General guidelines for earning a passing grade on your research paper:
This research paper should present a thesis that is specific, manageable, provable, and contestable—in other words, the thesis should offer a clear position, stand, or opinion that will be proven with research. You should analyze and prove your thesis using examples and quotes from a variety of sources.
You need to research and cite from at least five sources. You must use at least 3 different types of sources.
At least one source must be an article or report from a reputable news source.
At least one source must be a book, anthology, textbook OR encyclopedia (ebooks are acceptable).
At least one source must be from a credible website, appropriate for academic use.
The paper should not over-rely on one main source for most of the information. Rather, it should use multiple sources and synthesize the information found in them.
This paper will be approximately 6-7 pages in length, not including the Works Cited page, which is also required. This means at least 6 full pages of text. The Works Cited page does NOT count towards length requirement.
You must use MLA format for the document, in-text citations, and Works Cited page.
You must integrate quotations and paraphrases using signal phrases and analysis or commentary.
You must sustain your argument, use transitions effectively, and use correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
Your paper must be logically organized and focused.
After reading the Washington Post article “They Left Food and Water for Migrants in the Desert. Now They Might Go to Prison (Links to an external site.)” by Kristine Phillips, take a position on whether or not providing food and water to migrants who may have crossed a border illegally should be prosecuted as a criminal act.
You may use the article referenced above as one of your sources, as well as any of the articles we have read and discussed in this course, as long as you meet the source requirements listed in #2 above,
Steps of the Research Paper
Research Paper Proposal
To prepare your proposal you will need to do some preliminary research (1) to determine whether or not there is sufficient research material to cover your topic, (2) to develop an interpretation of the facts worth writing about, and (3) to identify a few prospective research sources.
Your proposal must contain
a one-sentence working thesis statement that expresses your point of view on the topic.
a draft Works Cited page in MLA style that includes a minimum of three credible research sources (including at least one article from a reliable news source). Please note that you may change your sources if you wish after you have submitted your proposal.
a one-paragraph summary of each of your three sources (Remember, your final paper needs to use at least five sources).
Research Outline (40 points) and responses to two classmates’ outlines (5 points) – Due Monday, Nov,. 30
Plan out your argument and organize your research into an outline.
Research Paper Final Draft (200 points) – Due Wednesday, Dec. 16
Your final paper should be six to seven pages long, plus a Works Cited page, and must incorporate a minimum of five sources including at least one article from a reputable news source, one book, and one Web site (no Wikipedia!). Your paper must be typed, double-spaced, and in MLA (Modern Languages Association) format. For reference on MLA style, see a reliable source, such as the MLA Formatting and Style Guide of the Purdue Online Writing Lab: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/