Friday, January 20, 2012


Welcome students! This site has been created to support your work on the Contemporary Literature Research Magazine.

The purpose of this assignment is to help you become familiar with the work of a significant American author and to explore how an author's life and place in history may impact a work of literature. In addition, you will develop skills in finding, organizing and incorporating information that will help you become more effective researchers.

For this project, you will read a novel or play by an important twentieth century American writer, then research the author's life and historical period. You will then create a magazine that includes a biographical essay, a style analysis essay, plus three additional sections of your choosing (see assignment for details).

Links for Additional Copies
Assignment, Criteria Chart & Timeline
Database Guide


The research you do will only be as good as the resources you consult. The following is a list of quality resources:

Digital Resources
Through the LAUSD Digital Library use:

Gale Biography in Context
This database provides a variety of biographical articles about the authors. Use this database for the biographical essay portion of your project.

Bloom's Literary Reference Online (through Facts on File)
This database provides critical analyses of the novels and plays as well as biographical information. Use this database for the style analysis essay or the biographical essay.

Facts on File American History Online, African-American History Online, or American Women's History Online
These databases provide information on the time period in which the authors lived and set their works. Use these databases to gather information for the additional three sections of your magazine.

Gale Student Resources in Context
This database provides articles on a wide variety of topics. For this project, use this database to find additional articles for the style analysis essay.

Print Resources (Books)

Listed below are reference sources that will provide biographical, literary and historical information.

Novels for Students REF 809.3 NOV
The Oxford Companion to African American Literature REF 810.8
Magill's Survey of American Literature REF 810.9 MAG
American Decades REF 909.82 AME
American Eras REF 973 AME

In addition, you may want to look at the OPAC for books about your novel, play, author or time period. The books about novels and plays are in the 800's. Biographies are in the 921's. American history books are in the 973's.

MLA Style

In order to follow MLA style, you must document your sources correctly within your essays, using parenthetical notes and you must provide a works cited page that lists all the resources you used in your project. This documentation gives authority to your work and must follow a very specific format.

For format guidelines, go to Purdue Owl.

For an application that will allow you to type in your information and format it for the works cited page, go to Citation Machine.