Research Paper Guidelines

Research Paper Instructions:

Select a research question.

prepare an essay of argumentation that focuses on some aspect of the issue.  Remember—you must take a position about this issue and you MUST include a clear claim that centers on your position.  Place the claim as the last sentence of the introductory paragraph.


· Your research project essay will need to be between eight (full) to ten pages in length.

· You must address an issue that has at least two sides (email me for topics if you’re not sure)

· Effectively address the rhetorical situation – audience, purpose, context

· articulate a clear position regarding the issue and argue that position with logical reasons

· adequately develop the argument using credible support (research)

· acknowledge the opposing viewpoints and employ counterargument or concession

· identify and explain the assumptions, contexts, and consequences of the various positions.

· Utilize at least 10 credible sources – from scholarly databases, books, etc. (no google .com sources)

· MLA formatting

· Read and carefully follow all of the guidelines for MLA on the purdue OWL website. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/

· You will need to incorporate 10 outside sources (Note: dictionary.com does not constitute a source. into the essay—use paraphrase and/or direct quotations).  From these sources at least 4 need to be books and the rest may be database articles, documentaries, etc.

· You will need a Works Cited page at the end of your essay that includes the 8 – 10 sources.

· Follow these style specifics:

· Only write in third person

· Do not use contractions

· Follow all MLA guidelines


Your research will be for the following reasons:

· To establish background or preliminary information.

· To support an assertion with facts, statistics, or professional information.

· To exemplify an idea with testimony, examples, and the like.

· To support the claim


· Select a topic that you will enjoy researching and writing about

· Read and explore this topic carefully—what are the positions already expressed about this issue?

· Select a specific position that you will assert in your claim.  This will be a working claim that can evolve with your research and growing understanding of your topic.

· Begin prewriting activities (i.e., brainstorming to find out everything you already know about this topic, asking questions, further researching this topic)

· Research extensively: include citations or paraphrases.  Vary your resources. Do not depend solely on Internet resources—points will be deducted for not using other resources such as books, handbooks, journal articles.

· Limit web resources to those that include one of these suffixes: edu, .gov., or .org (unbiased).  For any other Internet resources, discuss with me before using.

· Wikipedia is not an acceptable website for this paper.


Other guidelines:

· For this paper you must use at least 10 outside sources (Note: dictionary.com does not count as a source).

· A clear claim needs to be composed

· Present at least three reasons to show the logic of your position.  Develop each reason thoroughly.

· Write in third person (he, she, him, her, his, hers, they, their, them, etc.)  NO first or second person.

· Works Cited—this is part of the document and should appear as the last page of the document. Document the sources and place in alphabetical order.

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