Research Paper Requirements
For this paper you will be writing an argumentative essay on a particular social or
Political issue. The final research paper will be due at the end of the semester, however
you will also have to complete an annotated bibliography assignment leading up to the
final research paper.
What is a position paper? What I would like for you to do with your research paper is to argue
a particular position, supported by research, on a current domestic or foreign policy debate.
A position paper basically has six parts to it:
1. An introduction - This first paragraph should include a lead in and thesis statement and
clearly present the main idea of your position paper. Many writers prefer to place the
thesis at the end of the first paragraph, but this doesn't have to be the case.
2. Formulate a “Literature Review” that describes/discusses the main contentions
surrounding the domestic or foreign policy issue that you are investigating. Explain to
the reader what the main arguments are surrounding this policy debate. Make clear what
groups are on either side of the debate and what actions they have taken to argue their
side. Give details about any laws or policies that have been passed or that may be
coming up for a vote or judicial decision.
3. Now explain your view. Tell the reader why you're taking the position you've chosen and
offer evidence supporting your opinion. Be sure to present the information in a logical
order and avoid making any statements that lack obvious support. Make them understand
why you think the way you do.
4. Present a counter-argument. Pick a problem that someone against your views would
bring up. Make sure you present it clearly and give the reasoning behind the counterargument
as well. Researching opposing position papers and viewpoints can help make
this step easier.
5. Declare a resolution to the problem. Take a paragraph to explain why the counterargument
doesn't apply and reaffirm your view. Describe why the counter-argument
doesn't hold up and why your ideas are better.
6. End with a conclusion paragraph. In a conclusion paragraph, you should restate your
thesis and summarize the position paper's main ideas. Be sure to rewrite your ideas so
that you're not just repeating the exact same thing. Once again, restate your position.
You can choose from one of the contemporary policy debates below:
Creationism vs. Evolution
California State Issues
Research Paper Requirements:
Your paper must use at least 6 bibliographic sources to include at least one of
each of the following: periodicals (magazines or journals); books (scholarly);
primary documents; Internet sources (scholarly). Web resources must be from
legitimate sources, if in doubt ask me first.
Your citations should be in APA format. You can find information on how to
complete an APA “Reference List” (or “In-Text” citations) at:
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/. Another useful website for these purposes is:
www.dianahacker.com/resdoc. Both of these websites offer extensive
information on how to cite different source materials in proper APA style. Bottom
line, it is crucial that you are citing information accurately and ethically. If you are
unsure or need assistance with citation standards, please feel free to contact me
or refer to the “Portal Site” associated with this class where I have additionally
provided APA tutorial documents that will assist you with both “In-Text” and
“Reference List” mechanics.
Your paper must be at least 6-7 pages in length, using 12 point Times New
Roman font, double-spaced, written in APA format, and free from grammatical
errors.Research Paper Requirements (1).docx