Below refers to the full instructions for your project.
For this assignment, submit 1-2 full paragraphs, covering a thorough description of your topic. An answer to this question is required for submission: What do you want to know, and why do you want to know it? Include any questions you have for me in your topic assignment, and be sure to follow the writing guidelines. Make it easy on yourself. Here, you’ll want, to begin with an idea. Try and have as narrow a topic as possible. Please feel free to see (or email) me to try and narrow this down. One sure-fire way to pick a good topic is to review your syllabus. What looks interesting to you? What jumps out at you? What do you want to know more about? You may write about any topic that relates to the course themes.
Incremental Research Paper Guidelines
In this course, we’ll be going through a research paper writing process enabling you to take steps toward the final project over the course of the term. The following are incremental assignment directions you will follow. Research can be daunting and rewarding at the same time, and this class enables us all to work closely together in a group and pairs throughout the term.
- In the beginning: Choose a topic easily narrowed down to fit within the confines set forth herein. The final paper should be a minimum of eight pages or a maximum of ten pages in length ¾ Strictly follow the required writing guidelines in the syllabus. I am here to assist you with the process along the way.
- References Page: A works cited page, also known as the bibliography page, is required for some of your increment assignments. Your incremental papers should contain bibliographies-in-progress, reflecting any additions to or subtractions from your research findings pertinent to your subject (separate from the annotations). Always double-check with me about your sources if you’re uncertain about their legitimacy. For the most part, academic journal articles and most books are admissible as academic – texts like Time, USA Today or Cosmopolitan may or may not be advisable, but always check with me first. Remember to cite accordingly, including information garnered from class lectures, television and radio programs and other media sources. Please use the latest edition of Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), MLA (Modern Languages Association) or APA (American Psychological Association). Copies of the Style Guides located at the BC Library and Media Center in the reference section as well as online. Please use caution when garnering information taken from sources more than ten years old.
- Suggested steps involved in writing a research paper:
- Find a subject.
- Do preliminary research on the subject.
- Ask yourself why this research is important to you. You may want to sit back after you’ve looked at your thesis or research question and ask, “So what?” Try to think about why the issue is important. This is a good way to narrow down the topic and decide if the topic is one you want to pursue. Being stuck with a topic you’ve got no passion about is a terrible experience – trust me on that!
- Prepare a preliminary bibliography that you will revise and return to often. Note down the most interesting reads so that you can use those readings for your Annotated Bibliography.
- Take notes from appropriate sources (for some learners, it is helpful to use note cards).
- Begin to construct a brief draft that explicitly describes your topic, thesis statement, and relevancy. This piece should be seen as a guide to the rest of the research and writing process.
- Begin your Annotated Bibliography to accompany some of your increments (see schedule for details). Keep it going, and add to it according to the syllabus directions. Remember that you can always turn in more annotations than is outlined in the syllabus.
- Write the first
- Revise the draft. Make sure there is a clear, strong introduction that maps out the problem/issue you are looking at and tells the reader what your intentions are for the remainder of the paper. Be sure to have a strong conclusion, perhaps discussing options for further research.
- Insert your in-text citations at the Revision stage.
- Finalize the research paper.
- A research paper receiving an “A” as a final grade will be free of mechanical errors. It is advisable to have someone else proofread the paper before submitting it. Grades are based on content, presentation, and the ability to follow the guidelines outlined in these instructions.
- Please review your concluding paragraph(s) carefully. A good conclusion restates the thesis while summarizing your main points. If the thesis and conclusion are consistent, not only with each other but also the main points, you will have clearly and competently presented your research and arguments.
Incremental Assignments (1-4 are 25 points; Final Paper is 125 points):
- Research topic descriptionFor this assignment, submit 1-2 full paragraphs, covering a thorough description of your topic. An answer to this question is required for submission: What do you want to know, and why do you want to know it? Include any questions you have for me in your topic assignment, and be sure to follow the writing guidelines. Make it easy on yourself. Here, you’ll want, to begin with an idea. Try and have as narrow a topic as possible. Please feel free to see (or email) me to try and narrow this down. One sure-fire way to pick a good topic is to review your syllabus. What looks interesting to you? What jumps out at you? What do you want to know more about? You may write about any topic that relates to the course themes.
