Research Paper (30%)

ENG 1013, Spring 2017, Schmidt

Research Paper (30%)

Draft Due: Workshop, 4/30

Final Draft Due: via email (amschmidt@astate.edu) by the end of the class’s final exam time

(12:00: 5/4, by 2:30 pm; 1:00: 5/2, by 4:45 pm)

Suggested Length: 7 pages (typed, double-spaced, including a Works Cited page)

For your final assignment of the semester, you will produce a researched argument on the topic that you’ve chosen. Your essay should include a title, a thesis statement, topic sentences, evidence, commentary on that evidence, a conclusion, and a Works Cited page.

Your thesis should be an argument ABOUT the topic you’ve chosen. Remember, you crafted a tentative thesis for your Abstract and received feedback on it from me. Revise that tentative thesis as needed, and include it in your introductory paragraph. (Introductions for researched papers tend to be longer than other essays, but be sure you’ve included your thesis by the end of the first page.) Remember to eliminate any personal pronouns from your argument, and that words like “because” help ensure that you’ve crafted a worthy argument.

Body paragraphs should be organized around main topics, or sub-points. Each should begin with a topic sentence. Here again, you already crafted possible topic sentences in your Abstract; revise them as needed, based upon my comments and your research. The number of paragraphs and topics is entirely up to you. (For researched arguments, topics may deserve more discussion than one single paragraph; break up your discussion as you see fit; just be sure that it’s clear when you’re shifting to a new topic and when you’re continuing discussion of a previous one.)

Each topic sentence must be supported by evidence. The evidence you provide will be drawn largely from your research. Use examples from the sources you read for your Annotated Bibliography as evidence. Be sure that you integrate your sources smoothly and clearly. Paraphrase whenever possible, keep direct quotes short, and avoid block quotations. Remember to use signal phrases and parenthetical citations to distinguish your voice from that of your sources. You should use more than one source per paragraph: this assignment is about YOUR argument, not that of your sources; they are merely there to support YOU. In other words, do NOT organize your paper around your sources; instead, organize it around your main points and include sources as evidence when relevant.

You must integrate 7 sources into your paper, and of those must be from peer-reviewed, academic journals. These will likely be the sources you used for your Annotated Bibliography but don’t have to be. Again, 1 source can be, but does not have to be, from Food Matters. You may use more than 7 sources, but keep in mind, that for a paper this short, any more than 10 sources is likely too many and may tempt you to rely too heavily on others’ arguments.

Remember that citing evidence from opposition only makes your argument stronger, so don’t shy away from using sources that disagree with you. Just be sure that you clearly explain why they are “wrong.” (To disprove them, remember the critiques we practiced in class with essays from Food Matters.)

Be sure to provide commentary in each of your body paragraphs. You should explain and contextualize each of your examples and provide end-of-paragraph commentary for each topic. If you’re continuing with a topic similar to what you chose for your Critical Commentary assignment, you should feel free to include some portions of that essay as your commentary in this one.

You should organize your argument logically and clearly. Decide which order will work best, and use smooth transitions to convey your logic to the reader.

Your last paragraph, or your conclusion, should answer the “so what”—why is this topic important? Why should we know more about it? How does it matter outside of the classroom, outside of this assignment? (While you should continue to avoid personal pronouns here, think about why you chose this topic—why are you interested in it? Why was it worth your time and energy to research it?)

Your paper must, of course, include a Works Cited page. Cite all of your sources here, even if you only use a source once. After receiving my feedback on your Annotated Bibliography, you should be able to make these citations letter-perfect, so the expectation for correct citations will be high.

Avoid sentence-level errors. While you will be able to make a number of decisions concerning style (word choice, for instance), do not forget what all you know about grammar. There is no circumstance in which a sentence fragment or comma splice, for instance, is a sound rhetorical choice for an academic argument. A significant number of sentence-level errors will affect your grade. Consult your Writer’s Reference when you need to review how to avoid such errors.

We will workshop your drafts during the final class meeting, giving you an opportunity for feedback from your classmates. You may also email or meet with me about any questions you have regarding the assignment.

In addition to emailing me your final draft, you will also upload it to the Assessment website (much as you did essays for Comp 1):   http://assess.astate.edu/ . Uploading to the website is worth one daily grade—upload and you get an “A” for that daily assignment. Because this is for a different course, you will need to re-register even though you uploaded essays last semester. Use your astate email and password, and choose my name and the CRN—see your syllabus for the latter. Should you have problems uploading, email ittclab@astate.edu with a description of the error you’re encountering. If the problem continues, email me (though first, please try to upload from another device to ensure it’s not a problem specific to one computer, ipad, etc.)

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