Final research paper | english


PAPER 3: Research Paper

The basics:  Write a 5-8 page research paper on your semester topic in which you make a clear, debatable claim (your thesis) and attempt to persuade your skeptical audience to accept that claim. Acknowledge and refute your skeptical audience’s opposing views, and use current credible sources to support your points–not to make them for you. Seventy-five percent of your paper should come from you–not from your sources.

Previous papers:  You can selectively integrate some parts of Paper 1 and most of Paper 2. Use caution, however. Paper 1 was a completely different type of paper. That assignment required you to write about the semester topic article. This final research paper assignment requires you to write about your thesis, so while some parts of Paper 1 may fit in this paper, most will not (e.g. the summary). Treat the author of your semester topic article like any other source in your paper now: use the source to support a point.

Semester feedback:  Implement many of the suggestions I’ve made during our conferences this semester for improving your paper, and make any corrections that I pointed out. Failing to do so could result in a substantial deduction from your grade.

Source type requirements:  Incorporate at least two more sources (one must be your field research). As always, your sources must meet the “Acceptable Sources for Papers” requirement found on page 4 in your syllabus. Not meeting this requirement will result in a substantial grade deduction. 

Source introduction requirements:  As you have done all semester, use the ICE method with source material (introduce, cite, and explain), and use a variety of attributive tags (verbs to introduce sources material). The borrowed material should be integrated seamlessly and feel like your own words.

Source documentation requirements:  Quote, summarize, and/or paraphrase accurately using properly formatted in-text citations, and include a Works Cited page at the end of your paper. Use the MLA 8th Edition handout  and the MLA Handbook. Failure to use MLA 8th edition to properly and ethically document sources will result in an F: Not working ethically with sources this late in the semester is unacceptable

Paper format requirements: Use 12-point Times New Roman, and format your paper according to MLA Style . Failure to do so will result in a letter grade penalty.

Proofreading and editing:  Although by now you know it’s critical, do not merely focus on working ethically with sources. Good writing is also key to persuading readers and key to maintaining your own credibility. To avoid losing credibility, proofread out loud carefully. Remember to read in order and in reverse order, and consider using this proofreading checklist courtesy of the Write at Home Blog 

Annotated Bibliography:  Keep your annotated bibliography current – due with the final paper. To be eligible for full credit, every source used in your paper must be included in your final annotated bibliography.

Printed source material:  Follow the instructions on the Annotated Bibliography & Annotated Source Material assignment sheet – due with final paper. 

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