Present a thesis-driven argument and analysis following MLA documentation standards.
Avoid arguing the obvious (eg, “Anne Bradstreet was a Puritan”).
The contents of the paper should all work toward proving this thesis. Use quotes and examples from the texts to help you prove your point, but avoid extensive paraphrasing of the text.
Assume your audience has read the texts in question.
Demonstrate throughout the paper why your point is relevant and how it helps us reach a greater understanding of the work in question. Note that pointing out a comparison or something similar is not interesting on its own terms; instead, show why such a comparison is useful.
You may use sources beyond the text, but they must be approved sources, ideally from books, library databases, or journals.
In any cases, you must cite all sources referred to, no matter how much you’ve paraphrased the idea and regardless of how oblique your reference is.