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English 1102 Research Paper -- Patterson: Assignment

Abstract Guidelines

English 1102                   Research Paper                  Patterson


Due date for final draft packet:  March 2 when class begins

Length: 1400-2000 words (4-6 typed double-spaced pages)



The Research Paper should present an analytical thesis statement (focusing on answering “why?” and “how?” questions) on one of the topics I provide. The thesis may also have a persuasive focus. The research used in your paper, in the form of direct quotations and paraphrases, should support your attitudes and observations— not be the paper itself.


Sources:  You must use between five and ten sources to support your paper, and they must be a combination of books, magazines, newspapers, video programs, interviews and online sources.  Only one general reference book—such as an encyclopedia—can be used, and at least one print source must be incorporated. Only online sources found through GALILEO are accepted, as no general websites are allowed. No book reviews or article abstracts will count as valid sources, either electronically or in print.


The Research Paper packet must be word processed and include the following:

1.    Identification on the first page of the paper with the following information: your name, instructor’s name, course name, due date, paper title – no separate title page (see sample in Harbrace );

2.    The Text of the paper must be 4-6 pages, word processed and double-spaced with pages numbered.  The paper should have one-inch margins all around and use a 12 point font.  Papers with a text shorter than 3 pages or longer than 8 pages will not receive a passing grade;

3.    Citations should be included parenthetically within the body of the text where appropriate;

4.    Works Cited page should be the final separate page of the paper. It is not to be counted as one of the 4-6 required length pages, but is numbered.


All documentation parenthetical/in-text citations and works cited entries must follow exactly the MLA form outlined in Harbrace.


The final paper and all that is to be turned in with it should be placed inside a large manila envelope. The following must be included in the packet:

1.    Note cards, either handwritten on index cards or word processed on individual sheets of paper;

2.    Outline and rough draft of paper

3.    Photocopies of cited source material as whole copied pages.  These copies should be marked to correspond with each citation, preferably by page number and paragraph, and sections utilized either in direct quotations or in paraphrasing must be highlighted.  Each copied page should have the original author’s name and page number clearly marked.  The copies should be sorted in the order that they are used in the research paper.   


Schedule of Deadlines and Grading:   Points earned for each deadline assignment apply toward the final grade of the research paper. As each deadline draws near, we will discuss the components due. The only way to complete the entire project successfully is to keep up with this assignment schedule so you can receive feedback on each stage prior to turning-in the next assignment.


The entire research paper counts as 30% of your final grade. 20 points of your grade will be earned with deadline assignments (see below) and 80 points for the final, completed packet. Grading will be based upon a) unity, organization, development, selection and use of research materials; b) citation mechanics; and c) grammar, punctuation, style.



· January 24: topic selected (research the topic to a degree prior to choosing)  = 2 points

· January 31: tentative bibliography in correct MLA form = 4 points

· February 2: final, focused topic and outline with thesis statement = 3 points

· February 9: completed notes and a rough introduction to paper (keep

copies to begin work on rough draft) = 5 points

· February 16: complete rough draft with proper MLA parenthetical citations and works cited page –

must be submitted to - (keep copy to begin work on final draft) = 6 points

· March 2: final draft – must be submitted to - with complete packet = 80 points

TOTAL POINTS AVAILABLE = 100 (counts at 30% of course grade)


Evidence of plagiarism will result in a zero for the assignment.


Where to go for help outside of class? 

Ø  Harbrace text for MLA style and mechanics of writing a research paper

Ø  The Sundance Reader (Engl 1101 text) analytical and persuasive writing chapters

Ø  Online paper examples linked here and to online syllabus plus available at Purdue Online Writing Lab

Ø  Online MLA citation examples for GALILEO and NetLibrary at and Patterson’s online handout here

Ø  ­The Tutorial Center, located in the Floyd Campus library and open Mondays through Thursdays 9am-2pm, and Tuesdays & Wednesdays 4-7pm

Ø  The GHC Library staff

Ø  Appointments with the instructor


Topics Choices:

- The effectiveness of anti-drug, anti-alcohol or anti-smoking campaigns

- Complete and justify this statement: “The most significant challenge facing our society today is _________.”

- Effects of the world’s population reaching 7 billion in 2011

- Effects of participation in an extra-curricular activity (sports, band, etc) upon students' academic performances

- Effects of Title 9 upon female athletic participation and/or achievement

- “Typical” images of men or women portrayed in entertainment media and the effects of these images

- Effects of Federal financial aid programs upon higher education in the U.S.

- Reasons behind some college students’ violations of academic integrity policies, and strategies to combat such violations

- Issues involved in college and/or high school media being covered under First Amendment rights

- Effects/impact of the media upon elections

- Cultural impacts upon the Roman Empire resulting from its conquest of Greece

- Cultural impacts upon Britain resulting from its conquest by the Roman Empire

- Original uses/purposes of England’s Stonehenge or Peru’s Nasca Lines (a scientific, cultural analysis, not a pseudo-scientific, supernatural focus)

- Influence or depictions of the American South and its culture on the writings of either William Faulkner or Tennessee Williams

- Depiction of African American experiences within the writings of Lucille Clifton, Richard Wright or Langston Hughes

- Feminist issues explored within the writings of either Kate Chopin or Charlotte Perkins Gillman

- Why giant tortoises live so long

- How cockroach species have survived for millennia




(GHC user drive, personal computer, jump/flash drive, cd, dvd, etc.).




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