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ENGL 201: Writing and Research

Dr. Amber Strother


Spring 2018
Project 3: Research Paper

Overview
Y our research question for this paper should develop out of the research you conducted for your
third paper. This essay is your opportunity to demonstrate all of the skills you have learned
during the semester. Remember that an academic research argument argues to convince the
audience to do something (a call to action) or to think a certain way. This assignment is an
opportunity to add your analysis, thinking, and ideas to a current conversation.

Assignment
As you researched Project 2, you likely began to develop ideas about the topic. The sources and
ideas that you uncovered are relevant in this new assignment, but you will not be able to copy
and paste from your previous papers (your purpose, and perhaps your audience, have changed).
Y ou can and should use sources and ideas you have previously explored, but you’ll need to adapt
these sources and ideas to work with your new thesis statement and purpose.

Y our essay should communicate a clear argument about the topic. Y ou’ll need to engage with
your sources and discuss your ideas in order to thoroughly and convincingly argue your thesis.

Proposal Requirements
Before beginning your project, you will need to submit a proposal that explains your topic
choice, demonstrates presearch, and allows me to give feedback on your proposed topic. This
proposal should result in 1 ½ -2 pages of writing and should include the following:

 Introduction: Discuss your topic, your major, and why writing about this topic will be
beneficial to you. What interests you about this topic?
 Approach to the topic and thesis statement: Try to envision a logical way to
present the material you intend to cover. What is the best order? Will there be any terms
or concepts you will need to define or explain? Will you show opposing viewpoints?
Compare and contrast? Categorize information? Your approach may change as you begin
to research your topic, but you need to have some sort of plan for starting the work. Y ou
will also need to include a draft of your thesis statement based on the research that you
did in Project 2. What claim do you intend to make at this point? Again, this may change
as you move forward, but you should have some idea of what your main claim will be.
 Intended audience: Assume that your readers are not specialists on your chosen topic
but have roughly the same level of education as you. While you may need to explain
terms and concepts, you will also want to consider what the audience will gain from your
research. Who might benefit from reading your paper?
 Documentation style: Y ou will need to specify if you are using APA or MLA
formatting guidelines for this project.
 Working bibliography: Because you are expected to have done some presearch on
your topic, you will need to list citations for at least two academic sources that you are
considering using in this project that are not included in the previous project. Please

Strother Spring 2018


follow the guidelines for the formatting style you have chosen for the citation and include
a brief discussion of why you have chosen the source.
 Request for feedback: Please conclude by writing at least one question or concern you
have at this point in the project. I want to be able to provide useful feedback, and this
helps me focus on your biggest concerns.

Essay Requirements
 2700-3000 words of writing
 Proper MLA or APA format (including heading, page numbers, in-text citations, and
a works cited)
 Research at least eight outside sources secondary/academic sources (peer reviewed
journals or books or book chapters). Y our sources from the literature review may be
reused if appropriate. However, you should conduct new research to help explain
your stance; I would recommend about three new sources.
 Include Project 3 in your final portfolio

Criteria for Evaluation


 Choice of subject: Is the topic reasonably complex for a college-level assignment?
 Thesis: Does the essay have a clear, arguable thesis? Can the thesis be traced
throughout the essay?
 Research: Y ou will need a minimum of eight sources for this paper. Y ou may use
primary and secondary sources. You may use sources that you used in your literature
review, but I recommend using at least four new sources. You may use the web to
access the sources, but the information needs to have gone through a review process
(editorial, peer-reviewed, etc.). Sources could be from books, online journals or
magazines, and other articles located through the library’s databases. You must
carefully evaluate the quality of each of your sources. Does your essay have a wide
range of reliable sources that both support your thesis and your oppositions’
position?
 Clear argument: Is the argument focused? Does the writer have a clear argument
that is present throughout the essay?
 Concessions and Counterarguments: Does the essay concede points when
appropriate to do so? Does the essay reasonably explain counterarguments?
 Integration of sources: Does the author introduce his or her sources properly and
refer to them later in the essay at appropriate times? Does the writer engage with the
material from the sources? Does the writer provide commentary, interpretation, and
analysis of information from sources?
 Organization: Does the essay have a large structure that is easy to follow? Are the
paragraphs coherent? Does the writer synthesize when appropriate?
 Editing and Formatting: Does the essay demonstrate professional ethos through
attention to detail?

