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The time has come to write the almighty, academic research paper

Writing

The time has come to write the almighty, academic research paper. In this research paper, called a documented essay, your goal is to present multiple viewpoints on a topic and discuss the reasons some people think one way and others think other ways. Your goal is not to discover who is “right.” Your goal is to understand the issues that impact how people view this topic. As a class, we will brainstorm specific issues you might address in your paper.

 

Note: Even though this is the longest paper of the semester, you'll need to narrow your focus. Even in a 5-page paper, you simply can't address a large, complex topic like diversity, the environment, or education.

 

You must use at least four quality sources for your essay.   

 

Planning and Drafting

 

This assignment requires careful planning. To a large extent, the success of your paper will depend on how thoroughly and diligently you carry out the writing process. It will be important to map out a schedule, which will be done in class. Below are some suggestions for getting started.

 

  1. Restrict your topic to an area of the subject that you can handle in a short paper. State your topic in the form of a question and then decide whether or not you can answer it within the limited scope of your paper. If you tightly restrict your topic, you'll find that you can construct a much more complete and satisfying paper.

 

  1. Once you've focused your topic, research and formulate a preliminary thesis. As you write your draft or outline, test your thesis and, if necessary, modify it as you go. Your instructor will want to see your preliminary thesis statement at this point.

 

As you can see, you need to complete several preliminary steps before you begin writing in earnest. Between composing your rough draft and your final paper, you'll need to keep several additional things in mind:

  1. Consider your readers. How much do your readers know about your topic? Are they interested in it? Do they have strong opinions about it? Do not assume that your readers have read the sources you have read or that they automatically agree with you.

 

  1. Keep in mind your purpose: to present a multifaceted view of positions on your topic and a discussion of what is salient to those who adopt one point of view over others.

 

  1. Interweave your sources into your paper to substantiate your thesis. Be careful not to rely exclusively on one source. Verify the accuracy of your information and quotations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Documentation

 

In documenting your sources you may use the MLA, APA, or other style used in your discipline. MLA is used widely in the humanities and APA in the social sciences. For examples, see your handbook or articles written in your field.

 

Be careful not to plagiarize. Papers in which plagiarism or academic dishonesty are detected will be discussed with the Director of the Rhetoric Department and will likely be referred to the Dean of Students Office for further action.

 

If you use exact words from a source, you must use quotation marks, in-text citations, and a Works Cited page.  Also, check to see that you haven't used too many quotations in the paper; paraphrase or summarize the information instead, and know that these two forms also require in-text citations coordinating with an entry on the Works Cited page.

 

Evaluation Criteria

 

A Major Writing Assignment 3: Documented Essay rubric can be found on ICON.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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