English 6601 Methods of Research, Fall 2019

Tuesdays 5:00-7:45PM, Arts & Sciences 116

In Class Activities

1. Introduction to Bibliographical Studies

Although William Proctor Williams and Craig S. Abbott's An Introduction to Bibliographical and Textual Studies is concise, there is still much to cover, so let's break it up. Divide into 4 groups (there will be one or two groups of one) and prepare a short summary of the chapter based on the following issues:

  1. Define the five kinds of bibliography as mentioned in the introduction: enumerative bibliography (8), annotated bibliography (8), historical bibliography (8-10), analytical bibliography (10-11), and descriptive bibliography (11-12).
  2. What is the definition of the main concept (such as analytical bibliography, descriptive bibliography, or textual criticism); or what is the main idea of the chapter (a text and its embodiments)?
  3. List three important points that the chapter makes.

Here are the groups:

2. Review of Textual Studies

Last week, we were introduced to bibliographical and textual studies. This week, we will be reviewing more detailed issues in the field. Spend 15 minutes summarizing the 2-3 main points of your assigned chapter, and note how the research methodology in the chapter might help you your upcoming textual history project. Since there are seven articles and seven students, each of you will summarize one chapter.

  1. Greetham, "Finding the Text: Enumerative and Systematic Bibliography"
  2. Greetham, "Evaluating the Text: Textual Bibliography"
  3. Greetham, "Criticizing the Text: Textual Criticism"
  4. Greetham, "Editing the Text: Scholarly Editing"
  5. Greetham, "A History of Textual Criticism"
  6. Kirschenbaum and Reside, "Tracking the Changes: Textual Scholarship and the Challenge of the Born Digital"
  7. McGann, "Coda: Why Digital Textal Scholarship Matters; or, Philology"

3. Introduction to Modern Scholarship

Now that we have been introduced to the history of the book and textual scholarship, let's turn to the range of scholarship in English studies. Today, we'll cover seven fields as a class. On subsequent periods, each of you will research a field, introduce it to the class, and apply its methodology to a work of literature.


Let's prepare to discuss David G. Nicholls' Introduction to Scholarship in Modern Languages and Literatures by spending 15 minutes summarizing each field's basic approach and 3-4 main points of your assigned chapter. We will skip "Textual Studies" and the "Epilogue" and each of you will summarize one chapter.

  1. Doris Sommer, "Language, Culture, and Society" (3-19)
  2. Paul J. Hopper, "Linguistics" (20-47)
  3. Heidi Byrnes, "Language Acquisition and Language Learning" (48-72)
  4. Susan C. Jarratt, "Rhetoric" (73-102)
  5. David Bartholomae, "Composition" (103-25)
  6. Charles Bernstein, "Poetics" (126-42)
  7. Jerome McGann, "Interpretation" (160-9)

    Revised and Expanded Paper

Original Paper

Select a recent research paper that you believe needs both further development of interpretation and further research to help prove your argument. Bring an electronic or print copy of the paper to class on Tuesday, August 27.

Annotated Bibliography, Research Strategy, and Revision Plan

Annotated Bibliography


Find 10 scholarly, secondary sources (books, book chapters, and peer-reviewed journal articles) that will help you further develop your literary interpretation, format the sources in MLA style, and provide a 75-100 word summary of each secondary source's argument as well as how the secondary source interprets and illuminates the meaning of the primary text, i.e., the literary work. Do not simply summarize the topic, provide the thesis. I recommend answering the following questions:

  1. What question, issue, or topic is the source investigating?
  2. What is the source's thesis or conclusion regarding the work of literature?
  3. How does the source help your understanding of the work of literature?

Research Strategy


Provide a paragraph length summary of how you found the secondary sources. For instance, list the library databases you used and secondary sources' works cited you consulted.


Revision Plan


Finally, provide a paragraph length explanation of how you plan to revise your original paper. For instance, discuss the new research you will incorporate, how you will amend your interpretation, and how you will expand the argument.


I suggest using this template. The annotated bibliography, research strategy, and revision plan is due in GeorgiaVIEW > Course Work > Assignments > Revised and Expanded Paper on Tuesday, September 10.

Revised and Expanded Paper

The revised and expanded paper must be one-third to one half longer than the original paper and incorporate at least 5 new secondary sources. For instance, if the original paper was 10 pages long and had 5 secondary sources, the revised and expanded paper should be 13-15 pages long and have 10 secondary sources. It is due Tuesday, September 24 in GeorgiaVIEW > Course Work > Assignments > Revised and Expanded Paper. If you revised your annotated bibliography based on feedback, also resubmit your bibliography, research strategy, and revision plan on Tuesday, September 24.

Textual Scholarship and Book History Project

While we were studying the history of the English studies profession and the history of the book, you worked on revising and expanding a previous research paper. This project provided the opportunity to practice the research methods learned in your undergraduate programs (researching and writing an annotated bibliography) as well as refine your argument and integrate additional research to a previous paper. Now, the textual scholarship and book history paper allows you to practice the methods of textual scholarship learned in Williams and Abbotts', Greetham's, and Kirschenbaum and Rside's books and articles.


Select a work of literature and, first, examine its textual issues (such as the debate between differing scholarly editions or translations), and second, research either its publication history (discuss its different editions) or readership history (discuss its critical and social reception, both then and now) in well-researched essay and formal presentation.


