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ENGL 240 Signature Assignment (Research Paper)

The Research Paper assignment is broken into two key parts:

? Part A: Research Paper Components:

o Week 1: Topic Submission

o Week 2: Thesis Statement & Source Analysis

o Week 3: Outline

o Week 4: Introduction & Conclusion

o Week 5: Annotated Bibliography

o Week 6: Rough Draft

o Week 7: Peer Review

? Part B: Research Paper Final Draft: This is also the Signature Assignment for this course.

Due Week 8

Purpose: The research paper will explore a controversial topic in an informative style. This

means that the writer must present an equal amount of information for both points of view

related to the topic. The topic should be a debatable topic concerning social, political or cultural

relevance. The paper must present both sides of the argument without providing personal

thought or opinion. Each side will be neutrally presented allowing your audience to make their

own decision as to which side to support.

Some things to think about as you approach this undertaking:

? Will I be able to refrain from interjecting personal thought, opinion, and ideas?

? Will I be able to find at least eight credible sources from books, journal articles, academic

websites, interviews, etc.?

? Will my sources be at up-to-date? (Please don't use anything more than 8 years old

without approval.)

Research Paper Requirements: These should all be met in the final paper due in week 8.

1. No personal opinion should be given. Please refrain from “I think” or “I believe.”

2. Five to seven pages, not including the title and reference pages.

3. Minimum of eight resources for your final paper.

4. In-text citations should be provided throughout the paper, giving credit for the sources

used.

5. Reference page should be written in APA style, using the sixth edition of the manual.

6. Do not use Wikipedia; it is not a credible resource.

7. All assignments related to the research paper will be due on Sundays.

Note: The paper is broken down into several pieces during the class. Your final paper will be due

in week 8. Please read the weekly assignments carefully!

Guidelines for writing: The Structure of an Informative Paper

? Introductory paragraph: Sets the stage for the topic and earns the audience’s interest.

Historical context and other features of an introduction (preview of topic, thesis

statement) should be contained in the introductory paragraph.

? Thesis statement: States the scope of your paper. For example, “Before deciding which

side to take, readers should be aware of both positions regarding “X”. It should be the last

sentence of your first paragraph.

? Background information: Gives readers the basic information they need for

understanding your thesis and its support. As appropriate, you might include definitions

of key terms, historical or social context, prior scholarship, and other related material.

Often times this can be included in the introduction or in a paragraph immediately after it.

Some topics have great historical context and some don’t.

? Evidence and reasons as related to point-of-view “A”: The first part of your paper should

present information that people agree with from the “A” point of view: This is the core of

the essay. Each reason or piece of evidence usually consists of a general statement

backed up with specific details and examples. Evidence needs to meet the standards for

critical thinking and reasoning to be logical. Depending on the length of your essay, you

might devote one or two paragraphs to each reason or type of evidence. For organization,

you might choose to present the most familiar reasons and evidence first, saving the most

unfamiliar reasons and evidence for last. Alternatively, you might proceed from the least

important to the most important point so that your essay builds to a climax, leaving the

most powerful impact for the end.

? Evidence and reasons as related to point-of-view “B”: The second part of your paper

should present information that people agree with from the “B” point of view: and as

stated earlier, each reason or piece of evidence usually consists of a general statement

backed up with specific details and examples. Evidence needs to meet the standards for

critical thinking and reasoning to be logical. Depending on the length of your essay, you

might devote one or two paragraphs to each reason or type of evidence. For organization,

you might choose to present the most familiar reasons and evidence first, saving the most

unfamiliar reasons and evidence for last. Alternatively, you might proceed from the least

important to the most important point so that your essay builds to a climax, leaving the

most powerful impact for the end.

? Concluding paragraph: Ends the essay logically and gracefully—never abruptly. It often

summarizes the controversy, elaborates its significance, or calls readers to action.

? Sources: A source is any form of information that provides ideas, examples, information,

or evidence. A primary source is an original work created by groups or individuals being

studied, including original documents, letters, diaries, poems, books, paintings, artwork,

films, news footage, etc. Nothing stands between you and a primary source. A secondary

source reports, describes comments on, or analyzes someone else’s work. When

completed, your research paper will be a secondary source.

? Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the intended or unintended use of someone else’s words and/or

ideas as your own. According to Troyka, “plagiarism occurs when you take ideas or

words from a source without revealing that you used a source” (p. 17)