ENG 132
Final Research Essay Guidelines

For this essay, you will be writing an essay that is analytical in nature and based on the text and critical readings of The Turn of the Screw.

You may choose to focus on any aspect or interpretation of the story you like! You may NOT just write a summary of the story. You must choose a analytical topic as your focus to on, such as how the story is representative of the era, how it fits the mold of a traditional Gothic tale, how it portrays the supernatural elements, how it portrays madness or insanity, why James chose the title, how the governess judges the other characters based on their attractiveness and the double-standards she employs, why the governess tries to make herself the hero of the story, how the lines of the social classes are blurred throughout the story and why, the representation of good versus evil in the story and how it changes, how James uses foreshadowing in the tale, the strangeness of the employers demand that he not be contacted and how it affects the governess actions, how the roles of Miles and Flora change (or dont) throughout the story and why, just to name a few. The possibilities with this story are endless! You may use a few quotes from the story to reinforce some of the points you are trying to make, but you most definitely can NOT write whole paragraphs of just plot summary. There should be NO plot summary in this essay!

Minimum Requirements for the Essay:

  • It must have a minimum of 5 full pages of text, but no more than 8 full pages of text.

  • It must have a twelve-point font (times new roman or calibri only), one-inch margins, and be double-spaced.

  • It must include four sources from the HFC Library Database that are reliable sources introduced into the paper.

  • It must support topic sentences with evidence and it must explain the significance of the evidence used.

  • It must include an additional Works Cited page using the 2016 version of MLA format. All electronic sources or web documents cited or consulted for the paper must be accompanied by access dates. NOTE: The Works Cited page does NOT count as one of your required essay pages. This is IN ADDITION to your 5-8 pages of full text.

  • Use MLA format for the paper setup and to cite sources if any are referred to in the paper.


Using Sources:

When including references to facts, statistics, case studies, or expert testimony from published sources (including your article), you must cite your sources using MLA format. You also need to follow the MLA conventions and rules for citing sources in the text of the paper as well as on a separate Works Cited page.

Sources should be introduced into your discussion to establish ethical appeal throughout the paper. Referring to authorities on a subject adds to your credibility as a writer.

Sources should be integrated into the discussion using specific signal phrases that identify the source by author, major ideas, and even the expertise of the author. In this way you place emphasis on the credibility of the sources gathered.


Your audience is your classmates. Remember that this is a diverse group of people with different views across the board. With this in mind, you need to develop a skill for persuasion by respecting your audience, referring to reliable reasoning, maintaining an academic tone, and explaining connections between reasons, evidence, and thesis.

Tone and Voice:

It is expected that the writer will create and maintain an academic tone throughout the paper. The essay should be organized using effective strategies. The tone should remain fairly dispassionate and use various approaches and appeals to persuade the reader.

The paper should use third person point of view ONLY, supporting the thesis with reliable evidence, and using a dispassionate (non-emotional tone) in the paper. Words such as I and me and my and us and we and our and ourselves and you and your and yourselves are NOT to be used at all.


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