Description This research paper will make use of both primary and secondary sources. Hence it requires the acknowledged and relevant use of expert opinions and explanations from at least four scholarly secondary sources to make your own discussion cogent and persuasive. Your thesis statement is a clear and specific answer to any one of the following prompt questions on your primary sources. Do not write a summary. Do not generalize. Focus on the question of your choice. Like any other essay, the research paper requires a thesis statement (the main point, which is your argument). Avoid using vague words. Because your aim is to be clear, concise, and concrete, you have to choose your words well. Be economic with your words but not miserly! When you write, keep in mind that you are sharpening your ability to explicate and analyze in a relevant and coherent way. Do not pass off someone else’s words or ideas as your own but acknowledge all your sources. Always remember that plagiarism is an unpardonable offense. Also, keep in mind that a research paper is not an annotated bibliography or a cluttering of quotations. As Diana Hacker states in A Writer’s Reference, “[y]our research paper is a collaboration between you and your sources” (83). Indeed, your idea grows from the ideas of expert readers, and it is this connection between them and you that you need to clarify and establish in your research paper. Try to show the contribution made by certain expert readers on the topic of your choice, and try to add an insight of your own to this body of information. At the end of your essay you may have a section for notes if you wish to add some information that does not belong in the body of the essay. In-text citation (parenthetical reference to your sources inside your essay) and the Works Cited page (the reference page at the end of your essay) are not optional; they are necessary. I will not accept an essay that does not have in-text citation and the works cited page. Make use of articles from journals and books for your secondary sources. If you are unfamiliar with library resources, take the help of librarians. If you use internet resources, use them sparsely and warily. Do not use any site that does not provide the writer’s name. Restrict yourself to online journals. Remember that at least four of your secondary sources, which have to be relevant to the primary source of your choice, must be scholarly. Encyclopedic references are permissible but are not acceptable as one of your four sources. Follow the latest MLA guidelines for format and citation of sources. The lines must be double-spaced. Also, do not use a font size bigger than 12-point.
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