Presidential Election 2016
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.
English 100 - Dongell - Spring 2016
Prompt for Research Paper
MLA Format; Seven Pages; Seven Sources
Topic: Research and Analysis of the Current Presidential Campaign
You will pick three candidates, one from each side of the aisle - Democrat, Republican, and your choice for the third (can be third party). You will research the pros and cons of each candidate; you will look both at the perception they are trying to achieve and the reality. After you have established your foundation, you will make your case for who is the best choice for the country.
Most, but not necessarily all, of your research will come from the daily news, political editorials and commentary, and history on the issues. Don't forget that the candidates' own websites could provide a solid starting point. The quality of your research is of critical importance. Do your best to ascertain the veracity of your facts. As for primary research, feel free to conduct interviews with the so called man on the street and your own polls and surveys.
A research paper is the culmination and final product of an involved process of research, critical thinking, source evaluation, organization, and composition. The significant words to follow are explore, interpret, and evaluate. Think of yourself as an investigative journalist; you are to acquire a certain expertise on your chosen topic. Keep in mind that a research paper is not a mere compilation of facts and research. You must place your own evaluative stamp on it. A good research paper requires one to spend time investigating and evaluating sources with the intent to offer interpretations of the texts, and not unconscious regurgitations of those sources.
Use the library website and please do not hesitate to ask a librarian or myself for help.
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
- Make a list of your keywords and concepts
- Background reading
- Search Sources
- Find Books
- Find Articles
- Find Websites
- Write your paper - Informative, Analytical, Argumentative, Critical
- Cite your sources