The Sixteenth Century in English Literature

Essay 2: Guided Tour Research Essay
The Sixteenth Century in English Literature

(1485-1603)

Getting Started
We have been practicing with beginning research for this major writing
assignment for Unit 2 at the heart of the evidence in the primary source texts. This
should give you the opportunity to develop interests that lead you to pursue more
information in the form of secondary source scholarship found via the MTC Library
database, JSTOR.
SWA 3’s two Annotated Bibliography Entries for these secondary sources will
springboard you into the details of the scholarship, evaluation, and analysis of its
argument about the primary source you’ve chosen to pursue more deeply.
Once you have thoughtfully explored the primary sources and then completed
the work for your SWA 3, you will complete a final submission for Essay 2 in which you
take on a role of Host for a “Guided Tour” of your research process.
Directions for Guided Tour Research Essay
After having completed SWA 3, you should have some understanding of your
source of interest that delves more deeply than the surface. Using the 2 secondary
sources (academic journal articles) found in JSTOR as support for your discussion as
well as relevant quotations/evidence from the primary source materials from Unit 2, use
this paper to detail your journey or process of interest, inquiry, research, and analysis of
your various sources. [For example, this may include explanations of how primary
source quotes prompted to you to take a closer look and seek out secondary source
materials on the work!]
This Guided Research Tour will ask students to write that not only highlights the
significance of the primary source inspiration and the steps taken to better understand
it, but also include a main point/thesis that offers some insight about the
informative/clarifying work of the secondary source scholarship.
As you analyze our primary texts for a focus of interest, consider some themes or
ideas we’ve discussed this Unit (these are a few):

 the dynamic between entertainment and treatment of controversial issues
(example: Wyatt’s poems in the court and about the court of King Henry
VIII)
 the ability to manipulate perceptions of an individual’s status (example:
“sprezzatura,” Don John’s machinations and difficult position as “bastard”
brother)
 the role of costumes, symbols of authority, and visible signs of rank (how
one is dressed or adorns themselves)
 the Renaissance use of rhetoric to debate competing ideas about power,
who could practice it, and how: “…a culture steeped in the arts of
persuasion and trained to process complex verbal signals” (Greenblatt
and Abrams 500).

ENG 205 – Fall 2020
Instructor Castillo

 the metaphor embraced by the Tudor dynasty, that the world was a stage
on which to project what one chose. How did this work to a writer’s
purposes?
 Importantly, the how this is done physically, verbally, and
representationally (metaphorically)

Citation/Formatting/Length
 Cite any examples you wish to focus on properly in MLA 8, never forgetting to
provide the title and author of the work, and to give an appropriate lead-in to a
direct quote
o Don’t leave it “floating” and not attached to a sentence
o Include parenthetical citation after your quotations that will include the
page number from the Norton for prose texts, like Elizabeth I Letters (not
poetry). Verse works, or poetry, will use line numbers
o Should you choose it, remember plays like Much Ado use Act, scene, and
line instead of page numbers
 (I.ii.14-20) is Act 1, scene 2, lines 14 through 20
o Use MLA documentation style for quotes (see the SWA 3 prompt for the
formatting of “Articles found in an online database,” as well as for
paraphrasing points.

 This essay should extend to a minimum of three typed, double-spaced pages,
MLA numbered page headings, and an MLA Works Cited Page of your sources.
There will be at least three sources for this essay: Your Primary Source Choice
of Reading from the Norton and your two scholarly journal articles.
[Note: Do not fall into the trap of plot summary, in which you fill up your paragraphs by
telling what the authors wrote about. Only use evidence to support your analysis of the
themes you are addressing and spend your time discussing the process of
research/learning something new.]

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