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Project 3: Research Paper
You now understand how to read and make sense of argumentative texts, how to find your own position and articulate your stance, and how to seek out other authors writing on your topic. You will use all of these skills to write an essay in which you make an argument on a significant issue, using both your own experiences and other researchers’ work to support your reasoning.
Purpose and Audience
Your purpose is to present a clear argument on a topic you care about. Your audience for this project includes anyone who is interested in the issue you have chosen to study.
Minimum 4 pages in length.
Make an argument using a thesis statement.
Cite a minimum of 5 sources, using at least 3 direct quotes.
Use correct MLA formatting for Works Cited page and in-text citations.
1213-01 and 1213-02 (MWF)
Week of Oct. 22nd – Individual conference with professor
Wednesday, Oct. 31st – Rough draft due for peer review
Monday, November 12th – Final draft due (please print AND upload to Bb)
Week of Oct 16th – Individual conference with professor
Thursday, November 1st – Rough draft due for peer review
Tuesday, November 13th – Final draft due (please print AND upload to Bb)
How is this different from a traditional research paper?
Many students have learned to write argumentative research papers that include a strong, black-and-white thesis statement (like “Smoking cigarettes should be illegal”). If you’ve written an argumentative research paper in the past, you may have been asked to use only academic sources, and to speak about the topic as if you are an expert. But… most of us aren’t experts. If we could only write about the things we are already experts on, we could never use the processes of research and writing to help us learn. This paper is meant to allow you to use those processes to learn – and you’ll learn more research and writing skills in the process that you can use for future writing tasks.
This paper is an explanation of what you’ve learned, rather than an essay in which you pretend you already know everything and you’re going to show us why you’re right about this topic.
Here’s a comparison:
Traditional Research Paper
Research Paper for this class
· includes a strong (bold) thesis
· includes a thesis, perhaps exploratory and tentative (we’ll talk about what that means)
· supports that thesis with (usually) academic sources
· uses credible sources to support your argument in a way that emphasizes what you find important
· asks you to speak as an expert
· allows you to use a more natural tone and asks that you acknowledge your own position in relation to the issue
· makes a definitive argument
· makes an argument but acknowledges limited expertise and questions for future research
It is my hope that you will find this type of research paper less stressful and more beneficial than a traditional argumentative essay. You are still making an argument, but you are writing as yourself (using ‘I,’ acknowledging your own experience, and not pretending to know everything about the topic).
· “So what?” – Explores implications of the specific argument presented in the thesis statement.
· Offers suggestions for future research into the problem or issue.
· “So what?” – Explains the importance of the issue. (“Here’s why people should care about this issue.”)
· Anticipates objections and responds to them (“naysayer”).
· Call to action – offers suggestions on how individual readers can engage with the issue or problem.
· Contains a clear thesis statement.
· Clear organization and logical order of ideas.
· Thesis is supported by at least 5 credible sources.
· Correctly formatted MLA Works Cited page and in-text citations.
· Effective paraphrasing and quoting.
· Research is inadequate (cites fewer than 5 sources).
· Ineffective organization or unclear argument.
· Major, distracting grammatical errors.
· Ineffective paraphrasing or quoting (possible plagiarism).
· Research is inadequate.
Review your completed Annotated Bibliography.
If you wish to change topics, please see me for advice and guidance.
If you wish to continue with the same topic, ask yourself if there are any gaps in your research. Are your sources too similar? Are there any aspects of the issue not represented in your research?
Freewrite to articulate your own position on the topic you have chosen.
Draft a thesis statement.
Create an outline.
Start with the main ideas that support your argument.
For each main idea, list which sources you will use to support your point.
Look at your finished outline – is this the most effective order for your ideas?
Draft your paper.
Remember that many of the essays we’ve discussed in class (and many of the recommended readings) are excellent examples of argumentative essays.
Write an introduction that includes your thesis statement and an overview of the points you will make.
Write a conclusion that ties your argument together and reconnects to your thesis statement. Try to answer the “So What?” question.
Revise your paper.
Take advantage of our workshop in class.
Visit the Writing Center, even if you don’t think there are any problems with your paper. There is always room for improvement.
Klausman, Jeffrey. “Resurrecting The I-Search: Engaging Students In Meaningful Scholarship.” Teaching English In The Two-Year College, Vol. 35, Issue 2, 2007, pp. 191-196. MLA International Bibliography, https://ezproxy.mtsu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=mzh&AN=2007240197&site=eds-live&scope=site . Accessed 1 Oct. 2016.
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