The Research Paper is the Final essay you will turn in at the end of the semester. You can choose any topic you like.

It must be on an “Issue” NOT an individual person.

You will need to formulate an argument in relation to your topic.

The Research Paper should be 11 –12 typed, double-spaced pages. You must use 12pt. Arial font and standard one (1) inch margins.

The Research Paper should be new work, not rehashed work from an earlier essay. But, you may use a topic we have looked at. You just have to perform new, more in-depth research on that topic.

Your sources must be from OUTSIDE the texts we use for class. You must use at least 12 OUTSIDE SOURCES.

The first step in any project is to stop and think it through. In writing, an important part of this process is to think about what you want to say about whatever topic you are addressing. Performing this important step helps the writer conceptualize an overall view of the project they are writing, and helps them clarify, for themselves, the direction and form they want their project to take. The process shown below is a technique I have used and it has served me well in my own writing. I recommend that you give some form of it a try to see if it works for you as well. Many students have found it very helpful.

The technique is not complicated and does not need to take a lot of time. Simply complete the statements below. I usually perform this exercise speaking aloud to myself, or my critters. But, if you are concerned that people will think you are crazy for talking to yourself :), you can do this silently, or you can write your thinking down as a type of “free write.”

A) What I what to say about (Your Topic) , is (This is your position
[argument] on the topic:

B) What I want to convince my reader to believe is (This is part of your
position [argument] on the topic):
In your essays you MUST have an INTRODUCTION. Your Introduction should be fully developed and should introduce your subject in a way that will entice your reader to continue to read, and that situates your subject in a context that will prepare your reader for the rest of your essay. You MUST HAVE AN ARGUMENT (a point you are making). You MAY have a CLEARLY STATED THESIS STATEMENT WITH KEY POINTS at the END the introductory portion of your essay. You MUST have a fully developed CONCLUSION that ties your ideas and argument together and that extends the meaning of your argument.

Academic writing requires a certain amount of “Objectivity” (although, actual objectivity is never really possible). Subjective, personal views and/or beliefs do not have a place in academic writing. Therefore, “I” statements and writing about yourself, your family members or friends, etc. are not acceptable.

You also DO NOT need to say, “in my opinion;” “I believe;” etc. You are writing the essay. It can be safely assumed that what you write is your opinion.

Ideas that come from authors of your outside resources will be accredited to them and cited, both within your writing and on your “Work Cited” page.

Remember to address and defuse major opposing viewpoints through the use of counter-argument. A counter-argument acknowledges arguments that an opponent may bring up. To defuse a counter-argument you must anticipate and state what it is and derail it by showing how it does not apply to, nor alter your understanding or your argument.

Focus your argument and be specific by discussing points that DIRECTLY apply to, and that will support and prove your understanding and your argument. You must use critical analysis to examine and discuss your chosen topic in its complexities.
** Out of the 12 sources you read to gain an understanding of your topic, you MUST USE at least one (1)–properly cited (MLA STYLE) quote or paraphrased statement from EACH SOURCE to support your argument(s).
** Your sources MUST be presented in a “Works Cited” page at the end of your Paper USING THE PROPER MLA STYLE OF CITATION. The “Works Cited” page DOES NOT count as one of the required pages of your Research Paper.

*** You may use web sites to create you “Work Cited” page. There many available.
1) You MUST have an argument (a point you are trying to make).
2) You MAY have a clear thesis statement and key points in the introduction of you essay.
3) Use topic sentences to begin your paragraphs.
4) Organize and focus your ideas in a logical order.
5) Use vivid details to support your assertions.
6) Use properly cited Quotes and/or paraphrased statements.
7) Use transitional words and phrases.
8) DO NOT use “I” STATEMENTS and DO NOT write about
yourself, your family members or friends, etc.
9) DO NOT use statements like: “In my opinion,” etc.
10) You MUST have a fully developed Conclusion to your essay.
11) You MUST PROOF READ YOUR PAPER for errors and
12) Please create a Title for your essay.
13) Please label your assignment: RESEARCH PAPER
14) You MUST create a “Works Cited” page identifying the texts
you have quoted (cited) using MLA style.


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