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ENGL 1010 RESEARCH PAPER ASSIGNMENT

Purpose
Your purpose is to gather, evaluate, and incorporate quality source information into your writing.

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General Guidelines:
• Since this is an academic paper, only use third person language throughout.
• Your paper will be approximately 400 words in length (excluding the Works Cited page).

TOPIC
• Select a specific topic related to your field of study that interests you.
• You will need to choose a topic that fits within the scope of our assignment. Because this paper will be fairly short, “music” as a topic would be too broad. See the textbook for more details on narrowing a topic for your writing.

REQUIREMENTS

THESIS: Your research essay is essentially an argument that you will support with details from sources. Your task is to develop “a stand on a debatable issue” of your choice. See the textbook for more on developing a reasonable argument.

SOURCES: We use information from outside sources to support our main points. Think of the information you choose to use from sources as your evidence.

• You must incorporate a minimum of TWO library sources (published book, ebook, magazine article, etc.) into your essay. Find your scholarly sources through the library databases (from the Lanier Tech homepage, click LIBRARY > Start Your Research Here. This will give you a list of databases to choose from. (The websites listed, while credible, do not count as scholarly)).
• You must use the most recent source relevant to your topic, not more than 5 years old.
• You may include additional, credible web sources after you have met the two scholarly sources requirement. Papers that solely use websites (even credible sites) will not receive passing scores. Wikipedia, blogs, and many “.com” and “.org” sites are not credible sources for this assignment.

FORMAT & DOCUMENTATION: Your essay should be formatted according to MLA. You should cite sources according to MLA style; see our textbook for details on integrating, citing, and documenting sources appropriately.

REMEMBER:
• A parenthetical citation is required at the end of each sentence in which you quote or paraphrase information.
• Use quotation marks if you are using exact words from a source.
• Do not use stand-alone quotations. Use signal phrases or incorporate the quote into a sentence of your own.
• In order to receive a passing grade for this assignment, outside sources (paraphrases, direct quotations, and block quotations) cannot comprise more than 40% of the paper.
• All specific facts and statements that are not your own personal thoughts/commentary or are not “common knowledge” MUST be documented.
The best papers utilize outside sources for 5-20% of the text.
If you are unsure if you are documenting correctly, please ask for clarification.
–PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU HAVE DOCUMENTED SOURCE INFORMATION CORRECTLY—
You must follow accurate documentation rules to obtain a passing grade (D or above).
(For additional information on plagiarism, see the related online documents on this topic.)

Major documentation issues that can constitute plagiarism include:
1. Using a source in the paper with an in-text citation but not including that source on the works cited page.
2. Including a source on the works cited page that does not appear in the paper.
3. Neglecting to use quotation marks when you include information word-for-word—even if an in-text citation is present.
4. A high similarity index report from Turnitin.com.
5. “Recycling” a previously submitted paper of your own.

Grading: Please review our LTC writing rubric for grading criteria.

RESOURCES
Refer to the following sections of your textbook for details on the research process:

Writing and Developing Your Argument and Points:
Explore Ideas;
Sketch A Plan
Draft
Build Effective Paragraphs
Constructing Reasonable Arguments
Evaluating Arguments
Supporting A Thesis

Research:
Conducting Research
Evaluating Sources

MLA Format and Documentation:
Citing Sources; Avoiding Plagiarism
Managing Information; Avoiding Plagiarism
Integrating Sources
Documenting Sources in MLA Style
MLA Manuscript Format; Sample Paper

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