English 401
The Faust Theme


English 401
The Faust Theme

Practice Exercise 3: Research Paper, Units 1 - 3

Practice Exercise 3: Research Paper

Learning Objective: To use your critical thinking and writing skills to examine in-depth certain aspects of the Faust theme in a longer essay that incorporates analysis of secondary literature.

Preparation: Practice exercises one and two will help you prepare for this exercise.

In writing your research paper, follow citation conventions and use the MLA format. Review the materials on writing essays about literature http://www2.athabascau.ca/services/write-site/writing-about-literature.php.

Step 1 of research paper writing. Choose a topic from the list below. Reread the texts, searching for points appropriate to your topic. Develop a thesis statement (what you want to prove about your topic) and an outline of points you want to prove. The thesis statement and outline guide your writing and may change and develop as you write. For information on creating a thesis statement and essay writing in general click the following link: Purdue OWL: How to Write an Argumentative Essay.

Step 2. Locate three scholarly sources (books or journal articles) relevant to your topic and thesis. Google Scholar (google.scholar.com) can help you locate scholarly material. Critically read and summarize these sources as you did in Practice Exercise 2. This time, evaluate the articles. Do the author's ideas support your argument; is the article worth using? Use relevant ideas from these sources, using accepted citation conventions, to support the arguments in your research paper.

Research Paper Topics

Write a thoughtful, well-organized research paper of 1500 to 3000 words on one of the following topics.

  1. Composers, lyricists, authors, and filmmakers throughout the ages have adapted the Faust theme and used it in their creations. Compare and contrast one such creation with Goethe's Faust or Marlowe's Doctor Faustus.
  2. Compare and contrast the ending of Ibsen's Peer Gynt and either Marlowe's Doctor Faustus or Goethe's Faust. Address whether the protagonists achieve the goals they set for themselves at the beginning of the works.
  3. Compare and contrast one comic scene from Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, Goethe's Faust, and Ibsen's Peer Gynt.
  4. Discuss Goethe's term “the eternal feminine” (das ewige Weibliche) in relation to Marlowe's Dr. Faustus and Ibsen's Peer Gynt.
  5. Discuss the impact of Doctor Faustus's and Faust's searches for self on nature and the environment. What is each protagonist's view of nature?
  6. Research a folkloric element in one of the works studied. What are the sources? How does the author change the element to suit the purposes of his or her work?
  7. Compare and contrast the nature and function of knowledge and the attitudes toward it in two works on the course.


Last modified: Tuesday, 5 November 2013, 4:13 PM MST