Research Essay: August Wilson’s Fences You should already be reading August Wilson’s Fences. For your research essay, you will need to find a topic based on the critical, literary analysis in the research you are able to find in regards to the play. The following are some questions or topics that have helped students to narrow and focus the topic for their research essays on Fences in the past: In what way does the play work to detail the experiences of black Americans during the middle of the twentieth century? Discuss the role that baseball imagery plays in Wilson’s Fences. Examine it on both a literal and figurative level. Explain the significance of the title of the play, Fences, and discuss the various levels of meaning in the title. Explore the dynamics between the male and female characters in Wilson’s Fences, in relation to gender roles and expectations within the black American experience (and perhaps in comparison to other American main and subcultures) up to middle of the twentieth century. Research: Your essay will have at least three sources: one primary source (the play) and two secondary sources (critical articles). There are plenty of resources available for your research. This applies to TTC’s Library: The library has several printed collections of Literary Criticism as well as some videos that may be useful sources. Other critical resources can be found in the library’s “electronic holdings” on Netlibrary (on-line books). Two books to consider are Understanding August Wilson and May All Your Fences Have Gates. Finally, you should search the online databases for critical articles in Infotrac— Expanded Academic or in Jstor. Also check out Literature Online and Literature Resource Center for criticism of Wilson’s play. Documentation All sources must be represented within the text of the essay, which means that you must cite each source at least once (including the play). You will follow the MLA format for citing these sources. You must use quotations from the play (the primary source) to support your analysis. Your essay must also have a Works Cited page that lists the sources used in your essay. It will be written according to the MLA format. It does not count toward the required length of the essay. The Prentice Hall Reference Guide will be an essential resource as you research your topic and write your essay. Read over the section “Writing About Literature.” (71-80). The chapter “Research” (325-408) will provide important information on how to organize your research, write your essay, and prevent plagiarism. “MLA Documentation” (409-446) will provide instructions on how to use MLA style documentation for your essay. Finally, a sample research essay (448-463) provides an example to follow. It provides an example of a Works Cited page, and it shows how sources are cited in the body of the essay. Other Requirements: Your essay should be at least 3 pages (approximately 900 words using 12 font) in length. The Works Cited does not count in this total. Any form of plagiarism may result in some form of academic penalty.