This research project and independent study was designed for my honors American literature class, but you could use this as a research project in any English course. Students chose an American writer, read some of his or her works, did critical research, chose sources, and developed a thesis about the writer's work. Students loved the freedom to explore an author they chose in such a deep and meaningful way. This assignment sheet includes a rubric and will walk you step-by-step through the research and study process with your students. The study culminates in a research paper and presentation.