- Research Proposal, Two Annotated Bibliographies, Working Bibliography
Your Research Proposal demonstrates a firm grasp on your topic and research question/s. If you are passionate about the subject, this will not be difficult. Your proposal should be 1-2 full pages. Remember that cover pages and bibliographies do not count as pages due for your text (in this case, your Proposal). I want to know the following:
- Brief, yet explicit description of your topic. Remember to keep it focused. Your final paper is not to be more than ten pages (again, not including your working and annotated bibliographies). You may find that you simply restate your Topic, but most students have had to narrow the scope since the topic was submitted.
- How does your topic tie in with course content? What concepts and readings apply?
- What research have you done at this point?
- What further research do you intend on doing to complete the assignment?
- Finally, include an attached working bibliography of at least five sources; two of which must range from scholarly books and journals, specialized encyclopedias, government documents, relevant websites (that you check out for legitimacy). Start to think about which reading materials you want to use for your annotations.
- Choose any two of your resources and include as an Annotated Bibliography.
- What’s an annotated bibliography (Links to an external site.)?
An annotated bibliography is simply a regular bibliographic reference with some additional information about the reading. What you liked, what’s useful, interesting page numbers to remember, etc.
- As always, include any relevant questions for me.
- First Draft
Part A: Draft Submitted to Assigned Reading Partner via email (copy me in email).
Part B: Feedback Submitted to both me and your partner(s) via email.
Your first draft should closely resemble your final paper. In other words, do not turn in a brief extended Your first draft should be free of spelling and grammatical errors easily remedied in the spell/grammar check of Microsoft Word, and a solid proofread. You should have a clear and concise thesis statement, and include it in no later than your second paragraph. For clarity, please identify your thesis statement or clear topic by underlining it.
The body of your paper should lay out your argument, and include detailed descriptions of your topic. In addition to your main question, it is very likely you will come up with a myriad of other questions applicable to your paper and main theoretical question. This is fine, just be sure any additional questions do not divert the focus of your original question. Remember that your bibliography will not count as a total number of pages due.
Part A: You will be assigned Reading Partners (or groups, depending on the number of students in class) by me in the early part of the term. In one assignment, you’ll submit to your Partner(s) your draft for feedback. You’ll be given a form for this.
Part B: Submit the form to your partner(s) and to me.
- Final Paper, Two Additional Annotated Bibliographies, and Final Bibliography
Your final paper will reflect any significant changes you made in your first and revised drafts. I will be grading on content, clarity of the subject, and flow (i.e., free of spelling and grammatical errors). Again, please do not hesitate to contact me for help. I am here to guide you through this process to make it as productive as possible. For your final bibliography, you will need to have at least ten sources, no less than seven of which are peer reviewed, scholarly articles. A total of four must be annotated.
Required Writing Guidelines:
- Twelve-point sized Times font, double-spaced
- 1” margins all around
- APA Citations where appropriate – credit must be given even where any ideas presented in the paper are not your own (see notes below about avoiding plagiarism)
- Title pages and bibliographies do not count as pages due
- Student information is at the top left of the page, single spaced
- There are no extra spaces between paragraphs.
- Paragraphs contain no less than four sentences.
- Magazines, newspapers, journals, and books are italicized. Movie titles, article titles, song titles, etc. are “in quotation marks.” Quotes inside of a quotation use ‘single quotation marks.’
- Avoid the universal “we”, “our”, “us” – ask yourself: Can I speak for everyone? If you cannot, do not write it. Also, avoid phrasing such as “nowadays…” and “since the beginning of time.” Be accurate. Know what you’re writing and why.
- Do not ever use Wikipedia, CliffNotes, or other such encyclopedic references. Wikipedia is not peer-reviewed and therefore unreliable. Do your own research. If you’re going to research online (which is encouraged and totally legit), make sure you understand what you’re looking for. Do a deep dive into the internet to find your stuff.
- Be sure that no more than 20% of your papers are outside sources. You must be providing your own analysis while you draw from material presented to you in class.