Research Paper Requirements

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1) Prompt: Applying proper MLA format, you must write an argumentative essay that shows a clear stance on the topic of your choice using third person point of view. Your essay should demonstrate your knowledge of incorporating outside information and synthesizing multiple sources to prove a point. The required length is a FULL 5-7 pages, which includes an introduction with a thesis, multiple body paragraphs with separate main ideas, a counterclaim paragraph with a rebuttal, and a conclusion paragraph.

2) Formatting: Must use size 12 pt font in Times New Roman or Arial. Must have 1 inch margins on all four sides of the page. Paragraph indents must be 1/2 inch from the margin. Must be double spaced throughout the entire essay including the Works Cited page.

3) Heading: Must be left aligned including your first and last name, the professor’s name, the name of the course, and the date. Page numbers must be right aligned within the header following the format of your last name and page numbers Ex. Miller 1 (example on pg 588).

4) Title: Must have a title that hints about your topic. Most titles are fragments. If you have a title and a subtitle, be sure to put colons between the two titles. Titles should not be bold, underlined, italicized, or written in quotation marks or all capital letters. Titles should also not have periods.

5) Introduction: Must be at least 4 sentences. Get the reader’s attention, introduce your topic, explain any necessary context or background information, and lead the reader to your thesis. The LAST sentence of your introduction is your thesis statement, which should clearly state your stance or position regarding your topic. Remember to write using third person.

6) Body Paragraphs: Each body paragraph must have a different main idea, which ideally is a specific reason either for or against your stance. It must also include a quote from an outside source, which is then further elaborated upon by your own thoughts and analysis of the text evidence. You must include context to introduce each quote and cite the quote properly using MLA guidelines. This body paragraph format includes the counterclaim paragraph. However, in the counterclaim paragraph, be sure to add a rebuttal and remind the reader of your thesis. Remember, the rebuttal is your time to prove why the other opinions are flawed, and why your way of thinking is more logical.

7) Conclusion: Must be at least 3 sentences. It should restate your thesis and leave the reader with a final thought that usually incorporates kairos (a sense of urgency).

8) Citations: Must write the author’s last name and page numbers (Miller 23). If NO author’s name is listed, then write the title of the article. If there is no author and no title, cite the name of the organization who published the article. If no page numbers are listed, cite the author’s name only (Miller). If no page numbers are listed AND the quote was introduced with the author’s last name, then use the title of the text in your citation using a shortened version of the title (“Harmful Effects”). For more help, refer to the MLA Cheatsheet under the module Essay Help in Canvas OR refer to chapter 54 in the Norton textbook.

9) Works Cited: Must have an alphabetized Works Cited page with 5-7 sources cited properly using MLA style format (example on pg 595-596). You must have a minimum of 3 scholarly journals included in your 5 sources (use the SF Library Database – websites ending in .gov, .org, .us, etc. are NOT considered scholarly). For more clarification between scholarly and popular sources, refer to pages 490-494 in the Norton textbook. For more help with the format of the Works Cited page, refer to the MLA Cheatsheet under the module Essay Help in Canvas OR refer to chapter 54 in the Norton textbook.

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