Research Paper Guidelines
The research paper is an important part of this course’s curriculum. By completing this assignment, you will learn valuable skills that can be applied to other classes, to college, and your career field. Skill areas that this assignment focuses on include: finding and evaluating sources of information, reading for information, note taking, organizing information, outlining, and word processing skills.
Please note the due dates for each part of the research paper. You have up to the stated due date to turn in each part of the project. Assignments turned in after a due date will not receive credit unless there are extenuating circumstances.
· You must have at least 3 different sources for your paper. You must use the database we are going to talk about.
· Your paper must be a minimum of 5-7 pages typed and double spaced. You must use Microsoft Word.
· The paper must be completely in MLA format including the works cited page and the in-text citations.
· In order to avoid plagiarism, you must properly cite your sources both in the essay itself and the works cited page.
Selecting a Topic
When choosing your research topic, you should make sure you select something that is narrow, researchable, and manageable. On the following page, you will begin to map out three potential research topics that meet these expectations. From there, you will select one of the three to focus on. You need a research question. Go to “Opposing Viewpoints in Context” NOW and choose a topic (See the box below for Opposing Viewpoints).
Narrowing the Topic
Once you’ve selected your topic, you’ll need to determine how the main topic can be broken into a minimum of 5 subcategories. If the subcategories seem too broad, you may consider using a subcategory as your main topic and breaking it down.
For example, if the research question I chose to use was “Are Pit Bulls really more aggressive than other dogs?” to begin with and my subcategories include “statistics concerning pit bull attacks, positive outcomes with pit bulls, how to properly train an aggressive dog breed, and how to educate others” I would quickly realize that my topic is too broad. I could easily write an entire essay on each of those subcategories. Therefore, I could narrow my topic by selecting just “positive outcomes with pit bulls” and breaking it down into 5 subtopics: training, family, protection, prison, and prevention.
Ask yourself the following question once you’ve selected a topic: Would I produce a more precise essay if I focused on one of the subcategories as my main topic? If so, how would I break it into sections?
Use your myOakton user name and password to open up Opposing Viewpoints. Click on the database name to get started.
Research Paper Expectations Checklist
Throughout the unit, use the following checklist to ensure you have met all of the components of the research essay. If you have questions about any of the assignments, please do not hesitate to ask.
ü What is the topic you selected?
ü Can you develop an additional 5 subtopics on the topic?
ü Is the topic narrow enough to create a clear and concise essay?
ü Is your topic researchable?
ü Do you have all 3 sources?
ü Do you have enough information for each of your subtopics?
ü Do you need to do additional research? If so, for which subtopics?
ü Do you understand the importance of an annotated bibliography?
ü Are each of your annotations a minimum of ¾ of a page?
ü Do your annotations effectively summarize the significance of the sources you selected for the assignment?
ü Do your annotations effectively explain how you plan on using the article within your essay?
ü Does your outline include a minimum of 5 subcategories?
ü Is your outline detailed, with direct quotes, facts, and statistics that support your topic?
ü Does your outline include in-text citations?
ü Does your outline include information from at least 3 sources?
ü Does your outline prepare you to write your rough draft?
ü Does your rough draft follow your outline?
ü Does your rough draft include a minimum of 3 properly cited sources?
ü Are your sources synthesized throughout your essay?
ü Were you able to meet the page requirements based off the research you did?
ü If not, what additional research do you need to complete?
ü Did you make the appropriate changes to your final draft based on the feedback you received on your rough draft?
ü Does your final draft meet all of the expectations found on the rubric?