Some examples of topics include the inclusion of T. S. Eliot's notes in the publication of The Waste Land, the 2011 Touch Press Media editions of The Waste Land, the 1965 original publication of Sylvia Plath's Ariel versus the 2004 restored collection, and the original 1922 publication of James Joyce's Ulysses versus Hans Walter Gabler's 1984 edition.


Bring two possible topics to class on Tuesday, September 17.


On Tuesday, October 8, present the work-in-progress of your study in a 10 minute semi-formal presentation and field questions from the class for 5-10 minutes.


The 6-8 page paper, which integrates 5-10 scholarly research sources, is due Wednesday, October 16 in GeorgiaVIEW > Course Work > Assignments > Textual History and Book History Project.

Scholarship Application

After, first, revising and expanding a research paper and, second, researching a textual issue in a published literary work, you will research and teach a literary work from one of the general theoretical approaches to literature such as historical scholarship; comparative literature; cultural studies; feminisms, genders, sexualities, race and ethnicity; and migrations, diasporas, and borders.


After signing up for a scholarly method, read the corresponding chapter from Nicholls' Introduction to Scholarship in Modern Languages and Literature. Select a work of literature from the list of works pre-selected by the class that you would like to research and teach to the class using the assigned method for which you are scheduled. Inform the class of your selected text two weeks prior to scheduled teaching demonstration (we need time to read the works). Compose a 10 source annotated bibliography comprised of both theoretical sources that founded the scholarly approach (at least 3) and critical sources interpreting the text through the critical lens (at least 3). Lead class discussion of the literary work for 30-45 minutes by employing the critical approach and using your bibliography to inform your teaching.

Due Date

The 10 source annotated bibliography is due in GeorgiaVIEW > Course Work > Assignments > Scholarship Application on the day you are assigned to teach the work. Your project will be graded in terms of annotated bibliography quality (range of critical and theoretical sources, quality of annotations), understanding of the theoretical approach, and application of the theory and teaching of the literary work.

Text Selection

On Tuesday, September 10, the class will pick numbered selections from the MA Exam List (1-2 British periods, 1-2 American periods, and 1-2 International Periods) from which to complete the scholarship application. Here are the class's choices:

Sign Up

Since there are seven students in the class, either cultural Studies or Feminisms (but not both) can have two students.


Due Date

Scholarship Type

Student and Text

T, 10-29

Historical Scholarship

Yi-Shan Chen

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

T, 10-29

Comparative Literature

Eric Jones

Borges, "The Garden of Forking Paths"

T, 11-5

Cultural Studies

Jackson Palmour

Soyinka, Death and the King's Horseman

T, 11-12

Feminisms, Genders, Sexualities

Leah Benton

Shakespeare, The Tempest

Briana Phillips

O'Connor, "A Good Man Is Hard to Find"

T, 11-19

Race and Ethnicity

Chenglam Ku

Morrison, Beloved

T, 11-19

Migrations, Diasporas, and Borders

Heather Evans

Erdrich, Love Medicine

Thesis Proposal

You have revised and expanded a research paper, researched the textual history of a work of literature, and applied a scholarly methodology to a work of literature. Your final assignment is to research and compose a potential thesis proposal. First, select a topic and obtain instructor approval. Then, create a 20 source annotated bibliography composed of both theoretical sources that ground your scholarly methodology (no less than 5) and critical sources that interpret your selected literary work(s); and also develop a 3-4 page thesis proposal that articulates the topic's significance and originality, poses research questions, and offers tentative conclusions based on the preliminary research of the annotated bibliography. PapersOWL also offers guidelines.

Topic Selection

Bring one or two potential topics to class on Tuesday, October 22 for class feedback and instructor approval.

Thesis Conferences

Meet with your instructor about your project (annotated bibliography, presentation, proposal) on Tuesday, November 26 in Arts & Sciences 330.





Cheng Lam Ku, feminist reading of representations of women in 1980s horror films (feminist film theory, feminist horror film theory)


Heather Evans, feminist reading of representations of women in feminist science fiction television series from the 1990s to today (feminism and television studies)


Brianna Phillips, narrative and noise in Anne Brontë and Jane Austen (narrative theory)


Yi-Shan Chen, the relationship between language and identity (sociolinguistics, structural linguistics, structuralism)


Eric Jones, Shakespeare adaptations in and after New Media (adaptation theory)


Leah Benton, queer reading of post-911 Batman movie villains (queer theory)


Jackson Palmour, affect reading of magical realist texts (affect theory)

Thesis Proposal Presentations

Present your annotated bibliography (in progress, but at least 10 annotations should be completed and shared), your research questions, and possible preliminary findings in a 10-15 minute presentation on Tuesday, December 3.

Thesis Proposal

Submit your final project (20 source annotated bibliography and 3-4 page proposal) to GeorgiaVIEW > Course Work > Assignments > Thesis Proposal on Tuesday, December 10. Your project will be graded in terms of quality of annotated bibliography (range of sources and annotation of sources) and quality of proposal (topic context, research questions, tentative findings). Retrieve feedback approximately one week later in GeorgiaVIEW > Course Work > Assignments > Thesis Proposal. You can access your final grade in the course via PAWS after Wednesday, December 18. Here's how to calculate your course grade.