Research paper


You made it to the final project of the semester! Please see the requirements below:

  1. Papers are developed to be analytical or argumentative in nature. Avoid reporting facts without analysis included. You will need:
    • A clear, focused introduction with a well-developed thesis
    • Paragraphs should offer the reader evidence that supports the thesis and continuity through the use of topic sentences and connecting ideas back to the thesis
    • Evidence from credible, vetted sources that are considered reliable. Avoid fringe sources as evidence.
    • Anticipate counter arguments to your point of view. This gives the paper some tension.
    • The conclusion should not repeat the thesis, but review the ideas and reiterate the evidence, leaving the audience satisfied that they have read a full account of your point of view.
  2. Papers should be 6 to 8 pages, exclusive of works cited page
  3. Work cited page should have 6 to 8 sources and be in proper MLA 8th edition format
  4. Sources should be cross-referenced with the in-text citation in the text of the paper
  5. Papers should have between 10 and 20% of quoted, paraphrased, and summarized material.  If you have less than 10%, it’s likely you don’t have enough research to support your position.  If you have more than 20%, you likely are depending too much on your sources and are writing a review of literature instead of a research paper.
  6. Submit feedback draftby due date posted in the link.
  7. No late papers are allowed after 5pm of the due date. I must have time to grade the papers before grades are due. After the final draft is submitted, your obligations to the course are complete.

Tips for success:

  • To have the optimal amount of support, the rule of thumb is to limit your use of sources to two short quotes (less that three lines) or one long quote (over three lines) per page.
  • If using long quotes, make sure you block them properly.  Look in the index of your The Little Seagull Handbook for blocked quotes and how to do them.
  • Speaking of The Little Seagull Handbook, it is also a great idea to review how to paraphrase and layer quotes properly into your paper.  Use the index to find the page numbers.
  • Make sure you are writing with a working thesis.  Don’t be afraid to complicate the thesis, even if it means you have to do some revision in the body of the paper.
  • I almost always write a working thesis and then write the body of my papers.  After that, I write the conclusion, and only after I am satisfied with the content of my body and conclusion to I write the introduction and revise my thesis to thoroughly represent the arguments and/or analysis of the rest of my paper.
  • Outlines are a great way to keep on track when writing longer papers.
  • Make sure you look at the file called the Features of the Academic Essay.Links to an external site.


Feedback draft :

To receive credit for this Feedback Draft, it must include:

  • At least 500 words
  • A working thesis
  • Examples of at least two paragraph topic sentences with either bulleted subtopics or a fully developed paragraph that develops the topic sentence’s argument.
  • In one of the paragraphs, include a sentence with a fully embedded quote, paraphrase, or summary with the proper in-text citation.
  • Offer a tentative conclusion. This will likely evolve as you complete the draft of the paper, but I must see where you think the paper is headed.
  • Works cited page with at least one entry that corresponds to the in-text citation




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