What You Need to Know
Understanding Your Assignment
Before you begin looking for information you should make sure you understand your assignment. Some good questions are:
- How many pages?
- How many sources?
- What kinds of sources?
- What format?
Your professor is your best resource to answer these questions.
Assignment - ENG52 - Professor Mootz Gonzales - Spring 2013
“In order to understand complex issues and situations and events, we need to analyze them from multiple perspectives; every position or every viewpoint ought to have reasons to support it; and the quality of the conclusion is dependent on the quality of the reasoning that went before it.”
For your paper, choose one topic from this list. If there isn't a link to a specific Research Guide, use this general Controversial Issue guide to find your sources.
- Alcohol and crime
- Banning texting (in certain situations)
- Date Rape
- Eating disorders
- Ethics: business/ political/ personal
- The family in America
- Gun control
- Healthy eating
- Identity theft
- An Illness
- Limiting cell phone use
- The minimum wage
- Obesity in the United States
- Outsourcing jobs to foreign countries
- Physician assisted death
- Veterans’ issues
Professor Baker - English 100 - Spring 2013
Research Paper Overview
Sources: Six total sources required; four internet, two book. Dot com internet sources must be approved in advance. Preferred sources are private internet sources that are peer reviewed such as you’ll find on EBSCOHost.
Length: Five pages is too short, eleven pages is too long.
Topic: Controversial Issue
Process: You will lead up to the final paper by writing smaller papers that include: a prospectus, position, causal analysis, and refutation paper. Then you will write the final paper synthesizing all the information you have gathered in previous papers.
End Result: What sets this research project apart from others you may have done in high school or for other classes is this: ultimately, you will be proposing a solution (see chapter 7), not just writing a report. The writing of a proposal requires not only that you conduct research and report what you find but that you couch that report in an argument designed to convince your audience to take action.
Controversial Issue Paper
Writing an argumenative paper on a controversial issue requires that you look at both sides of an issue and take a position on one side or the other. You not only take a stand on an issue, but you must defend it against opposing points of view. Therefore, your argumentative research paper will involve advocacy and persuasion.
What to do:
- Select your topic
- Research the issues surrounding the topic
- Read other writers’ arguments for and against
- Take a stand
- Present supporting evidence in favor of your position
- Defend your position against opposing points of view
- Anticipate and deflect arguments against your position
- Make your case persuasively
Research Basics - Step by Step
Breaking Down The Research Process
The following outline gives a simple and effective strategy for finding information for a research paper and documenting the sources you find. Depending on your topic and your familiarity with the library, you may need to rearrange or recycle these steps. Adapt this outline to your needs. We are ready to help you at every step in your research.
- Choose a topic - or have one assigned
- Understand your topic
- Background reading
- Consider a main focus
- Refine your topic
- Search Sources
- Write your paper – Informative, Analytical, Argumentative, Critical
- Cite Your Sources