Directions: Students are to choose an approved topic for their research paper. Ideally, the topic should be a topic from the list of research interests the class generated during the first or second week of classes. Students will write a 6- to 8-page research paper on their chosen topic. The topic should be narrow enough to discuss within 6 to 8 pages.The due date for this research paper is Thursday, April 6, 2021.Format:In English courses, MLA format is used; absolutely no APA is accepted!Head your paper as indicated on the syllabus. Include your name, your professor’s title and last name, the course and the date in the following format: day of the month, the month spelled out, and the year (Example: 1 April 2021). All of this information belongs in the upper left-hand corner of the first page of your research paper. Do not include a cover page! Provide a title for your research paper, and center it. In the upper right-hand corner of all of your pages, include your last name and page numbers (Johnson 2). First, click on “Insert” and then “Page Number #”; then type your name in front of the page number on one page. Your name should appear on other pages after you do that.
2Sources:Students may use both primary and secondary sources. Primary sources are original works, and they include eyewitness accounts, diaries, and historical documents. Secondary sources include scholarly reviews, biographies, and other sources that interpret primary sources. Students must use scholarly sources for this research paper; popular sources are undesired. Popular sources are those that are not written by experts in the field. They can be found on newsstands and are magazines such as People, Time, Ebony, Jet, and many others. Stay away from these. Scholarly sources, on the other hand, are not so readily accessible and tend to be found in college/university and local libraries’ databases. Scholarly sources are written by subject-matter experts and are published in peer-reviewed academic journals.Students are required to use a minimum of five scholarly articles. The articles should be articles that they accessed through Morgan State University’s database or a database of a local library system. Academic OneFile and JSTOR two are databases that can provide students with scholarly sources.Note-taking Methods: Students will employ all of the following note-taking methods while conducting research and drafting their papers: paraphrasing, summarizing/nut-shelling, and directly quoting. For paraphrases, summaries/nut-shells and direct quotes, students must provide parenthetical in-text citations and Work Cited entries for the sources used.
3 Paraphrasing:Paraphrasing is the note-taking method that you will use most often. If you want to include the author’s main points and details, use a paraphrase. Paraphrasing involves putting the author’s message into your own words. Do not simply change a few words around! You need to read the paragraph or passage a few times to yourself, then without looking at the source, put into your own words what the author has written. Summarizing/Nut-shelling:Summarizing/nut-shelling is another common method of note-taking. With summarizing/nut-shelling, you will provide only the main idea or gist of the passage in your own words. If you only find that the main idea of the passage is useful or necessary for your paper, then you may just want to summarize the passage. Once again, after you have figured out the main idea, it is best to close up the book or turn over the article, and put into your own words the main idea of the passage. Directly Quoting:Direct quotes should be used sporadically, and they must always be introduced.Direct quotes that are four (4) lines or shorter, must be enclosed in quotation marks. Direct quotes that are longer than four (4) lines, should be block formatted. To block format a direct quote, indent the entire quote. You can introduce a direct quote with a one-sentence summary of the direct quote. Then, insert a colon (:) after your one-sentence summary and begin to type your direct quote, formatting it appropriately according to the number of lines it contains. Direct quotes also need to be discussed so that readers see the importance of the direct quote to your research papers.
4Parenthetical In-text Citations:The first manner in which you must document or cite your sources is by using parenthetical in-text citations. Generally, when there is an author, in parentheses you will provide the author’s last name and the page number from which the paraphrase, summary/nutshell, or direct quote is taken. For example, if I am citing information from page 183 of Michael Jackson’s autobiography, Moonwalk, my in-text citation will be as follows: (Jackson 183). You must include the parentheses. Notice, that I did not include the word “page” or “pg.” or even “p.” Do not include page or any abbreviation for the word in your in-text citations either!If no author is provided, in the parenthetical in-text citation, you will provide the title or a brief portion of it and the page number if the source has page numbers. Make sure you format the title correctly in the in-text citation. Italicize the titles of longer works such as books, journals, newspapers, and other longer works. Put quotation marks around titles of articles, essays, and other short works. Within parentheses, the titles need to be formatted correctly, either italicized or put into quotations, based on the type of source the title is.Works Cited:The Works Cited will be the last part of your paper. Simply title the section Works Cited. The Works Cited must start on a page by itself. DO NOT try to conserve paper by adding it to the same page as the conclusion of your paper! The first lines of Works Cited entries are never indented. For Works Cited entries that run longer than one line, indent subsequently lines (the second, third, fourth, and any additional lines). This type of indentation is called a hanging indentation, and it is the opposite of paragraph indentations.
5Look up the format for each type of source you use in the 8th edition of the MLA Style Guide in Little Seagull Handbook or on Canvas. For sources that have authors, put the authors’ last names first, then insert a comma and add their first names and insert a period after their first names (Baldwin, James.) to start your Works Cited entries. All completed entries should be listed in alphabetical order. The last name of the author, or, for sources that have no author, the first letters of the title are what you will use to arrange your entries in alphabetical order.Do not use EasyBib or any other formatting programs because they do not always format the source correctly. Once you have access to the 8th edition of the MLA Style Guide and follow the format exactly as it is provided, you are able to format your own sources accurately.Submission of Research Paper:Finally, you will submit your research paper on Canvas.