Throughout the course, various assignments have given students the opportunity to sharpen writing, active reading, critical thinking, and researching skills. Now students can fully demonstrate their abilities in these areas. Instructions: Use the all the Research Portfolio Steps that you’ve developed as the basis for the research paper. While shaping the preliminary research paper into a final draft, think about capturing the reader’s interest. Use examples from the sources that not only support the thesis but also make the paper both persuasive and engaging. With this final research essay, you have the freedom to write about the analytical topic of your choice. Keep in mind: you have done A LOT of work with those research portfolio steps. For example, in the most recent research portfolio step, you created a Works Cited page with a list of sources. That Works Cited page will become the basis for all your sources for your research paper. Additionally, you developed a research question in one of the earlier research steps. Your answer to that question will develop into your thesis. In short, use everything that you have created in those research portfolio steps to help you write the 5 page research paper. Sources: Students should use a minimum of eight sources; more than eight is also acceptable. Students are encouraged to use various types of sources — for instance, three books, three journal articles, one newspaper article, and one website. Most of the sources should come from the research portfolio, although students may include sources not included in the research portfolio. Any additional sources must be added to the Works Cited page. In addition, remember that each source cited should have a works cited entry, and each works cited entry should refer to a source cited in the paper. Therefore, if students cite ten different sources in the paper, they should have ten sources listed in the works cited. One helpful way to ensure that students do not overlook any cited sources is to keep a list as they write. Students can use this list to create the Works Cited page. Maintaining an accurate list of sources is especially important to finalize the draft. Sources may have been added or deleted from the paper during revisions, and those sources must be added or deleted from the works cited. How to Structure the Research Essay: The Introduction- Three Parts: Hook: within the first few sentence(s) of the introduction, hook the reader. Avoid making announcements as your hook, such as “I will be arguing…” or “In this essay, I will be telling you about…” Several methods for hooking a reader include dazzling, alarming statistics, rhetorical question(s), quotes, dialogue, and anecdotes/illustrations/stories. Set-up: after you have hooked the reader, explain why the reader should care about the issue (or topic) and what he/she needs to know about the issue (or topic). Does the reader need to know background information? The setup is the build up to your thesis statement, a stage of bringing your reader into the essay’s argument. Thesis statement – Three Parts: this is the backbone of your essay; the main idea of the paper. The thesis must justify a discussion and make a stand. There are three ingredients to a thesis statement: the subject, the position, and the blueprint. Limited subject = what you write about should be narrow/limited, and the essay’s subject should reflect the essay’s assignment and requirements. Position = the essay’s position is an assertion, which is based on your experiences, opinions, beliefs. This is your argument about the limited subject. The position provides the essay’s focus. Blueprint = the essay’s blueprint are the reasons that support your position. The blueprint provide the essay’s structure. Those reasons will become body paragraphs. The thesis should be written in 3rd person not 1st person, such as “I believe…” or “My essay will argue that…” It is understood that as the reader, you hold that position. The Body Paragraphs – Three Parts: Topic Sentence: a body paragraph should be driven by a topic sentence, which is typically the first sentence of the paragraph. Think of topic sentences like mini-thesis statements. A topic sentence needs to do two things: Fully explain the paragraph’s main idea and support the thesis. Supporting Sentences: within each paragraph, provide reasons and details (statistics, analogies, observations, research, examples, illustrations, anecdotes, analysis) that defend the topic sentence. Everything you write after the topic sentence needs to support that topic sentence. If you are writing a research paper, be sure to integrate your sources correctly. Also, be sure to offer analysis!! Don’t just randomly insert research without analysis. In other words, why is that research important? How does it help prove your argument? This is where you can analyze your evidence. If you find that you are deviating from the topic sentence, you might want to put those ideas elsewhere in the paper, begin a new paragraph, revise the topic sentence, or delete those ideas. Concluding Sentence: wrap-up the paragraph with a final sentence that brings the paragraph to a close. This final sentence can reflect the topic sentence, or this final sentence can also function as a transition into the next paragraph’s reason. ***Body Paragraphs are like mini-essays: topic sentence, supporting sentences, concluding sentence. The Conclusion – Three Parts: The following order of elements is not set in stone. Adapt the order to suit the needs of each particular essay: A Conclusion Should: Statement: restate the thesis statement’s position/argument. Do not simply repeat it word for word. Keep the essential keywords, and rearrange it. Often the thesis statement is revisited near the beginning of the conclusion. The rest of the conclusion expands out, giving the reader an idea of the relevance and implications of your answer. Summary: illustrate the main points from the body paragraphs; the thesis’s blueprint. The conclusion is the final place to show the connections between all the points made in your essay. Take the most important, relevant, and useful main points from your body paragraphs and summarize them here. Use the same keywords and ideas as the body paragraphs, but don’t just repeat the same sentences. Significance: leave a final impression on the reader. Show the relevance and effects of the essay’s argument. Leave a final impression on the reader. What can the reader gain from this argument? Think of a closing statement made by a lawyer/attorney. If you’ve ever seen law and order, the attorney is given an opportunity to make a closing. Essays are often described as an attempt to “sell” your perspective on an issue. A good essay convinces the reader of the correctness of your argument. An excellent essay goes a step further: it demonstrates to the reader why the argument is especially important or relevant for the topic. http://owll.massey.ac.nz/assignment-types/essay-conclusion.php A Conclusion Should NOT: Introduce any new points that haven’t been stated in the body paragraphs. Other Important Reminders about the Essay: Do not use contractions: Don’t, isn’t, can’t Refer to people by last name Avoid first person unless you are quoting someone who is using “I, me, my…” Format and Length: The paper must be formatted according to MLA style. The length of the final research paper should be at least 5 full pages, double-spaced; Works Cited pages are not included in the final page count.