Research Paper Assignment
You will write an argumentative research paper in which you take a clear stand on a debatable societal issue. Your paper should incorporate secondary sources to support your arguments.
1. Your essay should begin with an introduction that ends in strong thesis statement. The thesis statement should clearly state your position on the issue. Your essay should have body paragraphs with strong topic sentences and end with a concluding paragraph in which you restate the thesis.
2. In addition to the body paragraphs with arguments to support your thesis, your essay should include a paragraph in which you discuss counterarguments and refute them.
3. Your paper should use a formal tone and be written from a third-person point of view. Do not use “I” or “you,” or weak qualifiers such as “I believe” and “I think.”
4. Do not announce by using such phrases as “This essay will argue” or “In this essay.” All such phrasing, appropriate for a proposal, should not appear in your research paper.
5. Provide facts, evidence, and statistics to support your opinion. You may use moral or religious claims, but they should not be your only arguments.
6. Your paper should be 6- to 8-pages long and incorporate paraphrasing and quotations from at least five (5) secondary sources to support your arguments. At least three (3) of these sources should scholarly sources from peer-reviewed journals.
7. Your paper should not include more than one long block quotation.
8. Your paper should be formatted using MLA, including properly formatted in-text citations and a Works Cited page. Any paper not formatted correctly, including extra spacing between paragraphs, will receive up to a 10-point deduction.
9. Your paper should be typed and double-spaced using Times New Roman 12 pt. font.
10. Your paper should include a strong academic title.
Research Paper Proposal and Annotated Bibliography
You will write a proposal and an annotated bibliography as part of your Research Paper Project. Together, the proposal and annotated bibliography count as 10% of your overall grade. Submit your proposal and annotated bibliography in one document.
Research Paper Proposal
Your research paper proposal will be a 1 ½- to 2-page detailed plan of what you propose to argue in your research paper. It should provide background information, the significance of the issue, your thesis, and a discussion of your main arguments. You will want to briefly mention a few arguments from some of the secondary sources you plan to use for support. The following is an outline for your proposal, although you may have more than three main arguments in your research paper. Your proposal should not be in outline form. See the example proposal and annotated bib for required formatting.
A. Interesting lead-in and brief background information
B. Significance: What should the reader care about your issue? Why is your issue debated?
C. Thesis statement
II. Discussion of first main argument to support your thesis
A. Topic sentence: First, I will argue . . .
B. Mention an argument from one source that supports your first argument
C. Mention an argument from another source that supports your first argument
III. Discussion of second main argument to support your thesis
A. Topic sentence: Next, I will argue . . .
B. Mention an argument from one source that supports your second argument
C. Mention an argument from another source that supports your second argument
IV. Discussion of third main argument to support your thesis
A. Topic sentence: Finally, I will argue . . .
B. Mention an argument from one source that supports your third argument
C. Mention an argument from another source that supports your third argument
V. Discussion of counterargument and your rebuttal
A. Topic sentence: One argument against . . .
B. Mention an argument from one source that supports the counterargument
C. Provide a brief description of your rebuttal
An annotated bibliography is a list citations or sources followed by a descriptive paragraph (annotation) that evaluates the source. Your one-paragraph annotations should provide 1) a short evaluation of the source (What is this source about, and is it credible?) followed by 2) a description of how the source is relevant to your argument (How will you use the source in your paper?). See the examples provided for correct formatting.
Research Project Overview
Research papers are a requirement in many college classes and disciplines. A research paper not only requires good composition skills, but also research, organization, critical thinking, and source evaluation. You will practice these skills by completing a research project in which you will complete several writing steps: a 1 ½- to 2-page proposal, an annotated bibliography, and a 6- to 8-page argumentative research paper. These steps together will count as 35% of your overall grade.
1. After choosing a topic, begin researching, taking careful notes.
2. Write a 1 ½- to 2-page research proposal along with an annotated bibliography of sources you plan to use in your paper. The proposal and annotated bib together count as Essay 4 and 10% of your overall grade.
3. Write a draft of your research paper. The draft counts as 5% of your overall grade.
4. Create a video presentation of your research to present to the class. The presentation will count as 10% of your overall grade. Provide feedback on two of your classmates’ presentations.
5. Revise your draft and submit the final version of your research paper. The final version counts as 10% of your overall grade.