What you’re doing: Students will write a research paper of 1500-2000 words based on a chosen idea from the semester’s texts. By synthesizing multiple sources, students will form an articulate research paper and respond to the current academic conversation on their chosen idea. Students will assume their reader has a general grasp on the authors involved, but will need to include some summary of the arguments of the primary texts. Items cited and consulted must include 4 peer-reviewed secondary sources (including 1 book).
Students must also cite 1 or more readings from Ways of Reading. Texts from Ways of Reading will not count as one of the four required secondary sources. So far, you’ve been making claims about texts. For this project, you’re making claims about what you think. Use the required 1 or more Ways of Reading texts to support YOUR argument.
“Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates in Ways of Reading book.
Start with an attention grabber: a short story, example, statistic, or historical context that introduces the paper topic.
Give an overview of any issues involved with the subject.
Define of any key terminology needed to understand the topic. (If necessary)
Quote or paraphrase sources revealing the controversial nature of the subject.
Highlight background information on the topic needed to understand the direction. (If necessary)
Thesis! Tell what the overall paper will focus on. Briefly outline the main points in the paper
Clearly present the main points of the paper as listed in the thesis.
Give strong examples, details, and explanations to support each main point.
Address any counterarguments and refute those arguments. Naysayer
Use strong evidence from sources: paraphrases, summaries, and quotations that support the main points.
Restate your thesis, from the introduction, in different words.
Briefly summarize each main point found in the body of the paper.
End with an appropriate and meaningful final sentence that ties the whole point of the paper together.
Required Form: 1500-2000 words, double spaced, MLA formatted. Must be submitted as a Word document to the appropriate iLearn folder.
Required Elements: Your research paper must contain the following.
- An articulate thesis that defines your main idea and argues your claim.
- So what? Who cares? Establish the cultural importance of your argument. Why does it matter?
- Your own ideas clearly distinguished from the ideas of the text.
- 4 properly cited and peer-reviewed secondary sources (including 1 book)
- 1 or more cited and explored Ways of Reading texts
- The naysayer
Revision: This project may be revised one time. A revised version, with a proceeding revision letter in the same file, is due one week after your project is graded. Revisions go in the same folder as the project on iLearn. All revisions must have the file titled “Revision.” Late projects
are not eligible for revision.
Evaluation: Your research paper will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
Task: How well does your paper argue an idea inspired by the Ways of Reading texts?
How well do you support your argument with secondary sources and meet the required
Organization: To what extent is your paper organized and developed? How well do your paragraphs build on one another? How well have you transitioned ideas within the structure of your paper?
Clarity: How clear is your argument? How easily can the reader follow your argument?
Development: To what extent does your paper express thoughtful ideas on the issue? How effective are your chosen quotes? How well you display an understanding of your chosen texts?
Presentation: How polished and copyedited is the project? Is it virtually error free?
- Decide on the thesis and main points first.
- You do not need to write the introduction first. Try writing the thesis and body first; then go back and figure out how to best introduce the body and conclude the paper.
- Use transitions between main points and between examples within the main points.
- Always keep your thesis in the forefront of your mind while writing. Everything in your paper must point back to the thesis.