The research assignment is an argumentative essay against tracking.
Final Research Project
An audio presentation of these assignment instructions is available in the related Dropbox area, for the benefit of those students who are audio learners. The audio presentation highlights important assignment requirements and should be used in conjunction with the text-based instructions, below.
This MLA-style final Research Project is about the research topic you identified in the Unit 3 Discussion and for which you received my approval. Your final Research Project draws upon the research techniques and critical thinking skills that you have learned and practiced all term and expands the ideas you presented in your Unit 4 Information Report. You will present an essay-style argumentative Research Project following these guidelines:
Identify an argumentative thesis that takes a side on a serious debatable issue in society.
Rely on professional and current evidence published in the last 5 years to support your argumentative thesis.
Omit your personal opinions, experiences, etc., and use only 3rd person.
Because this is a research-based Project, your evidence will be extensive and far-reaching. By the end of the term, you should be able to consider yourself knowledgeable on the topic you choose to explore. Your Project and the conclusions you come to will be a reflection of this expertise.
So, it is very important that you choose your topic and thesis carefully for your research in the course, beginning with the Unit 3 Discussion about your thesis. You will use this same topic and thesis in the Unit 4 Information Report and, finally, in this Unit 5 Research Project. I recommend that you begin conducting preliminary research as soon as possible, so you can be absolutely sure that you are choosing a research topic that will be meaningful for you in your personal and/or professional life and that will sustain your interest throughout the term. You may want to narrow or “fine tune” your focus as you proceed through the various stages of the research process. This is fine; just make sure that you do not change your topic completely and that you select an issue that will reward this continued attention and progress. It makes perfect sense, for example, to choose a research topic about which you know very little–even to choose an issue about which you do not have a particular opinion or fixed point of view. Be prepared to take some new or unique angle on your topic and to base your argument on your careful research. The most important advice I can give is that you should choose something fascinating and/or important to you, a topic that you find truly engaging.
Review and follow the report template, “Student Report Model with Citation,” in the Syllabus for a demonstration and reminders about format and content for this formal essay that requires citation.
Your Research Project should be 7-8 pages not including the bibliography page.
Use at least 7-8 professional sources, one of which can be from an expert interview that you conducted within the timeframe of this course. Published sources must be current, published in the last 5 years. Older and undated sources will be ineligible for credit, so be sure your sources are both current and dated.
Use info from each required source in the text of your report. You will collaborate and learn from each other about what sorts of sources to use as the term proceeds.
Insert parenthetical references in your paragraphs to credit your sources for the information and to help avoid plagiarism.
Present complete bibliographic information for each source on your works cited page.
Use no more than two (2) direct quotations; none are required.
Review the Syllabus Grading Rubric for this assignment, as it presents many of the gradable issues I will consider as I grade your Research Project and will give you ideas about how to improve your writing and succeed in the course.
Final Project Format and Documentation Requirements
Your essay-style report should be 7-8 pages, not including the bibliography page.
Insert your formal argumentative (debatable) thesis sentence as the last sentence in your Introduction paragraph.
Follow MLA report format and documentation guidelines, as summarized in the Unit 1 MLA lecture about report format and in the Unit 1 Purdue OWL MLA Vidcast, “MLA Formatting: The Basics.”
Insert an MLA name/page header in the upper right corner of all pages.
Insert an MLA heading in the upper left corner of your first page and a descriptive report title centered above your first paragraph.
Double-space all lines; omit extra line spacing between paragraphs, etc.
Use a 12-point font size and one consistent standard font style, no bold.
Use 1-inch margins on all sides; only the page headers are inserted inside the top 1-inch margin, ½ inch from the top of the page.
Omit internal subject headings and bulleted information.
Insert MLA parenthetical references at the end of sentences and paragraphs after each use of source information.
Insert an MLA Works Cited (bibliography) page as the last page of your Research Project. The bibliography page does not count toward your required paper length.
You may use 1 or 2 brief direct quotations for this assignment, but no more (none are required). For the rest of your report, use only your own words in summaries and paraphrases that explain your source information.
To present your research documentation information, follow only the MLA research style guide as presented in our course and at the Purdue OWL. Include plenty of parenthetical (in-text) citations in your paragraphs to help you credit your sources and avoid a charge of plagiarism, and include a bibliography page (no annotations) that adhere to MLA guidelines.
Review the Grading Rubric for gradable issues.
Review the Grading Rubric for this assignment for reminders about many of the gradable issues that I will consider as I grade your report. The Rubric is available in the Rubrics tab at the top of the course pages and in the Dropbox for this assignment.
Submit your report in the Dropbox and upload your report as 1 report file (do not submit more than 1 file) saved as either an MSWord .doc or .docx file — or as an .rtf file. Submit your report by the due date posted in the Schedule (which lists all assignment due dates). Late reports are ineligible for credit.
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