Argumentative Research PaperObjectivesThe objectives of the research paper are as follows: Conduct research on an argumentative topic about an issue related to your major. Take notes from sources using proper MLA format. Synthesize notes from at least five sources into a well-organized and documented MLA research paper.Assignment and TopicsThis paper is worth 100 points and will be a minimum of 1,500 words. In addition, a Works Cited page (bibliography in Modern Language Association format) is required.You’ll research and argue a claim about an issue related to your major—something controversial or that has more than one possible angle. We’ll talk about possible topics in a forum.The research paper will cite sources within the paper using the Modern Language Association (MLA) format of documentation. A Writer’s Reference explains MLA in detail. Sources Your paper requires at least five professional, credible sources of various types. Sources can include books, magazine articles, interviews with professionals, professional journal articles, pamphlets from professional organizations, the Internet, documentaries, etc. Use some variety of types of sources, such as two web pages, two magazine articles, and a book. Also, don’t rely too heavily on one source if only one of your five sources provides most of your information, your topic might be too narrow and should therefore be broadened a bit. Wikipedia, myspace.com, and geocities.com websites are NOT acceptable sources, because anyone can post or edit. Therefore, you can’t be sure that the information is accurate. Avoid those sites! Avoid general encyclopedias, in book form or online (that includes Encarta) as your five main sources. Encyclopedia articles are excellent for background information, but they are considered research assignments themselves. Therefore, rely on other sources instead. Highly specialized encyclopedias (for example, a business encyclopedia that covers only business-related topics) are acceptable.
Also look for announcements about campus activities related to the FOCUS region. Speakers and presentations might provide good information and could therefore be used as sources for your paper. Organization First, take notes from sources. Using notecards, as explained in your research book, is recommended. Use notecards to organize notes and write the paper. Generally, your paper’s organization will be as follows: Introduction: the first paragraph gives general background information about the topic and includes the thesis statement. Body paragraphs: these paragraphs contain information and arguments from notecards. The first body paragraph might further define or begin to explain the topic. Organization of these paragraphs depends on the topic. It might be chronological, or move from a strong argument, to a lesser one, then to a stronger one. It might cover all counterarguments before arguments, or alternate between counterargument and argument, counterargument and argument. Conclusion: sum up the main points and include a statement that will make readers remember your argument.Research and Writing Process Use the following process: Tentative research topic Research online and in a library Bibliography cards/working bibliography (usable and possible sources) More sources and research if necessary Decision on topic (use topic or find another?) Notecards or other note taking method Thesis statement Organization of notes–it might help to also create a rough outline to help you organize ideas Rough draft (includes Works Cited page)–send to instructor for feedback if you want revision suggestions Revision Final draft (includes Works Cited page)—post in inet submission box AND submit to turnitin.com
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