From the beginning of this course, assignments were designed to focus your attention on three learning outcomes: critical thinking, production of written texts, and reading comprehension. In this practice and preparation for writing in Comp II and beyond, those assignments included:
- brainstorming --- for the construction of an arguable a) research question, b) thesis statement, c) reasons, and d) opposing reasons, as well as d) a search for verifiable evidence early on so to focus thinking, reading, and writing
- summary of readings and potential summaries (realizing reading for college and beyond requires different strategies to successfully extract main and supporting details that are oftentimes missed by college-level readers who have not engaged at all, much, or critically with texts prior to college)
- proposal of a topic (designed to focus your specific research interests and to share your rationale as well as diverse perspectives/disciplines so to widen your knowledge of the topic and quality sources)
- analysis of rhetoric (designed as practice to examine sources for rhetorical aspects and how writers use these strategies to make an effective/ineffective argument that influences others)
- review of literature (designed to focus on more in depth critical thinking and writing skills, an examination of scholarly conversations and relationships between studies, and an assessment of source arguments)
With each assignment, you were building and connecting one set of skills to use in the last (argumentative research) paper. But also, through this skill building, you have come to better understand the topic you selected and the research question you constructed. Perhaps some of you are still learning about your topic, and that's great! I encourage you to continue to develop it if/when you are given an opportunity to do so in other spaces. In the final argumentative research paper, you will showcase the skills you have developed and practiced throughout the course.
Goals and Objectives of Writing the Research Paper:
- To enter a conversation about an arguable, disputed topic, to make a clear claim about your stance on the issue
- To practice modeling your writing by making a clearly stated argument and focusing and organizing paragraphs with relevant thoughts that clearly relate back to the thesis statement that you are to defend.
- To research what others are saying about your topic and to provide sufficient, specific evidence from at least six KSU sources in your argument
- To become proficient at summarizing and evaluating your sources and at successfully linking them to your own argument.
- To learn how to integrate sources smoothly into your argument by incorporating transitions, proper attribution, and citations.
- To address opposing arguments by responding to and evaluating those claims reasonably and respectfully, in relation to your own argument.
- To provide a variety of different perspectives on your topic
- To demonstrate a solid ethos as a researcher (e.g. credible sources; correct use of sources, attention to logical fallacies per April 6 materials provided)
- To develop your voice as a writer and researcher by placing your own ideas in “conversation” with sources
- To demonstrate critical thinking by drawing connections between the variety of perspectives you have researched
No matter the discipline, you will have to write well-researched papers that employ and integrate scholarly sources. Research papers are the cornerstone of many upper-division and writing intensive courses. Sometimes, you will be required to generate your own topics. Other times you may be given a broad topic that you will have to narrow and focus for research. Locating and evaluating quality sources and figuring out ways to effectively integrate those ideas and works into your own writing as well as speeches is a skill. But also, as an informed citizen, you will find yourself having to make decisions that affect not only you, but also others.
Submission Guidelines and Requirements
- 3 pages
- 1 quote per page
- 1 block quote per page
- In-text citations and works cited page
- 3 KSU library sources, 3 quality internet sources OR all library sources
- MLA formatting
- Dropbox submission only by the deadline (unless D2L is inoperative)
- Sources no older than 5 years (unless you use them for historical perspective or background)
- Word documents only
- No late submission due to time constraint as explained throughout the semester, no 2nd revisions