Music Research Paper Assignments | Online Homework Help

The Research Paper

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Six Double-Spaced Content Pages Minimum

10pt or 12pt Font Size

MLA Format In-Text Citations

MLA Format Works Cited Page 

An Annotated Bibliography Page 

Research Paper Guidelines and Topics to be considered:

  • Selecting entire countries or continents are too broad but individual genres within those specific countries such as Shona Music from Zimbabwe, Japanese Enka, Portuguese Fado, Haitian Hip-Hop, Cuban Son, and Klezmer are good because they represent a specific genre of Music.
  • Specific instruments—the history and use of the gamelan orchestra, the tres, the bandonion, the sitar, and the kora are a few of the many instruments to consider.  Here, you should locate recordings or videos of your selected instrument being played alone (by itself) and recordings or videos of it being played together with other instruments or voices.
  • A performing artist or music group
  • Skim through our textbook and be sure to listen to the music by accessing our World Music Textbook Listening Selections located in the Modules section of our online course in Canvas.
  • A performing artist or music group—be careful not to submit only a biography as this is not a research paper, rather you must take a stand on why you believe this musician/group is important.  An argumentative paper is a good approach here as it will develop why you believe—and importantly, why the reader should believe what you do about the significance of your selected performing artist or music group.
  • Skim through our textbook and be sure to listen to the music by accessing our World Music Textbook Listening Selections with links to each of the 4 textbook CD’s located in the Modules section of our online course in Canvas.  Read about and listen to a variety of music from different parts of the world.

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  • As you explore, list areas (topics) that are of interest to you.  These areas of interest can be quite broad–genres of music, specific instruments, singing styles, composers, performing artists, ceremonial music, sacred music, social and political events, evidence of acculturation, urbanization, etc.  Please understand that you do not need to know anything about the topics you select–a sincere interest and curiosity is all that is necessary.
  • Listen to/view as many recordings/videos as you can find.  You will select examples from the music itself (listening and responding to recordings) and opinions/descriptions from experts which directly supports your thesis. The body of your paper turns into a site for laying out the proof you’ve collected rather than a canvas for delineating a topic.
  • The final product will be a unique and appropriate integration of information you have located outside yourself along with your personal insights.
  • The paper should reflect a balance between the sharing of factual information, quotes from writers you have read during the research process (cited in MLA), along with your own response, descriptions, and analysis of that information—which must include actual music (Records, CD’s, MP3’s, Videos, etc.) that you listened to as part of your research.
  • At all times, try to research and view your topic from different perspectives.  Always ask, why?  Be inquisitive.  Put yourself into the paper.  Get excited.  Remember that you are selecting the topic for each research paper; therefore you should be enjoying the research process and the learning that accompanies it.
  • You must select examples of music (songs) to describe in your paper—the lyric content of songs with words, the timbres of instruments and voices (pure, round, centered, edgy, fuzzy, distorted, bright, subdued, muted, muffled, etc.)  By listening and responding to recordings and incorporating the opinions from experts which directly support your thesis, the body of your paper turns into a site for laying out the proof you’ve collected.
  • Works Cited Page is required listing all your in-text citations for quotes/paraphrases in MLA Format.
  • You must provide at the end of your paper a Works Cited Page listing sources you quoted directly or paraphrased (this includes recordings of music and videos too).
  • Beyond your Works Cited Page listing sources you quoted directly or paraphrased, you will also prepare an Annotated Bibliography.
  • The Annotated Bibliographycomes after the Works Cited Page.  Click on The Annotated Bibliography Page (located here in The Research Paper Module) to read a description and view samples of an Annotated Bibliography.
  • Finally, I have provided a helpful Rubric for you to use in preparing your Research Paper.  Please click on the Grading Rubric for the Research Paper link located here in The Research Paper Module area of our online course.


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