Mini-Portfolio Requirements
File must be submitted as one document (.doc or .docx), and the file must be named correctly.
File name: last name_ first name_project 3

Strother Spring 2018


 cover/title page
 table of contents
 reflective letter that addresses the Essay Reflection Questions listed below
 Project 3 research proposal
 Outline of paper
 Project 3 draft with peer feedback and responses
 Project 3 revised draft

Essay Reflection Questions:

1. Explain your Essay 4 rhetorical situation. How did your audience affect your message,
evidence, etc.?
2. How might your personal experiences, beliefs, values, and/or background affect how you
think about your topic? We’re all biased in some way; how did you m ake sure to keep your
bias in check in Essay 4?
3. Explain how you built ethos, pathos, and the logos into your argument?
4. What organizational approach did you use? How successful was it? How did you incorporate
the opposition or concede points? Where and how did you include this information in your
essay?
5. The hardest part of writing this essay was. . .
6. The easiest part of writing this essay was. . .
7. Examine the Department of English’s 201 Rubric. Explain how Essay 4 demonstrates at least
five of the skills listed on the rubric (one from each category).

Due Dates:
Proposal: March 9 by 11:59 p.m.
Peer Review Draft: April 2 in class
Mini-Portfolio: April 6 by 11:59 p.m.

Strother Spring 2018


Research Proposal Rubric

Proficient Compet ent Novice

26-30 21-25.9 0-20.9

Attempts to respond to all Does not respond to all


Responds to all questions.
Informat ion and questions. Offers som e questions. Does not offer
Offers insight into topic
Insight insight into topic choice insight into topic choice
and author interest.
and author interest. and author interest.

17 -20 14-16.9 0-13.9

Attem pts to show


Dem onstrates evidence of presearch. May not Does not dem onstrate
presearch and awareness include effective citations presearch. Does not show
Evidence of Presearch
of what is av ailable or show lack of awareness any awareness of source
regarding topic choice. of what is av ailable av ailability .
regarding topic choice.

8.5-10 7 -8.4 0-6.9

Attem pts to follow


Does not follow MLA/APA
Effectiv ely follows MLA/APA form atting
form atting guidelines.
Format t ing and MLA/APA form atting guidelines. Contains som e May contain errors that
Convent ions guidelines. Contains few errors that do not
interfere w ith clarity and
to no errors. interfere with clarity or
readability
readability .

Strother Spring 2018


Mini-Port folio Rubric

Proficient Compet ent Novice

45-50 38-44.9 0-37 .9


Attem pts to m eet page
requirem ents and Does not m eet page
Fully m eets page
assignm ent guidelines. requirem ents or
requirem ents and
May not be rev ised based assignm ent guidelines.
Assignment guidelines assignm ent guidelines.
on feedback. May not May not show rev ision.
Dem onstrates rev ision
include appropriate or May not include
and use of research.
required num ber of appropriate sources.
sources.
17 -20 14-16.9 0-13.9
Missing too m any
Contains m ost required
Contains all required required elem ents.
elem ents. May not include
elem ents. Elem ents are Elem ents aren’t labeled.
Cont ent s peer rev iew. Elem ents
correctly labeled and Lack of organization
m ay not be clearly labeled
ordered. affects coherency of
or in correct order. portfolio.
17 -20 14-16.9 0-13.9
Does not discuss process
Fully discusses process of Attem pts to discuss of writing and rev ision in
writing and rev ision. process of writing and
Cover let t er enough depth. May not
Addresses all reflection rev ision. Addresses m ost
address reflection
questions effectiv ely . reflection questions.
questions.

8.5-10 7 -8.4 0-6.9

Attempts to follow MLA or


Does not follow MLA or
Effectively follows MLA or APA form atting
APA form atting
Format t ing and APA form atting guidelines. Contains som e
guidelines. May contain
Convent ions guidelines. Contains few errors that do not
errors that interfere with
to no errors. interfere with clarity or
clarity and readability
readability .

Strother Spring 2018