Research paper

Research paper

English 2312

Researched Argument

20% of Final Grade (6-8 pages typed plus citation page)

Due Date:Friday, November 16thby 10 AM on Blackboard


Typed using double-spacing and Times NR or Calibri 12 pt font

Student’s name, assignment, class meeting time in top left corner of first page only

No cover page

Drafting assistance:

With me during office hours in S1098 or via email, or with tutors in the Writing Center, N-925 (WC by appointment only)

Plagiarism or cheating: Grade of zero. No make-ups.

Basic information:

  • 6-8 page researched paper (double spaced)
  • Use one or two primary source(s)—This is your textbook.
  • Use two or three secondary sources (a dictionary may count as a 4thsource, if needed)—Usually library sources.
  • MLA or APA format including citations in-text and an attached Works Cited/References page

Topic Selection:

You mustemail me ( with your topic choice by noon ___Friday, November 9th___.

You may choose any work (or two works) from the current semester’s syllabus. For the focus of your paper, you should choose an individual element or aspect within the work to discuss. Be careful to choose a topic appropriate for a short paper. For instance, writing about “Modernism in ‘Hills Like White Elephants’” would be appropriate, but “symbolism, imagery, tone, and references in ‘Hills Like White Elephants’” would be too much. You can take any point or question addressed in-class or in your journal and expand it into a paper—or you may develop your own topic. You will not be assigned a topic and this is not a group project.

Please note: I will look for a thesis statement within your paper to fully describe your topic.


Your thesis for this assignment should existand should be easily determined. It should encompass your topic and be achievable in two pages. It should also focus on “why’s” and “how’s”– rather than on “this is what I read in summarized form.” An example framework:

In the title of the text, Authoruses element in workin order to show central topic or specific subtopicbecause of reason author may have chosen that element.

In The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, Dr. Seuss uses the color pink to denote the spread of chaos throughout the children’s home in a form that young readers can easily trace.

Source Selection:

The work you choose to focus your paper around is your primary source. Your secondary source will be used to support your thesis about your primary work. The secondary sources should be from peer-reviewed or scholarly journals or literary criticism. These are materials which can be found in your library (reference books or database materials). Wikipedia will not fill this requirement, nor do note sites (Enotes, SparkNotes, CliffsNotes etc.). Using inappropriate secondary sources will result in a failing grade for the assignment. Essentially—use the UHD library or your public library, not random Google searches.


Your paper will need to conform to MLA or APA standards, with preference going to MLA. This will include citations within the text and inclusion of all works on a Works Cited page—this page is separate from your essay and will not count towards your page length requirement. If you get lost during the citation process, check the links below for help or contact myself, a Writing Center tutor, or a librarian. You are responsible for completing your own citations and Works Cited page—tutors and librarians will help you along the way, but they are not responsible for doing your work.

Here is the format for the Works Cited entry for your primary text (indent the entry after the first line):

Author’s Last Name, First Name. Title of Work. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. 9thed. Vol C.

Ed. Baym et al., W.W. Norton & Co., 2017. Page # -Page #. Print.

Academic Honesty:

Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you have a question regarding the citation of a source, you can contact me (, the Writing Center (Main N925), or a librarian (Main 4thand 5thfloor). You can get help finding secondary sources from a librarian (here at UHD or at your public branch) or from me. Any instance of plagiarism in your paper will result in a grade of 0/F for the assignment, with no revision.


Definition of Primary & Secondary source

UHD Library Research Tips

UHD Library Databases

UHD English Research Guide

Citation Guides

Citation format generator


I will be happy to assist you in drafting your paper. You can drop by my office hours or you may email me with ideas or drafts. I do not draft or edit papers over the phone.

Rough Rubric:

Basic Paper Elements

_____ 6 to 8 pages of researched argument

_____ Uses at least one primary source and at most two (again, use your textbooks)

_____Use two or three secondary sources (a dictionary may count as a 4thsource, if needed)

_____ No note sites (Enotes, SparkNotes, CliffsNotes etc.)nor Wikipedia

_____ MLA/APA format including citations and Works Cited/References page (will be 7thto 9thpage, after paper)

_____ Typed using double-spacing and Times NR, Arial, or Calibri 12 pt font

_____ Student’s name, assignment, class meeting time in top left corner of first page only


_____ Approved topic

_____ Clear thesis

_____ Maintained thesis

_____ Good use of supporting sources

_____ Correct citation of sources

_____ Organized paragraphs (organized into topics, logical flow of ideas)

_____ Good use of transitions

_____ Grammar and mechanics (subj/verb agreement, use of apostrophes, etc.)

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