English 1301 Fall 2019
Final Analysis/Research Paper
Minimum Length: 1200 Words
ANALYSIS/RESEARCH PAPER: Your paper of at least 1,200 words will be a research and analysis paper of a research question you develop as outlined on this handout. (20% of total grade)
The paper will contain four points:
1. A well developed and complex thesis statement.
2. An analysis of a major question about an issue you have selected. Include and integrate comments and observations from at least five sources. Use MLA style for in text citation.
3. Strong topic sentences, use concrete nouns, active verbs, edit for readability, and correct MLA format.
4. A Works Cited page. Use MLA guidelines for correct documentation form. Do not use easybib.com or other automatic citation programs unless you are prepared to correct their mistakes.
Any student not preparing 1) a working thesis statement and an annotated bibliography in MLA format and 2) a draft for review on the scheduled date will be penalized 10 points from the grade of the final draft.
Any paper submitted for any reason after the due date will be penalized one letter grade for each calendar day it is late.
Engaging and interesting Introduction and Conclusion 10 pts
Complex Thesis Statement 20 pts
Body Paragraphs—topic sentences, good evidence, good transitions 30 pts
Four scholarly sources 12 pts
Correct in text citations 8 pts
Works Cited page 10 pts
Grammar, Mechanics, and General MLA Format 10 pts
Total 100 pts
No Turnitin.com submission Fail
November 11—Developing A Thesis Worksheet, and 5 Sources Annotated
November 25—First Draft Version due, Bring Hard Copy to class and submit to turnitin.com before class
Dec 2—(First Day of Final Exam) Final Version Due, submit to turnitin.com before midnight.
How to Find a Research Topic
Here are some examples of places to find good topics and research questions for argumentation essays and research papers. Most of these research questions will need to be narrowed down further to focus on one or two aspects
Topic Ideas from Library Databases
• Opposing Viewpoints – click on Browse Issues from the top menu bar, then Choose a Category to browse popular topic areas
• Plus.cq.com – click on Topics under Analyze from the top menu
• SIRS Proquest Issues researcher—Scroll for topics or Search
• Science in Context – click on Browse Topics from the top menu bar
• Gale OneFile News – click on Topics or Subject Search
• Alexander Street Video or Ambrose Video—Search or scroll down to look at subjects –
WRITING THE RESEARCH PAPER
In between the choosing of a topic and the final typing of the last revision lie a series of skills which, if learned thoroughly, might well be the most important and most permanent academic possession acquired in college. Specifically, you need to learn how to: delve deeply into a topic; find and select raw data; reflect, speculate, and mediate upon implications and relationships; glimpse and follow insights; establish logical categories; organize an outline; think and write with clarity and precision; and revise.
Make the writing of every paper an exercise to develop these skills.
Steps In Writing The Research Paper
1. Choose your subject
2. Narrow your subject
3. Provide a focus for narrowing material
4. Find references and select bibliography
5. Gather notes
6. Categorize notes
7. Decide upon an approach and point of view to gain control over your material
8. Draw up a detailed outline
9. Write a detailed outline
10. Make a clear copy
11. Leave for a day
12. Edit your work-go over your paper four times
a. First, reposition paragraphs and sentences
b. Second, add and delete material to achieve balance and to advance the stated objective of your paper
c. Third, look to insert transitional words and phrases
d. Fourth, read the paper aloud
13. Make a copy
14. Know rules for using quotations
15. Know rules for using footnotes
16. Know how to make a Works Cited Page
Choosing Your Subject
Choose a subject which interests you. The outstanding American expert on Tibet spends half of her time in Washington as advisor to governmental agencies, yet she has never traveled beyond the boundaries of the United States. When asked how she became so well versed on Tibet, she answered, “I’m simply fascinated by the subject, and have read everything I could get my hands on.”
A research paper, then, is an opportunity to further your interest in some subject or area.
Narrowing Your Subject
The most common criticism of research papers is, “topic too broad.” You may well wonder, “Well, how can I be sure that I have sufficiently narrowed my topic?” A Cornell English professor has this sure-fire method: put your subject through three significant narrowings, i.e., moving from one category to a class within a category, each time.
For example, here are some sample narrowings for papers of 6 to 8 pages:
1. Public opinion polls: accuracy of polls: the accuracy of such polls in national elections: factors which determine the accuracy of public opinion polls in national elections.
2. The climate of opinion between World War I and World War II: the moral climate, etc.: the particular arguments involved in the debate over Prohibition: the arguments for Prohibition used by the “Drys” in support of the 18th Amendment and their arguments in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s to prevent repeal.
3. Discrimination against African-Americans: Northern attitudes vs. Southern attitudes: the particular geographical distinction: how Mason and Dixon’s Line became a line of demarcation.
4. The Civil War: crucial battles: one battle: Napoleonic strategy and the battle of Fredericksburg.
5. Comparative religion-two religions; Islam and Christianity; “salvation” in Islam.
6. Architecture; Skyscrapers; The role of Fazlur Rahman Kahn in skyscraper design.
Provide A Focus For Gathering Material
To avoid the gross error of making your paper a mere accumulation of facts, you must crystallize a genuine question, and your facts must then be used to answer this question. Whether it can be definitely answered or not is unimportant. See the Developing a Thesis Worksheet and complete it conscientiously.
A detailed outline at this stage is not usually possible since you are not sure of the material that you will uncover. Nevertheless, the specific question in mind will give you the needed focus for gathering pertinent material.
Select A Bibliography
College libraries, or any good library for that matter, contain many valuable sources of reference material. It will pay you in the long run to find out just what these sources are and how you can learn to use them with the maximum efficiency. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until just a few days before your paper is due to make your first acquaintance with the many reference books your library contains. A few minutes spent in the library at the beginning of the term, when you are not under pressure to finish a paper, will help you in the future.
The “backbone” of all libraries is the online catalogue system, which tells you not only what books the library possesses and where you can find them, but also the journals, databases, and other sources of information the library offers. Look, therefore, through the library’s catalogue and record all pertinent references in a note management system or, simply, 3 x 5 slips of paper.
Efficiency will be increased if all the information is systematically recorded in the following ways:
A. Record the name of the library where the reference is located. Many universities have special libraries located in separate schools on campus.
B. Record the short title of your subject. This will be important when working on current and subsequent papers.
C. Record the library call number. You will not have to refer to the online catalogue whenever you want to use the same book again.
D. Record accurately the full reference in exactly the same form that you plan to use in the bibliographic portion of your paper. This insures your including all the essential parts of the reference; also, the correct form will make easier the mechanics of typing.
E. Record briefly your opinion of the reference; e.g., “not useful-does not discuss principles”; “excellent for case studies of poor readers at the secondary-school level.”
Another valuable source of reference material is the librarian. Don’t hesitate to ask a librarian to show you how to find material on your subject and to suggest additional sources.
One frequently overlooked source of information is the personal interview. Every campus and town has its share of experts and authorities. If possible, arrange for an interview and be prepared to take notes.