This assignment has developed from a series of other assignments: interest inventory, narrowing your topic, etc. For the final paper, you need to write the best draft you can, which means that you should have a clear purpose (an argumentative thesis) and plenty of evidence from quality sources that supports and develops your thesis.

Research Paper

Length:  1500 words (but quality over quantity)

Format:   MLA 

Assignment:

This assignment has developed from a series of other assignments:  interest inventory, narrowing your topic, etc.  For the final paper, you need to write the best draft you can, which means that you should have a clear purpose (an argumentative thesis) and plenty of evidence from quality sources that supports and develops your thesis. 

The module for this week provides excellent guidelines for writing the final draft of your research paper, including organization strategies, exercises for refining your thesis, tips for achieving the proper tone, advice on writing introductions, advice on writing conclusions, and handling quotes properly.  Furthermore there is revision advice:  revising for purpose, thesis, and structure; revising for language (VERY important); and preparing the final draft (avoiding common mistakes).

Other required elements of your essay: 

1.  An interesting and relevant introduction

2.  An effective thesis statement incorporated into your introduction (last sentence)

3.  Strong topic sentences and body paragraphs

4.  An excellent conclusion

5.  Impeccable grammar, mechanics, and style

6.  Correct MLA format

7.  An engaging title

Key concepts for writing effective essays (a review of Composition I):

1.  Clarity—stay focused on the main topic throughout your essay

2.  Coherence—present your ideas in a logical, organized way; use effective transitions

3.  Unity—each paragraph stays on topic and relates to the overall thesis

4.  Development—provide specific details so that the reader can understand the argument

MLA FORMAT:   

You need a works cited page, and you must use proper in-text citation (also called parenthetical citation/documentation) for all paraphrasing, summarizing, and quoting. 

Common problems to avoid:  works cited page errors, in-text citation errors, incorrect block quotation, dumped quotes, incorrect use of historical present tense, punctuating titles.

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