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102 Research Paper Guidelines—this paper is 30% of your grade
Choosing a Topic: The first step in writing a research paper is choosing a topic. This semester, you will choose a topic from American history from the years 1960-2010. You will have to find a specific event, person, invention, etc. and focus on that topic. Be sure to narrow your topic to something specific and one that you can effectively discuss within the limited pages. For example, you might choose the 9/11 event. While you can certainly focus on some aspect of the event, you cannot discuss everything about 9/11 in 5 pages.
Your topic should –
(1) be of interest to you;
(2) be a topic that you can thoroughly discuss in 5 to 6 pages; and
(3) be one that you can find ample credible sources.
If you choose a person, you cannot simply do a biographical sketch of that person. You must focus on something that person did to contribute to or influence society. All topics must be submitted and approved by the instructor. Choosing Appropriate Sources: Once you have chosen and focused your topic, then it is time for you to search for potential sources. The final paper must be based on a minimum of five sources; however, you will have to read many more than five sources to be able to learn enough about your topic to know the “slant” or angle you wish to present in your paper. Appropriate sources may be found in the library or on the internet. You must choose credible sources. Do not use student-generated sources. General encyclopedias and Wikipedia are not acceptable sources. Try to confine your internet sources to those on the Alabama Virtual Library (AVL).
The research paper must- 1. be a minimum of 5 double-spaced pages of actual text;
2. be based on a minimum of five (5) credible sources (no general encyclopedias may be used; Wikipedia
may not be used).
3. be documented using the 9th edition of MLA format of parenthetical citations;
4. include a 9th edition MLA style works cited page;
5. focus on your chosen topic.
6. be typed in Times New Roman with a font size of 12;
7. be submitted to Blackboard.
Grading format: The final draft will be graded for –
1. content based on the length of the paper and the student’s ability to focus on a well-defined thesis statement;
the correct number of sources cited, and the depth of the research conducted;
2. grammar usage;
3. correct MLA documentation.