Length: Your essay should be 5-7 pages plus a works cited page. The total length, including the works cited page, will be at least 6 pages.
General Requirements: For this project, you will write a research paper in MLA format. This paper should include an introduction with your thesis in it on the first page. Your paper must utilize at least 6 sources. Each of those 6 sources must be cited within the body of the essay. You must include a works cited page at the end of your essay.
Thesis: Your thesis must appear on the first page of the essay. Your thesis must contain an opinion. Statements of fact are unacceptable as thesis statements. You need to take a stance on your topic
Organization: Your paper may be organized using any combination of organizational modes. Many writers organize their points in ascending order of importance, discussing the least important point first and building to the most important point. In another effective method, writers start with the second most important point, put less important points in the middle of the essay, and end with the most important point. You could also organize your paper in chronological order (but be careful with this method since you could easily end up writing an encyclopedia article type of essay). Whatever method you choose, your essay should be clearly organized into sections that can be easily identified. You should use a balance of the different types of evidence (facts, expert testimony, and examples) to make strong appeals, and you should avoid logical fallacies.
Most research papers begin with a section on the background of the topic before moving into points about the narrowed thesis. If you have more than one paragraph of background information to present before discussing the main points of your argument, then your thesis should appear in an introduction paragraph before the background section. If you do not have a lot of background information to present, then the background information could appear as part of your introduction. The background portion of your essay should not go beyond the middle of the second page.
Source Requirements: You need to use a minimum of 6 sources, at least four journal articles and books (any combination). The other two sources can be any type as long as they are credible and relevant. All sources that are used must be cited, and all sources that are cited must be used. You may include your sources in your research through quotes, paraphrases, and summaries, all of which must be cited. Make sure that you are using author tags and parenthetical citations. Make sure that your paper does not include any source information that is not cited.
Books: If your topic is historical or well-known, then you will probably be able to find books that are closely related to your narrowed topic. Often, though, researchers have trouble finding books that specifically focus on their topics. If this is the case, you might use books to discuss background information, to link broader issues to your specific topic, or to link your topic to other important issues.
Articles: You will probably find that journal articles offer more specific information about your topic. Journal articles usually come in handy for the meat of the argument, the main points that you are making. Even if a journal article is not directly related to your topic, it could still include information that is useful to you.
Other Sources: Other sources can offer unique or personal perspectives. Consider using documentaries, interviews, government documents, and credible websites for a fresh approach to your topic.
General Remarks: You may feel as though everything that you write needs to be cited, and that’s a common feeling for beginning researchers. If you have any doubt about whether any information should be cited, then you should cite it. If you did not know a bit of information before beginning research, then you should cite it.
Also, remember that you need to connect the ideas for the reader. Connect your quotes and paraphrases to you thesis, and connect them to other quotes and paraphrases. Offer your commentary on each piece of information that comes from a source. That is how your voice gets into a research paper. You are guiding the reader through the results of your research, not merely presenting the research.
Evaluation: This assignment will be worth 120 points and will be graded based on everything we have discussed in this class, including formatting, creative titles, use, incorporation, and citation of source material, organization, and quality of thought.