Start by choosing your topic. Please be sure you find something that has an argumentative edge (See Hacker A2 67-76, A3 77-84, MLA 5b 408-412). For example, the topic "the use of standardized testing in education" provides an opportunity to argue for or against the use of tests. You would also qualify and say they are helpful in some instances and not in others. The topic "dolphins" doesn't provide an opportunity for argumentation.
Your completed proposal should include:
- A one-page, double-spaced description of your topic, the side of the issue you plan to take, what initially drew you to the topic, what personal connection (if any you have with the topic). Your first paragraph must include a clear and well-reasoned Thesis Statement.
- An annotated bibliography with at least four sources that will be helpful to you as a researcher.
All four sources must come from the UAF Library Databases. One visit to a reference librarian will save you lots of search time if you're feeling confused about how to use the databases. For each source, make an MLA Works Cited or APA Citation entry. After each entry write a paragraph summarizing the source's main argument and describing what it offers to you as a researcher.
Please do not choose the following topics: abortion, gay marriage, global warming, capitol punishment, and the legalization of marijuana.
The final research paper will be 6-8 typed and double spaced pages in length, and should include citations from at least 6 different sources (at least 4 of which are from the library's database of scholarly articles). These should appear as in-text citations with a Works Cited page at the end. Please remember that all in-text citations should be identified by clear signal phrases. See A Writer's Reference (MLA section) for specific information on how to write signal phrases. The Works Cited page does not count toward your 6-8 pages. You may use either MLA or APA formatting, but be sure to be consistent throughout your paper.
If you like, you can turn in a complete rough draft of your research paper and I will provide feedback.