MLA Research Paper Assignment

The project has three parts: a research proposal, an annotated bibliography, and a research paper. All three parts of the project are based on the same topic. The annotated bibliography and the research paper must use scholarly, peer reviewed research. 

The Research Paper should be 6-8 pages (including Works Cited page), double-spaced, and follow these guidelines:

  • Research Question—Base your argument on a “researchable” question (one that requires scholarly research in order to form an answer).
  • Title—Create an interesting title that relates to your topic and argument.
  • Introduction— An introduction should get the reader’s attention. Briefly introduce your topic before beginning your argument or background.
  • Thesis—Have a central thesis or claim that states your answer to your research question.
  • Summary—Briefly summarize the work or event.
  • Background—Briefly summarize the relevant scholarship that’s been done on the work or event. Any sources referenced should be added to the Works Cited page.
  • Body of Paper—Supply several persuasive reasons for your argument. Make use of the three persuasive appeals: ethos, pathos, and logos. Support with scholarly evidence.
  • Evidence—Support your reasons with quoted or paraphrased evidence from your sources. Explain what the evidence means and how it relates to your argument. Follow the “Assertion, Evidence, Evaluation” method. Cite the quoted or paraphrased material.
  • Paragraph Development—Provide a topic sentence for each paragraph, support with evidence or reasoning, and conclude the paragraph by explaining how it relates to your argument.
  • Coherence—Connect each sentence to the one before and after, transitioning logically from one to the next. The goal is to make clear the relationship between each thought.
  • Concession & Refutation—List the opposing argument(s) to your thesis, and explain why it/they did not persuade you. Any sources referenced should be added to the Works Cited page.
  • Conclusion—Conclude your argument by summing up the importance of your evidence, and connecting to your introduction.
  • Scholarly Sources—Use articles from scholarly, peer reviewed journals or books that you locate through the library databases. You may supplement with non-peer reviewed sources, but at least three must be scholarly.
  • Citation and Documentation—Use MLA documentation for both in-text citations and Works Cited documentation. Use a mix of quotations and paraphrases. Avoid “patch work” writing that merely strings together summaries of sources paragraph after paragraph. Write your own thoughts, and cite evidence to support them, not to replace them.
  • Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation, Mechanics—Proofread carefully.
  • By submitting this paper, you agree: (1) that you are submitting your paper to be used and stored as part of the SafeAssign™ services in accordance with the Blackboard Privacy Policy; (2) that your institution may use your paper in accordance with your institution’s policies; and (3) that your use of SafeAssign will be without recourse against Blackboard Inc. and its affiliates.
  • Institution Release Statement

Instructors may use a range of strategies (including plagiarism-prevention software at the university) to compare student works with private and public information resources in order to identify possible plagiarism and academic dishonesty. Comparisons of student works may require submitting a copy of the original work to the plagiarism-prevention service. The service may retain that copy in some circumstances. Academic units or programs may establish a more rigorous standard of review or consent, which will be noted in the relevant guidelines.

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