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EGL 101 - Daryl Long - Summer 2020

Your Assignment

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 ONLY the database we are going to talk about.
         NO GOOGLE!

·       Your paper must be a minimum of 5-7 pages typed and double spaced.  You must turn in a .doc or .docx file to d2l.

·       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.

Be sure to carefully read through the

Research Paper Expectations Checklist

and the

Research Essay Rubric

How Do I Get Started on My Research Paper? - Selecting a Topic

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?

Choosing a Topic with the Opposing Viewpoints in Context database

Opposing Viewpoints - Start Searching for a Topic Here!

Click on the database name to get started. Use your myOakton user name and password to open up Opposing Viewpoints. 

Contact Your Professor

Daryl Long

Associate Professor, English



Office:3602 Des Plaines