The Formal Research Paper will be a culmination of everything you have learned about your topic thus far. Your Final Research Essay must meet all of the following requirements:
1. Your essay should address a specific audience.
2. The essay must include a thesis statement, which explains clearly the purpose of the essay. It should be obvious from the thesis statement which “side” of the issue you are taking. Your argument can be structured directly or indirectly.
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3. Your essay must be a persuasive argument. You should consider all you have learned about argument, and focus on convincing your audience your view is correct.
4. You should draw your own conclusions and incorporate your opinion into this essay. However, all opinions should be backed up with fact. You should not make any assumptions or judgments that are not backed by your sources. You should avoid the first person in academic writing such as this paper.
5. While the majority of the essay will be catered to your “side,” you must also show the “other side” or the counterargument.
6. Ethos, logos, and pathos should be balanced. Be sure that you do not commit fallacies from the fallacy cheat sheet.
7. Your essay must have a strong introduction and conclusion. We will have talked about methods to create strong and creative introductions and conclusions in class.
8. Your essay must have solid main points. All main points must relate to the thesis statement and must be backed up by outside sources.
9. Your essay must be entirely in one proper style format, either MLA or APA. This includes in-text citations for all facts and ideas not your own, proper quotations and paraphrasing, proper paper setup, and an accurate and complete list of bibliographic information as dictated by the style guide of your choice.
10. You must include a minimum of ten sources in this essay. Each source should clearly relate to your focused research topic and thesis. It will be beneficial for you to use the sources you collected for your annotated bibliography, but you are permitted to use additional sources as well.
11. Grammar, mechanics and punctuation must be correct.
12. Your discussion should engage the audience and be interesting to read.
13. Your essay must have an engaging title.
14. Conclusion should include a “call to action.”
Incorporating images into your text can be a wonderful way to help guide the reader though your argument. This is not a requirement, but a great option to engage your reader and create visual interest. These images must reinforce the points you are making in your paper— be sure the image is not there solely to take up space. Each image/graphic should be treated as a quotation of an outside source, cited and explained as a textual quotation would be.
Your essay must be double-spaced in a legible font: MLA and APA suggest 12 point Times New Roman font. The margins should be one inch. The final draft of the essay must be 12 pages long. If you are using APA, neither the title page or abstract count toward the page minimum (although they are numbered). Similarly, the Works Cited/Reference page(s) also does not count towards this minimum requirement.