English paper due 5/31

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English paper due 5/31 (Plagiarism Free) This is our “mini research” assignment -- the last paper of the term. The essay should be 4-8 pages long, argumentative, and include some research. It must use MLA documentation style. Basic MLA formatting rules apply: 1” margins all around, heading with your name, my name, class and date in the upper left-hand corner of the first page, a centered title (not underlined, put inside of quotation marks, colored, or in any other way different from the body text), 12-point Times New Roman font, etc. It will also be accompanied by an issue proposal (worth 50 points) and a works cited page, also worth 50 points. Chapter 16 (pages 267-301) deals specifically with writing the research paper, and is mandatory reading. Page 301 lists some potential general topics that you can use, but note the “exceptions” list below. All of the topics listed on page 301 need to be narrowed down considerably. You are not restricted to those topics. When developing your topic, think in “should/should not” terms. For example, instead of thinking, “what is the impact of high tuition costs on higher education,” think “tuition costs should be lowered because doing so will allow greater access to higher education.” The “should” will force you into an argumentative position, and will prove helpful. You can choose any topic narrow enough to be fully argued in fewer than 8 pages. That page limit forces the exclusion of the following (you CANNOT write on any of the following topics): Abortion Death Penalty Euthanasia Climate Change/Global Warming Legalization of Narcotics Cloning/Stem Cell Research Separation of Church and State (in any form) Science vs. Religion (in any form -- particularly evolution vs. intelligent design) Gun Control Same-sex Marriage/Adoption You should also avoid complex “solution” topics, such as “how to solve poverty” or “how to eliminate racism.” The topics and their potential solutions are simply too involved and complex to discuss fully in eight pages or less. Simple argumentative topics, such as “parking should be free at VVC,” are much better suited for this assignment. Save the world-changing topics for a longer project. You must use at least 4 sources in your essay. Remember, it’s crucial in an argumentative essay to present both (or multiple) sides of an issue fairly, so don’t take all of your sources from people with opinions similar to your own. The Opposing Viewpoints resources in the VVC library (they’re available online in the Databases section of the library’s website) may be helpful. To access database material, you will need to apply for a password. Follow the directions on the library website to do so. For help with proper MLA citation form, go to http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/ for explanations and examples. The VVC library website also has some helpful MLA guidelines (look under “research”). You can also try http://www.easybib.com/. It’s not perfect, but it will format your source information relatively well, in terms of MLA standards. Finally, I suggest that you all read the “avoiding plagiarism” material found at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/01/. Remember, anything you use from an outside source, regardless of whether you quote, paraphrase or summarize, must be cited, and any time you copy four words or more verbatim from another source it must be placed inside quotation marks as well. Developing a Thesis A thesis is, quite simply, the primary assertion or claim that you will argue and support in a research essay. It’s often helpful to begin with a research question. The Issue Proposal will ask you to do just that. A research question is NOT a thesis. A thesis is the ANSWER to that question. So, you might write in your Issue Proposal, “Did Barack Obama’s first-term cabinet appointments really represent “Change we Need””? In your essay, after researching the topic, you would answer that question, writing something like: “Barack Obama’s first-term cabinet appointments, virtually all of whom were former Clinton cabinet members or associates, represent (or do not represent) positive change.” THAT would be a thesis. Remember, thesis statements must be arguable (reasonable people could take either side of the issue) and limited (keep the topic manageable). Essay Maps An essay map is simply a “road map” of an essay, and is usually “attached” in some way to a thesis statement. If I were to add a “because” to the example above, adding three or so reasons, I would be creating an essay map. Let’s take another topic as an example: Research Question: What’s the best kind of pet? Thesis: Dogs are the best pets Thesis plus essay map: Dogs are the best pets because they are protective, loyal, and fuzzy. (Sorry about the “fuzzy” part. Another reason didn’t pop into my head, and all I need you to do is get the point of this anyway, so I didn’t see the need to stress my brain). The essay would then be organized according to the “map” I provided above. The first section of the body of the essay would deal with dogs’ protective instincts and why that is a benefit to owners. The next section would discuss and support the notion that dogs are more loyal than other common pets. The third section would argue the benefits of ‘”fuzziness” and establish that dogs, indeed, are fuzzy. Note that the “sections” to which I refer are not necessarily single paragraphs. It might take several paragraphs to fully argue the first issue (protectiveness), while the fuzzy angle would probably not take up as much space. The task at hand determines how much you will write and how much support you will need. This