This assignment is the standard academic research paper, in which you will argue a well-supported claim on a topic that interests you. Your goal is to convince your audience that your position on the topic is reasonable, or to take a specific action. Your audience for this paper is FRCC students OR another audience that you specifically identify.
There are a few limitations on topic choice. Papers on topics that do not follow these guidelines will receive a 0. If youre not sure whether your topic falls within these guidelines, ask the instructor first.
Prohibited topics: abortion, gun control, capital punishment, euthanasia/assisted suicide, legalizing illegal drugs, spouse/child/elder/animal abuse, school or workplace violence, drug abuse/addictions.
Topic must NOT advocate illegal activities or support people who commit illegal activities (for example, “Inner-city drug dealing is OK because it helps poor people make a living”).
Topic must NOT be comedic, satirical, or disrespectful to others. Deliberately grotesque topics like Why you should gut your own deer are also not permitted.
Any other topic deemed by the instructor to be an intentional degradation or avoidance of the purpose of this assignment. (For example, Students should not have to write research papers.)
Claim (Thesis) Suggestions: Your claim does NOT have to be X is good/bad, right/wrong, etc. Here are some examples:
Society should put more/better effort towards fixing a particular problem.
Example: Because the occurrences of rare cancers are increasing, our government and medical communities should fund and conduct more research on these cancers.
Some phenomenon is caused by A, not B; therefore, X.
Ex.: Tuna populations are falling not due to pollution, but over-fishing caused by enhanced tracking technology; therefore, tuna fishing regulations should be tightened.
A trend is/will have a certain impact on society.
Ex.: Fewer American college students are majoring in science or engineering, which will hurt Americas global competitiveness.
Propose a particular solution to a well-defined problem.
Ex.: Traffic congestion in major metropolitan areas can be eased by using GPS and logistics to avoid semi-truck crowding during peak traffic periods.
The paper must be 10 pages minimum. This minimum does NOT include Works Cited or charts, graphs, tables, or other illustrations larger than 5.5″ high (1/2 page). Your goal is to write a thorough, convincing argument, not to fill pages.
You must use a minimum of 10 sources, all of which must be authoritative (the writer must be a knowledgeable expert in a relevant field) and reliable (the writer and publisher must not have any hidden biases or hidden agendas/ulterior motives for what is written). The sources can be any combination of print, electronic, audio, video, or even someone you personally interview.
This paper must be typed in MLA (Modern Language Association) manuscript format.
You will use the MLA format for documenting your sources, both in-text and at the end of the paper.
How This Paper Will Be Graded:
Research Skills (35%):
Use at least 10 authoritative, reliable sources to cover the topic adequately.
Integrate quotes, paraphrases, and summaries of others work accurately and appropriately.
Provide internal (in-text) and terminal (Works Cited) citations in MLA format.
Composition Skills (35%):
Paper meets the 10-page minimum, excluding Works Cited and illustrations over 5.5″ high.
State thesis statement (main claim) clearly.
Support claim(s) with appropriate kinds of evidence.
Organize the paper coherently.
Present a minimum of one detailed counter-argument (alternative claim plus refutation).
Demonstrate an understanding of the intended audience.
Use a professional tone and voice.