The Research Paper is similar to the Argument Essay: you will choose any topic that interests you, complete some research on that topic, and write a paper that takes a stance on the topic. The difference, however, is a slight shift in the form of the essay. While you will still choose a topic, research it at length, take a position, and present your point of view, the research paper should project an impartial, informative tone, and rely heavily on careful, extended research. While the Argument Essay asks you to think about and take a stance on a particular issue, the Research Paper asks you to extend your scope, dig deeper, use more research, and consider highly credible sources, like journal articles and interviews with experts.
Remember that this paper is 1250 words in length – about 5 pages. This allows you the space to explore a topic in depth, offer context for the topic you’re exploring, and effectively and thoroughly explore several sources.
The first step is to choose a topic, and it is in your best interests to choose one that is both unique and interesting to you. The “common” research essay topics may seem easy, but they are deceivingly difficult to do well. They’re generally too broad, they’re hard to approach with an open mind, and there’s too much information available to adequately narrow your focus. Therefore, you are not allowed to write about same-sex marriage or abortion for this paper. In addition, you must choose a different topic than the one you discussed in your Argument Essay, unless you get permission from your instructor to do so.
For this discussion forum assignment, you will write a short proposal about your topic. Choose a topic based on what you observe and experience in your own life. What would you like to learn more about? What are you interested in, but don’t know much about? Try to select a topic that you don’t already have a strong opinion about, as this will help you approach the paper with an unbiased point of view.
In your initial post for this discussion forum,
- Describe the ways you observe and experience the issue firsthand
- Explain your topic choice via a research question. This question will guide you as you begin your research. Work to answer this question as you research and write the essay. (However, your guiding question can always change as you research and write, if you want to change your focus.)
For this part of the assignment, concentrate on getting your ideas on paper and thinking through what you already know about the topic.
PLEASE NOTE: The final research essay will not be written in the first person (it will adhere to the formal APA guidelines). However, It is okay to write the proposal in the first person, because finding personal connection to the topic can help you write a more specific and interesting research paper.
Click Start a New Conversation to make your initial post of 250-300 words. Read each of the other student posts and Reply to at least two with a length of 100-150 words. Reply posts should offer constructive feedback to the author’s ideas. Do you think his or her topic is a good one? Why or why not? What could make it better? Do you know of any resources that might be useful? What other advice can you offer at this stage? Initial posts are due by 11:55 pm EST on Friday of this week; replies are due by 11:55 pm EST Monday of next week. . See the rubric in the Course Lounge for specific grading criteria. All direct quotations and other sources used in your forum posts must be credited using APA Style®.