Writing an Alice Walker Research Paper

As one of the best known African-American authors of the 20th century, as well as a long-standing activist on a number of political issues, Alice Walker makes a popular and interesting subject for a research paper. While there is no difficulty in finding material for this paper, it can be difficult knowing where to start. This guide should give you some tips on what to include and where to find it.

Biography of Walker

Whatever the exact topic you decide to write about it's useful to include a short biography of Walker. Born into a large poor family and blinded in one eye by a childhood accident, her upbringing played a large role in forming her political opinions and shaping her future work. This makes it important enough to need including.


Walker has written a large and varied collection of work. As well as several novels she has also published collections of short stories, books of poetry and a number of non-fiction books. Any paper should have a short summary of this. It's also possible to write an entire paper about her work, exploring the themes she uses and looking at how they have developed through her career.

Political and Social Positions

Walker supported the US civil rights movement in the 1960s, taking part in marches and helping to register black voters. Later she opposed the 2003 Iraq war and has criticized Israeli actions in Gaza and elsewhere. She is bisexual and a committed feminist. How do these political beliefs come through in her work? Can they be traced to the same roots as her writing itself?

Finding Information

Wikipedia has an extensive article on Walker. This shouldn't be used as a source itself, because many people distrust Wikipedia, but it contains links to many other useful sources. Walker also has her own website; among other things it includes a blog, which is a good source of quotes and information about her beliefs. As with any paper on an author it's also a good idea to read at least some of her work; her award-winning 1982 novel The Color Purple would be a good start, as it focuses on two of her main themes - feminism and racial discrimination.

When writing an essay it's often a good idea to find something slightly different to write about; this is interesting for markers, so it improves your chances of getting a good grade. While The Color Purple is an excellent essay subject, for example, it's the example of Walker's work that gets written about most often. Consider writing about one of her other novels, such as The Third Life of Grange Copeland. Even if you don't have time to read it you can find study notes online. In any case, you can find plenty about Alice Walker on the internet, so you should have no trouble writing a good essay.

Tips to consider

Start writing with brainstorming.Any essay or research paper start with creating an interesting and unique topic. Most students find it hard to make up a topic that would interest the professor. The easiest solution is check the available college paper examples available online for free use. Read the topics, write down the ones you like, conduct a research and give birth to a great topic of your own. The alternative way is to read a newspapers, watch a television program and write about any current issue going on in the world.

Proofread and edit your draft.Make sure to check your final draft before submitting it to your school. Most students are so happy they've finally finished writing their essay or research paper, they forget to spell-check and search for grammar and punctuation mistakes. Most professional writers even use the help of editors (and actually pay them for their services) to ensure the paper is coherent, well-structured and flows well.

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