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Purpose: The purpose of this final draft is to finish the paper you have been working on throughout the course, adding a conclusion and an abstract.


Description: In this assignment, you will assemble the final draft of your research paper you have been working on throughout the course. Your Research Paper Final Draft must include the elements listed below.


Elements: The grade of your Research Paper Final Draft is largely based on your inclusion of these elements and the overall quality of your writing. Your paper must contain the following elements.


1. Cover page and APA formatting: You should include an APA – style cover page for your Research Paper. See the example on page 20 of The CSU CITATION GUIDE (located in the “Ask the Professor” discussion board). Your cover page should include the following: the title of your paper, your name, and the name of your university (Columbia Southern University). The running head should include up to 50 characters from the title of the paper along with a sequential page number in the upper right – hand corner.


2. Abstract: The abstract is a 150 – 250 word summary of your Research Paper, and it should be written only after you have finished writing the entire paper because how your abstract is worded largely depends on the development of your paper. Your abstract should be accurate, self-contained, concise and specific, non-evaluative, coherent and readable.


Your abstract may be modeled after the theoretical paper model or empirical study model. For information or an example of an abstract, see pp. 14-15 of The CSU Citation Guide (6th edition) and p. 511 of Strategies for Writing Successful Research Papers. Note that the sample abstract presented references MLA, but yours should be in APA style


NOTE: The abstract should be the second page in the paper, after the cover page, and the abstract should be on its own page. The text of the paper itself should begin on page 3. Your abstract must meet the following standards:


• Be 150 – 250 words


• Be located on the second page of your final draft


• Have a title of “Abstract” that is centered at the top of the page.


3. Introduction:  There are some pitfalls to writing an introductory paragraph, and you can avoid some of them by reading through the Checklist: “Avoid Certain Mistakes in the Introduction” on p. 495 of Strategies for Writing Successful Research Papers.


4. Review of literatureThe review of literature should be a smooth transition from the introduction of your paper and should present a controlled summary of the conversation surrounding your topic. For assistance, you might want to refer to the examples in Chapter 20, Section 20g, of Strategies for Writing Successful Research Papers (pp. 438-444).


5. Body paragraphs: Each paragraph of the body of your Research Paper should be a cohesive unit. It should be tight, but developed.  It should serve a function, and its purpose should always be to bolster the thesis. Therefore, you should use the following order for each paragraph in the body:




a. Topic sentence: This sentence summarizes the entire paragraph in one strong, well-written sentence, and it directly supports the thesis statement.


b. Explanation of topic sentence (1-2 sentences): Often times there is more to be said about the topic sentence, more explanation that is necessary in order for it to be a clear idea, so there are usually a few sentences that follow the topic sentence that explicate the idea more for the reader. These sentences not only “unpack” the topic sentence, but they also anticipate the evidence that will be used to support the topic sentence, usually indirectly.


c. Introduction to evidence (1-2 sentences): No piece of evidence (quotation, example, paraphrase, etc.) should be dropped into a paragraph without first introducing it. An introduction might include the title of the source, the author, and/or a short description of the source/author’s credentials. In this way, no evidence is presented without a context because it is this context that makes the evidence meaningful.  


d. Evidence: The evidence that you present backs up your topic sentence and, by extension, supports your thesis statement. The evidence that you supply can be a number of things: a quotation from a source; a reasonable, illustrative example; a statistic; commentary from an interview; etc.


e. Explanation of evidence:  No piece of evidence stands on its own or is convincing on its own. Although it may seem to draw a direct line to your topic sentence to support it, often the reader needs you to make the connection between the two. Further, the general rule is that for each sentence of quoted material, your explanation should be just as long, so if you include a block quotation, the block quotation should be met with an equally long explanation.


f. Transitions (1-2 sentences): Transitions are essential for research papers because body paragraphs, especially, are written as units, and it is the transitions that allow for these units to be linked together. Take a look at the list of transitional expressions on pp. 44-45 in The Little, Brown Compact Handbook with Exercises.


6. Conclusion: Your conclusion should pull together your entire paper. Do not consider the conclusion a summary of your paper; your abstract is the summary of your paper. Instead, your conclusion is your opportunity to suggest what might be done with your findings.


A good conclusion will restate the thesis, place a judgment on the issue discussed, discuss the implications of your findings, issue a directive or call to action to the reader, and close out the paper with a strong final thought. However, depending upon your topic and your treatment of that topic, the conclusion may take different forms.


Your conclusion for this paper must be at least 150 words. If the conclusion is less than the word count, it is likely you have not fully developed your conclusion, and this lack of development can severely impact your grade for this assignment. For an example and explicit instructions on how to write a conclusion, see pp. 501 – 506 of Strategies for Writing Successful Research Papers

7References. Include a “References” page as the final page of your research essay.  







For Unit VII, you must provide body paragraphs to support your argument in your introduction, so I advise you to include a quote from at least one (1) authoritative research source in EACH of your body paragraphs to “back up” your “call to action.” 


ALSO, by now you must have at least five (5) published authoritative research sources that meet the “Research Requirements” AND are quoted or paraphrased and cited in the body of your REVISED “Literature Review” to clearly align with your “References” page, all in correct APA format.  AGAIN, keep in mind your “References” citation clearly should align with a quote or paraphrase of your source in the body of your writing.


FOR YOUR RESEARCH, PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE “CHECKLIST” on pp. 350-351 in your assigned readings in Strategies for Writing Successful Research Papers.




(A) you should prefer .edu or .org sites on the Internet (#1) or


(B) .gov or .mil sites (#2) BUT looking carefully at information provided and


(C) you should AVOID .COM sites (#3).


NOTE: All research should be


(D) no older than 5-7 years old AND


(E) should be published by a recognizable expert/author, so


(F) NO “anonymous” or “author unknown” sources and


(G) NO sources with “no date” (n.d.).


ALSO review the Inverted Pyramid on p. 422 of Strategies to rate your research!





Your research essay is only as strong as (A) your argument/thesis (which MUST be a clear call to action) and (B) your research to “back up” your argument/thesis.


For your argumentative thesis, you must answer two (2) questions:


1. Who is your specific target audience (also called your opposition), and why would the oppose you?


2. What, exactly, do you wish to persuade that audience to think or do, and why should they listen to you?

NOTE: Again, all of your research should be no older than 5-7 years old AND should be published by an expert/author, so no “anonymous” or “author unknown” sources allowed, and no sources with “no date” (n.d.).

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