I had someone else write the annotated bibliography and I am not very happy with it. I trust you to help me bring my grade up. Thanks.
Length: 6-8 pages
*Must have 7 credible sources. You are allowed to use one internet source as one of the seven sources.
By the time you start writing your research paper, you will have already done your annotated bibliography, so you should have all your research done, and you should know what your argument is. The research paper is just a matter of pulling all your material together to make a coherent presentation of your argument. Here are some guidelines for writing the research paper—but remember, good research papers not only meet, but exceed requirements.
Write an engaging introduction that brings your reader into the topic and includes your research question and thesis statement.
Include smooth transitions between paragraphs. Make it “flow” logically from one point to the next. Make your structure deliberate.
Make your title creative! One thing that a lot of people do is use the “colon formula”—in other words, they have a metaphor or pun first, and then a more literal description of the paper. Examples: “Tinkering with Technological Skill: An Examination of the Gendered Uses of Technologies,” “Putting Visual Rhetoric on the Map: An Analysis of Maps as Arguments,” “The Promises of Monsters: A Regenerative Politics for Inappropriate/d Others,” “Control and the Cyborg: Writing and Being Written in Hypertext.” You get the idea.
Address opposing arguments. Do not assume that your audience agrees with you. Make sure your evidence works for an academic, secular audience.
Conclude with one of the strategies we discussed: call to awareness or implications for further research. Do not just summarize what you said in the paper.
Put a Works Cited page that includes all your sources at the end. The sources must be listed in alphabetical order by author’s last name and must follow MLA exactly.
What I’ll be looking for as I grade these papers:
There is a rubric in the Freshman Guide for you to go over as you write your research papers, to make sure you’ve met all the criteria. It is your responsibility to meet with me or ask me questions in class if you are unclear on any of the criteria. If you have not adequately met one of these criteria, I will decide how much credit to take off—for example, an A paper should be free of any grammatical and mechanical errors. The best way to avoid any unpleasant grading surprises is to talk to me about questions and problems you’re having. I’m always happy to meet with you and look at your draft in my office.
In this paper, here’s what you need to show me:
Ability to select a topic and narrow the scope such that the topic can be thoroughly covered in a 6-8 page research paper
Demonstration of critical reading skills via skillful synthesis and use of sources (that means, obviously, no plagiarism or any other unfair use of sources like quoting out of context, but also the ability to understand the arguments and information in other writers’ texts and build upon them)
Demonstration of sophisticated yet clear writing and thinking ability through
Consideration of audience: do not assume that they are experts on your topic, and do not assume that they agree with you.
Sufficient provision of background information and context. When did this issue come to the attention of scholars and/or the media? What arguments have been made and what research has been done so far on the issue?
Provision of definitions of terms you will be using: do this in the introduction.
Establishment of a solid ethos: this means the fact that you are a level-headed, intelligent, thoughtful, virtuous person who has done a lot of research on this topic should be apparent to anyone who reads your paper.
Use of a rhetorical strategy: this has several different meanings. Some people use humor as a rhetorical strategy; some use pathos (appeal to audience’s emotions), etc. For an academic research paper, though, you should rely mostly on ethos—both your own and that of the author/experts you cite—and logos (reason, logic). If applicable, this also means using sources that make arguments opposing your own and addressing the arguments in a respectful and well-thought-out manner, with no informal fallacies.
Clear organization of ideas—structure.
Demonstration of library skills. You need to have a variety of sources: journal articles, books, and possibly video documentaries or interviews with experts, i.e. professors. A major part of the experience of producing a research paper is the research itself, and using the library is a very important component of that.
Correct citation techniques: MLA and make sure you cite your sources correctly, both in the works cited page at the end of your paper and in the body of the paper.
Use of a format that does not cheat: 1-inch margins on all sides, 12-point type—Times New Roman is best. The headings should also be in 12-point type. Other than that, use your own discretion. Generally, the body of the paper is written in a serif typeface like Times New Roman. Serifs are little “feet” on the letters:
P K Y
Writing proficiency. By this I mean correct grammar and punctuation.
Relying too heavily on quotations. Ideally, the paper should be 90% your writing and paraphrasing and 10% quotations from sources. Packing this paper with quotations, especially block quotations, will result in a grade of C or below. Before you decide to quote, ask yourself if you could adequately paraphrase the passage.
Copy passages of text from print sources without citing them
Paraphrase passages from any source without citing them
It’s true that you can consider some information to be common knowledge. For example, you wouldn’t have to cite the phrase, “The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776.” If there’s something you want to put in your paper and you’re not sure if it’s common knowledge or not, talk to me.
 It can be longer, but if it’s shorter, you are subject to a possible grading penalty.
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