writing project 4 1

Writing Project #4: Final Research Paper

(10-12 pages)

Due Dates

Tuesday, 11/5: First Page (HW 13): Post and bring a hard copy to your writing group

Thursday, 11/7: First 5 Pages (HW 14): Post and bring a hard copy to class.

Tuesday, 11/21: Complete draft (HW 15) for peer response

11/25-11/27: Instructor conferences

Tuesday, 12/3: Revised 10-12 page hard copy to class—at this point, your paper should

be as finished as possible (including References/Works Cited page. Upload to Canvas.

Thursday, 12/5: Final paper due. Submit to Canvas


The research essay is the culmination of English 102. In writing an effective research essay,

you have an opportunity to implement the critical analysis tools we have discussed and put

into practice throughout the semester—particularly the abilities to summarize, analyze, and

synthesize arguments in an existing discourse. In addition, this project affords you the

opportunity to make a contribution to a larger conversation, bringing to light paths and

avenues that may have been previously overlooked. In this manner, this essay provides an

occasion to develop the effective research skills and critical thinking skills that will serve you

throughout college and beyond.

Having completed your research proposal and thesis statement, you must articulate and

explicate your ideas in a 10 to 12 page research essay. You must present an original and well-

crafted argument that explores a topic related to one of the issues we’ve been exposed to this

semester. Although


argument is the focus of your essay, you will enter into a

meaningful exchange with the sources you have found throughout the semester. In other

words, you will


these sources,


the efficacy of their arguments, and


the work of others in the course of making your claims. Thus, in order to prove

that you are a legitimate participant in this conversation, you must demonstrate a thorough

knowledge of the topic


present a critical and unique way of thinking through it.

You should thus write an informative, persuasive paper that are grounded in a specific,

relevant research question derived from your topic of inquiry. The paper should have a clear

thesis/controlling purpose that grows out of your primary and/or secondary research. You

should provide ample research-based evidence to support all points in the essay and should

make sure that your arguments are free of logical fallacies. You should integrate all source

material to the paper with care, using summaries, paraphrases and direct quotations that are

seamlessly integrated to the text and correctly cited using MLA or APA format, including a

Works Cited or References page. You should organize the research paper in a logical manner

that makes reading easy and should make use of basic structural conventions such as a thesis

statement, transitions and topic sentences. You should carefully edit your paper to eliminate

all mechanical and grammatical problems and improve sentence-level clarity in the writing.

At this point in the term, we turn to declaring your research topic that you’ll work on for the rest of the class. What that means is that you need to pick a topic and develop a research question that will create the focus of the large research paper you’ll write for Writing Project 4. Your topic should be inspired by one of the documentaries you watched, and it should be something you find interesting and want to find out more about.

To create a research question, you’ll want to work through handout “Developing a Research Question.” Then, read the tutorial and watch the video on writing good research questions (Links to an external site.) and do the “Can the topic be researched?” (Links to an external site.) and “Is the question too broad or too narrow?” (Links to an external site.)exercises.

Then, using your new knowledge about research questions, make a post in which you declare your research question. Post your question as a question by midnight on Tuesday. Then, respond to at least two other people’s questions by Thursday, noting whether the questions are narrow, challenging, and grounded.

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