PAPER 5: RESEARCH PAPER
Value: 200 possible points
Format: 6-8 pages, double-spaced (the works cited page is counted toward
the 6-8 pages, but a title page is not. Title page is required.)
Style: Use MLA Style documentation.
Instructions: Write an argument-based, research-supported paper on any
controversial topic of your choice.
(1.) Q: How do I know if my topic is controversial?
A: If, when told the topic, people shrug, it is not controversial.
(2.) Q: How do I pick a topic?
A: Always write about that which interests you. Almost any topic is acceptable. Once you have found the one thing of interest to yourself about which you wish to write, find a controversial aspect to it.
Example 1: Quantum computing. Controversial aspect: Traditional security protocols will be useless if quantum computing becomes a practical reality, opening up billions of people and countless organizations to potential exploitation and cyber-crimes.
After having selected a topic of interest to yourself and you have found a controversial edge, write a thesis. Consider the sample thesis below, based on quantum computers:
SAMPLE THESIS (You do not need to use this thesis or topic): Quantum computing will alter the relative security and safety of the world’s information because traditional security protocols will not work.
Now offer a solution: SOLUTION: IT professionals will develop security protocols applicable to quantum computing.
Put the problem and solution together to form a whole thesis: WHOLE THESIS:
While traditional security protocols will be useless if quantum computing becomes a practical reality, opening up billions of people and countless organizations to potential exploitation and cyber-crimes, IT professionals will develop security protocols applicable to quantum computing.
That thesis has both a problem (stated first) and a solution (stated last).
Example 2: Nursing. Controversial aspect: Nurses have too many patients and could accidentally make a mistake.
Nursing Thesis: Nurses have too many patients and could accidentally make a mistake (problem), so state legislatures need to legally mandate a reasonable, maximum number of patients for each nurse on a unit (solution).
Organization of Research Paper: Organize your paper according to the following outline; use section dividers in your paper per the outline below:
Paragraph 1: Introduction/Thesis
Paragraph 2: General, wiki-like (informational) paragraph about the topic (for example, information on quantum computing or nursing)
Paragraphs 3-6: Statement of problem (in this section, describe the problem associated with the topic you selected)
Paragraphs 7-10: Statement of solution (in this section, describe the solution associated with the topic you selected).
Paragraphs 11-13 Offer two objections to your solution and refute them
Paragraph 14: Conclusion/Restate thesis
Last Page: Works Cited Page
The number of paragraphs for the statements of problem and solution are suggested, and you may have more or fewer. In other words, the outline above is a rough guide. Each of your papers will be different, depending on your topics. That is fine.
Refuting Your Solution: Consider the nursing example. One could argue that nurses are not making many serious errors now with their current patient loads, and that they are well-trained to manage multiple patients, so there is no need to enact a law specifying a low number of patients per nurse.
Rebuttal: In response, one might argue that there is a risk of a nurse making a serious mistake and, just because the current system works, does not mean that it cannot be improved.
Use 8 sources. I recommend finding your sources in our college’s library’s databases.
I am an email away should you have any questions. Always include your first and last name when emailing me via Owl Mail (and only Owl Mail). Your name does not appear automatically (by default) anywhere in the email.
Plagiarism Statement: Please see syllabus. Plagiarism and purchasing a paper are very serious offenses and can result in a permanent *F on a student’s transcript, indicating academic dishonesty.
Safe Assign: All uploaded papers are scanned by Safe Assign, which is originality checking software. In the event of plagiarism, including purchasing or recycling a paper, Safe Assign identifies, line-by-line, where the material came from, the date it was submitted, as well as the submission ID number. Blackboard is toggled so that one has access to the Safe Assign report before uploading the paper.
Grading Criteria: I will grade your research paper on the following criteria:
(1.) The presence of a controversial topic
(2.) The presence of a problem-solution statement
(3.) The organization of the paper
(4.) A presence of two refutations to your proposed solution and two respective rebuttals
(5.) Responsible and correct documentation of secondary sources per MLA Style
(6.) The use of 8 sources
(7.) Paper length
(8.) A close observance of MLA Style
(9.) A relative freedom from errors in grammar, mechanics, and spelling