is our “mini research” assignment -- the last paper of the term. The essay should be 4-8 pages long, argumentative, and include some research. It must use MLA documentation style. Basic MLA formatting rules apply: 1” margins all around, heading with your name, my name, class and date in the upper left-hand corner of the first page, a centered title (not underlined, put inside of quotation marks, colored, or in any other way different from the body text), 12-point Times New Roman font, etc. It will also be accompanied by an issue proposal (worth 50 points) and a works cited page, also worth 50 points. Chapter 16 (pages 267-301) deals specifically with writing the research paper, and is mandatory reading. Page 301 lists some potential general topics that you can use, but note the “exceptions” list below. All of the topics listed on page 301 need to be narrowed down considerably. You are not restricted to those topics. When developing your topic, think in “should/should not” terms. For example, instead of thinking, “what is the impact of high tuition costs on higher education,” think “tuition costs should be lowered because doing so will allow greater access to higher education.” The “should” will force you into an argumentative position, and will prove helpful. You can choose any topic narrow enough to be fully argued in fewer than 8 pages. That page limit forces the exclusion of the following (you CANNOT write on any of the following topics): Abortion Death Penalty Euthanasia Climate Change/Global Warming Legalization of Narcotics Cloning/Stem Cell Research Separation of Church and State (in any form) Science vs. Religion (in any form -- particularly evolution vs. intelligent design) Gun Control Same-sex Marriage/Adoption You should also avoid complex “solution” topics, such as “how to solve poverty” or “how to eliminate racism.” The topics and their potential solutions are simply too involved and complex to discuss fully in eight pages or less. Simple argumentative topics, such as “parking should be free at VVC,” are much better suited for this assignment. Save the world-changing topics for a longer project. You must use at least 4 sources in your essay. Remember, it’s crucial in an argumentative essay to present both (or multiple) sides of an issue fairly, so don’t take all of your sources from people with opinions similar to your own. The Opposing Viewpoints resources in the VVC library (they’re available online in the Databases section of the library’s website) may be helpful. To access database material, you will need to apply for a password. Follow the directions on the library website to do so. For help with proper MLA citation form, go to http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/ for explanations and examples. The VVC library website also has some helpful MLA guidelines (look under “research”). You can also try http://www.easybib.com/. It’s not perfect, but it will format your source information relatively well, in terms of MLA standards. Finally, I suggest that you all read the “avoiding plagiarism” material found at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/01/. Remember, anything you use from an outside source, regardless of whether you quote, paraphrase or summarize, must be cited, and any time you copy four words or more verbatim from another source it must be placed inside quotation marks as well. Developing a Thesis A thesis is, quite simply, the primary assertion or claim that you will argue and support in a research essay. It’s often helpful to begin with a research question. The Issue Proposal will ask you to do just that. A research question is NOT a thesis. A thesis is the ANSWER to that question. So, you might write in your Issue Proposal, “Did Barack Obama’s first-term cabinet appointments really represent “Change we Need””? In your essay, after researching the topic, you would answer that question, writing something like: “Barack Obama’s first-term cabinet appointments, virtually all of whom were former Clinton cabinet members or associates, represent (or do not represent) positive change.” THAT would be a thesis. Remember, thesis statements must be arguable (reasonable people could take either side of the issue) and limited (keep the topic manageable). Essay Maps An essay map is simply a “road map” of an essay, and is usually “attached” in some way to a thesis statement. If I were to add a “because” to the example above, adding three or so reasons, I would be creating an essay map. Let’s take another topic as an example: Research Question: What’s the best kind of pet? Thesis: Dogs are the best pets Thesis plus essay map: Dogs are the best pets because they are protective, loyal, and fuzzy. (Sorry about the “fuzzy” part. Another reason didn’t pop into my head, and all I need you to do is get the point of this anyway, so I didn’t see the need to stress my brain). The essay would then be organized according to the “map” I provided above. The first section of the body of the essay would deal with dogs’ protective instincts and why that is a benefit to owners. The next section would discuss and support the notion that dogs are more loyal than other common pets. The third section would argue the benefits of ‘”fuzziness” and establish that dogs, indeed, are fuzzy. Note that the “sections” to which I refer are not necessarily single paragraphs. It might take several paragraphs to fully argue the first issue (protectiveness), while the fuzzy angle would probably not take up as much space. The task at hand determines how much you will write and how much support you will need.

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(Top Tutor) Daniel C.
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