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Cranston High School West Library: Federman - Hawthorne Research Spring 2020

Type of Assessment: Response to Literature-Prose and response to informational text

Assignment Instructions

Research Paper:  All steps will be graded as either homework, a quiz or a test.  All steps must be completed before the final project, or the research paper will not be accepted.

Required materials:

  • Copies of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story: “The Birthmark” 
  • Folder in Google to hold all research-paper related materials 

Step One: Analysis of Primary Source

  1. Read the story with focus on determining Hawthorne’s attitude towards scientific experimentation, scientists themselves and individuals who tamper with nature or a natural process.
  2. Find and copy out (typed) 4 quotations from “The Birthmark” that  in some way demonstrate Hawthorne’s views related to any aspect of science.  You need  4 quotations followed by 4 clear and thorough explanations.
  3. Explain in your own words (typed) how these passages reflect Hawthorne’s view of scientists.

Example: From another Hawthorne story

“These he cultivates with his own hands, and is said even to have produced new varieties of poison, more horribly deleterious than nature, without the assistance of this learned person, would ever have plagued the world  withal” (Rappaccini’s Daughter 4).

In this passage, Baglioni comments on Rappaccini’s scientific experiment with the flowers in his poisonous garden. By describing these substances as deleterious, Hawthorne indicates that the result of Rappaccini’s scientific exploration contains harmful and horrible materials.  This suggests that Rappaccini, the scientist himself is harmful and horrible.

Step Two: Write an essay which explains Hawthorne’s view of scientists in the two short stories. Includes at least two quotes.

Step Three:  Research the following topic

Cosmetic Surgery

  1. Find 3 RELIABLE (at least) articles (pieces of research) that focus on your topic (make sure you record all the information related to your articles i.e. author, title, web address, date of publication etc.). This must be typed. If using a website, fill out the web evaluation tool posted on this page that assists in determining whether or not a source is reliable and/or valid. If using the database, Science in Context (posted on this page) this step is not necessary.
  2. Copy out at least three quotations from each article.
  3. Type an explanation of what the quote is saying and whether the information, for the most part, supports or contradicts Hawthorne’s view of scientists.
  4. You will hand in these quotations with correct MLA citations. The link to MyBib and an instruction video is posted on this page.

Step Four: Determine whether or not your research on a scientific topic supports or contradicts Hawthorne’s view of science.

  1. List three reasons why your research supports or contradicts Hawthorne’s views.
  2. In one sentence, state Hawthorne’s view of science and why your particular research either supports or contradicts that view.

Step Five:  Introductory paragraph which leads to a thesis that asserts whether the research on your topic supports or contradicts Hawthorne’s views of scientists in the short story.

Step Six: The Outline

  • You must complete an outline that includes your thesis, a plan as to how you will structure your body paragraphs, and quotes from both primary and secondary sources with clear explanations. (See sample outline and format handout). Include a MLA-formatted Works Cited page. The link to MyBib and an instruction video is posted on this page.

Step Seven: The Research Paper

  • Must be at least three pages long
  • Must include at least 5 secondary quotes from 3 reliable/validated sources with proper citations
  • Must include at least 4 primary source quotations from “The Birthmark.”
  • Must have a Works Cited page in MLA format. The link to MyBib and an instruction video is posted on this page as is a video for MLA formatting in Google Docs.

Web Evaluation Tool

Use this web evaluation tool whenever you use an unapproved website for research. Use the point scale on the bottom of the form to decide if the source is acceptable.

My Bib


Watch this video for instructions on using MyBib

Link for Science in Context and search instructions for all Gale databases


Login = cran_log 

The following video shows how to search for Academic Journal articles, save to Google Drive and cite the source.

Youtube Video - MLA format with Google Docs

Standards Addressed

Academic Expectations: 1: F-Text-based writing / J-Reading and responding to informational texts / K-Reading and responding to literary texts
DOK level: 4
ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1a Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that logically sequences claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1b Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the most relevant evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level, concerns, values, and possible biases. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1c Use words, phrases, and clauses as well as varied syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1d Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1e Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.2a Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information so that each new element builds on that which precedes it to create a unified whole; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.2b Develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and relevant facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.2c Use appropriate and varied transitions and syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.2d Use precise language, domain-specific vocabulary, and techniques such as metaphor, simile, and analogy to manage the complexity of the topic. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.2e Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.2f Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic). 

RI Department of Education Cross Curricular Proficiencies

The proficiencies aligned to this assignment include:

  • Communication
  • Research