Objectives: writing a cohesive documented academic essay; utilizing each of the writing skills learned in this course in one cohesive essay; research, vetting sources, credibility.
Synopsis: This semester we completed readings and discussions on the following topics: education, slavery, economics, women’s rights, men’s rights, and social class issues. Within these broad topics exist many specific arguments. Your job for this assignment is to select one of these topics and one specific argument that you would like to research and write about. If you have another scholarly topic that you are interested in that you can formulate arguments on that is fine too, just email me about it. Remember this paper is argument based meaning you are NOT providing strings of facts like a “book report”.
You must find at least 5 SCHOLARLY sources to cite in the paper. These will primarily come from the college’s databases, but can also be from reputable media outlets such as The New York Times, CNN, etc. If you are not sure if the source is creditable check with me first! Often when students think about doing a research paper they focus on the writing and the number of pages it has to be. These are important components yes, however, the most time-consuming part of this assignment should be your reading and evaluation of source material. You are conducting research which means for every article you select as one of your 6 sources there is another one or two that you read but did not choose to include.
Analysis > summary
It is not your job to summarize all that is to be said about your chosen topic nor to provide the entire history of your topic. Your job is to present specific and focused arguments based on your close reading, analysis, and evaluation of the chosen pieces of research. Though you will need to do a certain amount of informing for your reader, your ultimate goal is to make an argument about your topic.
For example, you would not submit a paper about the history of two-year colleges in the United States, but you could submit a paper about why two-year colleges are the ideal place to begin one’s higher education.
Requirements: 6 full pages, MLA compliant, follows the guidelines of the Norton text, contains in-text direct quotes with parenthetical citations, 5 total scholarly sources. There will be small deadlines as we go through the semester. I will provide you with feedback and some edits that you are then expected to correct before the final submission. I will make myself available for phone conferences after drafts are returned. There should be significant growth between your draft and final copies of the paper. The draft should be a full paper, not just 3 or 4 pages of “what you have so far”. Treat it like the hard due date.
MLA formatting highlights: Size 12, Times New Roman, double spaced, standard margins, no double enter between paragraphs, header, title, page numbers. This is not an exhaustive list please refer to the provided MLA information in your text. Look closely at the edits I made to the drafts of the papers you have already written- what mistakes are you still making?
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