research essay paper for English 1302

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I already have a thesis statement but i dont now if it is narrow enough: loneliness lead to suicide.

you can write about another thesis, but the topic has to be around the depression and suicide.

ANALYSIS/RESEARCH PAPER: Your paper of at least 1,200 words will be a research and analysis paper of a research question you develop as outlined on this handout. (30% of total grade)

The paper will contain at least four points:

  1. A well developed and complex thesis statement.
  2. An analysis of a major question about an issue you have selected. Include and integrate comments and observations from at least five sources. Use MLA style for in text citation.
  3. Strong topic sentences, use concrete nouns, active verbs, edit for readability, and correct MLA format.
  4. A Works Cited page. Use MLA guidelines for correct documentation form. Do not use or other automatic citation programs unless you are prepared to correct their mistakes.

Any student not preparing 1) the Narrowing Your topic, annotated bibliography in MLA format, and The Developing your thesis Work sheet will be penalized 10 points from the grade of the final draft.

Basic Rubric

Engaging and interesting Introduction and Conclusion

10 pts

Complex Thesis Statement

20 pts

Body Paragraphs—topic sentences, good evidence, good transitions

30 pts

At least Four scholarly sources

12 pts

Correct in parenthetical in-text citations

8 pts

Works Cited page

10 pts

Grammar, Mechanics, and General MLA Format

10 pts


100 pts



In between the choosing of a topic and the final typing of the last revision lie a series of skills which, if learned thoroughly, might well be the most important and most permanent academic possession acquired in college. Specifically, you need to learn how to: delve deeply into a topic; find and select raw data; reflect, speculate, and mediate upon implications and relationships; glimpse and follow insights; establish logical categories; organize an outline; think and write with clarity and precision; and revise.

Choosing Your Subject

Choose a subject which interests you. The outstanding American expert on Tibet spends half of her time in Washington as advisor to governmental agencies, yet she has never traveled beyond the boundaries of the United States. When asked how she became so well versed on Tibet, she answered, “I’m simply fascinated by the subject, and have read everything I could get my hands on.”

A research paper, then, is an opportunity to further your interest in some subject or area.

Narrowing Your Subject

The most common criticism of research papers is, “topic too broad.” You may well wonder, “Well, how can I be sure that I have sufficiently narrowed my topic?” A Cornell English professor has this sure-fire method: put your subject through three significant narrowings, i.e., moving from one category to a class within a category, each time.

For example, here are some sample narrowings for papers of 6 to 8 pages:

  1. Public opinion polls: accuracy of polls: the accuracy of such polls in national elections: factors which determine the accuracy of public opinion polls in national elections.
  1. The climate of opinion between World War I and World War II: the moral climate, etc.: the particular arguments involved in the debate over Prohibition: the arguments for Prohibition used by the “Drys” in support of the 18th Amendment and their arguments in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s to prevent repeal.
  1. Discrimination against African-Americans: Northern attitudes vs. Southern attitudes: the particular geographical distinction: how Mason and Dixon’s Line became a line of demarcation.
  1. The Civil War: crucial battles: one battle: Napoleonic strategy and the battle of Fredericksburg.
  1. Comparative religion-two religions; Islam and Christianity; “salvation” in Islam.
  1. Architecture; Skyscrapers; The role of Fazlur Rahman Kahn in skyscraper design.

Provide A Focus For Gathering Material

To avoid the gross error of making your paper a mere accumulation of facts, you must crystallize a genuine question, and your facts must then be used to answer this question. Whether it can be definitely answered or not is unimportant. See the Developing a Thesis Worksheet and complete it conscientiously.

A detailed outline at this stage is not usually possible since you are not sure of the material that you will uncover. Nevertheless, the specific question in mind will give you the needed focus for gathering pertinent material.

Select A Bibliography

College libraries, or any good library for that matter, contain many valuable sources of reference material. It will pay you in the long run to find out just what these sources are and how you can learn to use them with the maximum efficiency. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until just a few days before your paper is due to make your first acquaintance with the many reference books your library contains. A few minutes spent in the library at the beginning of the term, when you are not under pressure to finish a paper, will help you in the future.

The “backbone” of all libraries is the online catalogue system, which tells you not only what books the library possesses and where you can find them, but also the journals, databases, and other sources of information the library offers. Look, therefore, through the library’s catalogue and record all pertinent references in a note management system or, simply, 3 x 5 slips of paper.

Efficiency will be increased if all the information is systematically recorded in the following ways:

  1. Record the name of the library where the reference is located. Many universities have special libraries located in separate schools on campus.
  1. Record the short title of your subject. This will be important when working on current and subsequent papers.
  1. Record the library call number. You will not have to refer to the online catalogue whenever you want to use the same book again.
  1. Record accurately the full reference in exactly the same form that you plan to use in the bibliographic portion of your paper. This insures your including all the essential parts of the reference; also, the correct form will make easier the mechanics of typing.
  1. Record briefly your opinion of the reference; e.g., “not useful-does not discuss principles”; “excellent for case studies of poor readers at the secondary-school level.”

Another valuable source of reference material is the librarian. Don’t hesitate to ask a librarian to show you how to find material on your subject and to suggest additional sources.

One frequently overlooked source of information is the personal interview. Every campus and town has its share of experts and authorities. If possible, arrange for an interview and be prepared to take notes.

Gather and Organize your Notes, Make an Outline

At this point the paper should begin to take shape in your head. You may want to write an outline at this point to organize your thoughts and your notes according to your working thesis. This may also be the time for you to rewrite your thesis based on what you’ve discovered in your research and how you think best to organize your ideas. Note what quotes you are going to include and briefly explain how they are relevant to the topic in your outline.

Write your First Draft

Now that you have your outline and notes organized, write your first draft. It’s best to work quickly and just get something down on paper. Don’t worry about citations, quotes, spelling, run-on sentences, wordiness, vague expressions, fragments, etc. This can all be fixed in revision. Just get the draft down. Remember, you don’t have to begin at the beginning of the paper. You can begin at the end, then do the middle, and write the beginning last. Whatever works. Just write.

Some students, after doing the research and thinking about the paper, may have such a command over the material that they may want to write the first draft without organizing their note and making an outline. This is OK, too. Everyone thinks the first draft is the most important, but it’s not. Your Revisions in the next stage will be the most important part of the paper.


Once you have a draft, put it aside for a day. Sleep on it. Then with fresh eyes, re-read your paper. Now you are checking for organization, sentence structure, transitions, etc. This is a good time to think about cutting and pasting whole paragraphs, rearranging sentences, editing out the irrelevant and filling in needed details. Professional writers usually go through several stages of revision. You should do it at least once, maybe more depending on the quality of your draft.

Final Revision

Check your paper for grammatical and mechanical errors. Make sure every work you quoted is in the Works Cited and everything in the Works Cited is quoted from. Make sure all your citations are correct and complete.

READ YOUR PAPER ALOUD. Make changes as necessary.

You may want to submit your paper to HCC’s online tutoring service, (Links to an external site.) . Be aware that this may add a day or two to your schedule. Make the changes they suggest.

Once you are satisfied the paper is the best you can make it, submit it to CANVAS.

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