Research paper due 4/27/18 | English Rhetoric

 Research Project Begins.

  • Choose a topic from one of the following to argue for or against:
    • The border wall with Mexico
    • Charter schools
    • Driverless cars
  • Read, and be sure you fully understand, the Research Paper Guidelines.
  • Start checking out databases for articles.


Research Paper Guidelines for online 1301 Classes

First, a reminder from the course syllabus:

Research Paper Requirements:

A satisfactorily-completed research project must be completed to earn credit for the course.

(Just so that there are no misunderstandings:  If you do not turn in a research project that includes all major parts and is completed per the assignment directions, you will fail the course.)

The basic requirements for the research project include:

Length:  1200 word minimum (includes text and Works Cited). 

Sources: A minimum of 7 full-text, professional sources garnered from databases available through the Lone Star College, Kingwood Library only. 

Please do not make the one mistake that students repeatedly regret—waiting too long to get started. 

Assignment Parameters

This essay is an argument which requires gathering information on and considering both sides of the topic. The topic must be from the list in the Content segment of the course in Week 13. If, for example, you choose to argue against driverless cars, then you would consider arguments for them and against them and indicate which side you believe has the most merit. You may approach this argument either as a comparison (the argument for driverless cars first, as it is the side being rejected; and the argument against driverless cars second, as it is the side being defended. As always, the same points must be argued for each element of the argument. For example, if safety, engineering, and cost are the points to be argued, they must be argued for both sides and in the same order, whether a point-by-point or block comparison format is chosen.

As always, the essay will be written in third person—no use of any form of “I” or “you” pronouns. 

The majority of the writing in the essay must be yours—that is, the essay should not be just strung-together quotes from articles. No more than 20% of the essay should come from the researched materials. 

It is important to correctly document the sources that are used in the essay by doing the following:

· Introduce each quoted element with the author’s name: Sarah Smith considers the entire concept of driverless cars “foolhardy” (27). 

· Notice that any information quoted from an article must be placed in quotation marks and must be followed by a page citation. Therefore, you will want to use only documents in PDF format because they have page numbers. You will also want to use only articles with authors’ names—no corporate authors or web sites, for example.

· It is not enough to have a Works Cited page at the end of the document (it is the last page or pages). It must be clear what information comes from what source, and each article must be directly referenced in the text of the essay.

· The current (8th) edition of the MLA documentation guidelines must be used for the document and the citations. This is the format in the Field Guide. There is no title page, etc. The first page will look just like the first page of your other essays.

Accessing the LSC-Kingwood Library Databases

· Start on the LSC Home Page

· In the red bar, click on Libraries

· Click on LSC-Kingwood

o You will see several helpful things on this page including “Chat with the Librarian.” 

· Click on “Research Databases”

· Click on “Current Issues and News”

· You may want to start with “Topic Overviews” if you are having difficulty choosing one of the topics. It sometimes helps to see what other people are saying about a topic before you choose one.

· You may also want to click on the “Articles” drop down to access other databases, newspapers, and so on. Editorials from major newspapers are generally written well and get straight to the point.

· To enter a database, you will need one of two things: your college i.d. with the library barcode on the back; OR you can log in where it says “LSC-Online Students” and use the same login and password you use to log in to the class.

· If you get stuck, there are librarians at LSC-Kingwood in the tutoring center on the 2nd floor of the Student Conference Center, at the Atascocita Center, and at the other LSC campuses who can help you. You may also email our division librarian, Mikha Mitchell, at [email protected].

· Do not use “Citation Help” or examples in the databases themselves for Works Cited entries. They are very often incorrect. Type your entries. Remember the following:

o Alphabetize entries by author’s last name.

o Use hanging indents (first line at the 1-inch left margin, succeeding lines indented 5 spaces). The Field Guide has a sample page which is helpful creating this page.

Scoring for the assignment is divided as follows: (200 points possible)

· 100 points for content (graded as an essay is always graded)

· 20 points for document format (titles, spacing, margins, etc.)

· 20 points for introducing quoted materials correctly   

· 20 points for Sources (number and quality)

· 40 points for the Works Cited 

Please remember that:

· you must document (introduce and correctly cite) any information that you use from researched materials. A good way to start the project is to make some notes about what your thoughts are about the subject before you start the research. 

· You must not cut-and-paste information from any source into the document. 

Do review the information on plagiarism in the Syllabus and email me or consult a librarian or a Lone Star tutor with any questions you may have.


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