In a paper of at least five full, double-spaced, typed pages of essay text, write a research paper on a topic related to the topic in your Literature Review and named in your Proposal Memo. If your topic is not on the pre-approved list, your topic must be approved by me before you begin to write your report in order to receive a grade. The references page is not included in the five-page count, nor are any graphics that you include. At least one graphic of some kind must be included in the body of the paper. It may be a photo, a chart, a graph, etc. This must be properly cited (APA).
You must have a thesis statement that is placed at the end of your introduction. Your paper will address a central research question(s), and your thesis will express a reasonable answer to that question, given the current state of research in the field. Please note that this report should be a fact-based report, but you are encouraged to express your reasonable opinions based on the research findings, logical college-level arguments, and/or recommendations in the paper and especially in the conclusion of the paper. You are entering the academic dialogue on your topic!
You must have a minimum of FIVE outside sources, not including the sources of any graphics you use. These may be from different types of resources such as books, journals, web sites, newspapers, government documents, personal interviews, films, etc. Many of you are continuing the research you started in your literature review, so you should build from the three sources (not the two wild card sources) you reviewed in that project. You must use sources other than just those from the open internet! I highly suggest using sources from NC Live and other LRC databases.
Use APA format throughout this project.
Try to choose a topic that is narrow enough so that you can adequately explore it in at least five full pages. Avoid topics that are so broad that only a book-length manuscript would be able to cover them! For example, the topic of eating disorders is too broad. But you might want to write in detail about some issues of eating disorders during pregnancy.
****START EVERY PARAPHRASE, SUMMARY OR QUOTE of an outside source with a signal phrase (or use a signal phrase after you quote/paraphrase the source) and where applicable END each outside source with a parenthetical citation using APA format. This is imperative! See The Little Seagull, pp. 103-104 for common signal verbs.
Strive for a balance when using your sources; try not to rely ONLY on one or two sources. If you find that you are constantly referring to only one or two sources, you may have not done enough research or you may need to adjust your topic or thesis to bring in more research sources.
Remember that this paper is not a “book report;” it is a college level research paper. Summary and paraphrase from your outside sources are important, but your paper will be more than a patchwork of these summaries and paraphrases. You will need to do some analysis, synthesis, college level argument, and reasoning of your own that you will express in proving/disproving/arguing your thesis, answering your research questions, or in presenting your recommendations (depending on the type of report you write).
Do not use the second person “you” in this report. Use of first person is permitted. Remember, use templates from They Say/I Say as a way to dialogue and engage with your sources. You are adding to the conversation that is already in place.
You are required to use graphics in your report. Each report should have at least one graphic. You may use charts, graphs, photographs, advertisements, cartoons, etc. as long as they are properly captioned and mentioned within the text of your paper. Your graphics should not be “add-ons” that seem to have no clear purpose in the scope of your report. If your graphics are not original (made by you from your own data), then you should list the source of your graphics on your references page along with your five other sources. The graphics are not included in the minimum five outside source count.
You should use report format as part of appropriate APA manuscript form. This means you should utilize headings in your paper. See the sample paper above for examples of headings.
Note that not all sources, especially web sources, are suitable for this research paper. Using non-academic or questionable sources will adversely affect your paper grade, so please ask me if you have questions about the quality or reliability of any source! Wikipedia and similar sites are absolutely NOT PERMITTED as sources for this class! No Ask.com, no About.com, no WebMD, no Wikihow, etc! These are NOT suitable academic sources. Use the LRC databases that we have been using this semester.