additional sources to prove your thesis. The process of finding, reading, and incorporating information from these other sources is what makes this a research paper. Because you have experience with analysis and know how to organize an essay using textual evidence, this should not be a totally new experience.

In his memoir Night, Elie Weisel describes the horrors he experienced during the Holocaust. He has continued to dedicate his life to fighting human rights violations around the world. During his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, Elie Weisel said “Human rights are being violated on every continent. More people are oppressed than free. How can one not be sensitive to their plight? Human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere.” Despite these efforts and the work of countless others, human rights violations continue. The Holocaust is an example of a human rights violation and a horrible criminal act known as genocide.
For your research paper, you will perform a critical examination of genocide. According to the United Nations:
Genocide is a term created during the Holocaust and declared an international crime in the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The Convention defines genocide as any of the following acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group, such as:

  1. Killing members of the group;

  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

  5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

(United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, “Preventing Genocide,” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum web site, http://www.ushmm.org. November 25, 2009).

Choose a specific instance of genocide (e.g. Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur, Cambodia) and write a research paper in which you investigate the facts, issues, and responses associated with it. You should see this as an opportunity to raise your own awareness about a terrible act that occurs around the globe.

Successful papers will present:

  1. A discussion of a specific genocide that includes its unique context and characteristics.

(What are the historical and cultural situations that led to the conflict, what tactics were used to gain control?)

  1. A thesis statement that presents your interpretation of this genocide.

(The genocide in the Darfur region of the Sudan is a result of the unequal distribution of power and wealth and cannot be resolved unless there is a real democratic transformation.)

  1. An examination of the issues or problems associated with the genocide.

(In what ways did the targeted group suffer? How did it change the region?)

  1. An analysis of the responses to the genocide.

(How have people tried to end the conflict? Has there been a global response? Have any of these responses been effective?)

  1. A discussion of the possible ways to prevent genocide based on your investigation.

We will take three weeks to complete this exercise. Please follow these dates and guidelines. Excuses for failure to complete assignments shall not be tolerated. Put your creativity into the work instead. Do not turn in anything late. Failure to complete this paper will result in a failure for the second semester. All seniors must complete a research paper in order to earn credit for the first semester of English IV.


  1. You must complete each assignment and submit items based on the deadlines given for this assignment.

  2. All pre-writing materials must be completed in order for your final draft to be accepted.

  3. Your paper must provide analysis and consist of your own original writing. Ideas from outside sources must be cited properly according to MLA format. You may not present a book review/report or plagiarize summaries/critical essays.

What is Plagiarism?

It is very important that we establish a clear understanding of plagiarism and the consequences of engaging in this practice. In short, plagiarism is trying to pass off someone else’s writing or ideas as your own. It is like copying without saying who you copied from. If you got the words or ideas for any part of your paper from another source and did not credit the source in the form of a citation, you are plagiarizing. The following definition is from the Council of Writing Program Administrators website. More information can be found at: http://www.wpacouncil.org

Definition: In an instructional setting, plagiarism occurs when a writer deliberately uses someone else’s language, ideas, or other original (not common-knowledge) material without acknowledging its source.

This definition applies to texts published in print or on-line, to manuscripts, and to the work of other student writers.

Plagiarism is considered cheating. Papers that are plagiarized will receive a zero and your parent or guardian will be contacted.



Due Date


Preliminary Research

Perform research that will allow you to choose an instance of genocide to research. You should begin your search using the information already provided to you on genocide. You may also refer to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum web site, http://www.ushmm.org.




An abstract is a short description (1 – 3 paragraphs) of your research. You should write a synopsis that includes the topic you will investigate, why you selected this subject, and what you hope to learn through the research process.



Working Thesis Statement

After you choose a topic, create an initial thesis statement for your paper. Remember that a thesis must be a provable argument. It should be an interpretation, a cause/effect statement, or an evaluation, not a statement of fact.



Gathering Sources

You need to use at least five (5) secondary sources. These must be books or essays and articles from scholarly publications. Websites like gradesaver, enotes, wikipedia, and bookrags are not appropriate.



Computer Lab / Library Visit for Gathering Sources

We will go to the lab as a class at least once throughout the process. You are expected to go as often as needed outside of class in order to get all of the necessary information.



Source Notes

You will create notes from your sources, headed with MLA information for each source followed by subject headings, then source information.



Rough Draft and Peer Editing

The rough draft should be the first version of your entire paper. You must have it in class in order to perform peer editing. This is not busy work. You will need to make revisions and improvements for your final draft.



Final Draft

Your final paper should be at least five (5) pages, typed, in MLA format. MLA format calls for you to also create a proper cover page, outline, and a works cited page. The cover page, outline, and works cited page do NOT count toward the 5 page minimum.



Total Points


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