choose a political issue in Texas, research the topic and different positions, and choose an informed personal stance on the topic.
GOVT 2306 Research Paper Requirements and Grading
1. Select a current Texas political issue and briefly describe the issue and what the
different viewpoints are. For example, the topic could be legalization of marijuana in
Texas. The viewpoints are either for legalization or against it.
2. Research the topic using three professional sources (books, journals, newspapers,
magazines, or websites that end in .org, .edu, or .gov) and compare and contrast the
different viewpoints and positions on your topic. Fully address the different sides of
the issue and demonstrate an understanding of its complexities.
3. Draw a personal conclusion based on your analysis of the issue and present an
informed evaluation from the evidence.
4. Your paper will include the body of work and a Works Cited Page (list or resources
5. Do not include your name or the instructor’s name on the paper. Submit your paper
through Blackboard by the due date as posted in the Course Syllabus. Fyi, the paper
will automatically be ran through a program that checks for plagiarism. Plagiarized
work will receive a grade of zero (0) with no opportunity for make-up.
Requirements for formatting your paper:
• Completed in Microsoft Word
• Use MLA (Modern Language Association) Formatting
o Details and helpful information can be found at
• 12 or 14 inch font
• Verdana font
• Double spaced
• The body of the research paper must be a minimum of 1,200 words.
• The research paper must be original work from the student and may not be
recycled from a different class. In other words, if you’ve already submitted the
paper in a different class, ever, you may not use it for this assignment. All
information must be properly cited using in-text citations; place the author (e.g.,
Brown) or the source name (e.g., U.S. Census Bureau) in parenthesis after
paraphrasing their work.
• Use 3 separate professional sources.
• Information from sources must be paraphrased and not quoted. The resources
cited within the body of the work must match the listed resources on the Works
See the Grading Specifics/ Rubric on page 2.
Grading Specifics/ Rubric
First, there must be 1,000 words. Assuming there are 1,000 words, the grade will be
100 points. This grade will be reduced if certain criteria isn’t met. Carefully read and
understand all the requirements before submitting your paper.
Late papers = -10 points per day (10:01 p.m. after the due date is late)
Word Count (body of paper) = 1,000 words in Microsoft Word = 100 points
Not counted towards the word count: the header, anything in quotes, words on Works
Cited page, irrelevant information (doesn’t pertain to the topic or assignment)
“Similarity Score” must be below 25%
1 point deduction for every 10 words short of 1200
5 point deduction for every 1% over 25% on the paper’s Match Overview; this
percentage will be shown after you upload your paper (note you may upload your
paper as many times as you’d like)
10 point deduction if it isn’t submitted in Microsoft Word
3 different professional sources cited correctly
Acceptable sources: nonfiction books, journals, newspapers, magazines, or websites
that end in .org, .edu, or .gov.
Not acceptable sources: Wikipedia, Dictionary
Each source must appear twice:
1. Cited within the paper and each cite must be highlighted once (highlight the
author’s name or source within the paper)
-AND2. Correctly cited on the Works Cited page at the end of the document
5 point deduction every time quotations are used; use paraphrasing
For each of the 3 sources:
Not an acceptable source or less than 3 sources = – 20
Not cited within the paper = -10
Cited within the paper and not highlighted = -5
Not cited on the Works Cited/ References page = -10
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