Spring 2021 – ENGL 1020 G – Dr. Angela Fowler
Unit 3.1: Research Paper
Quick facts Due April 21
2000-2500 words (works cited page does not count in length)
At least 5 sources, 3 of which must be scholarly, peer-reviewed (cited in the text and the works
MLA page format and MLA 8 citation style (see examples in the Unit 3.1 folder in Blackboard)
Worth 30% of course grade (10% of the unit grade will be writing process assignments)
Assignment description Compose a 2000-2500-word argumentative essay that works within an academic discourse
community. The paper must give an argument using the research question you’ve been exploring
as a starting point, and it should cite at least 5 sources, 3 of which must be scholarly, peer-
reviewed. Note that you may use different sources than the ones you found in the annotated
bibliography, and some sources that were banned in Unit 2 and now allowed in Unit 3.1 (see
source guidelines below). The essay should include MLA 8 citations, both in the essay itself and
in the works cited page. The purpose of this assignment is to convince a scholarly audience of
the validity of your argument.
How the Assignment should Look The requirements for Unit 1 and 2 were rather rigid, with specific formatting and sections. This
essay has a lot more freedom with how you put it together. For instance, there are several options
for organization, or you can use subheadings to break up the content, or you can include images.
However, with these options come different guidelines. Let’s look at the requirements and
options for content and page format.
• The essay must include an introduction, body, and conclusion, and the thesis should be included in the introduction. Sources are usually placed at various points in the body of
• The introduction should engage your audience, frame your argument, and propose your thesis statement. The thesis statement should be debatable, arguable, and specific. The
thesis should have a “so what” factor that is reflected in your essay. Remember that the
introduction does not have to be one paragraph, and the thesis does not have to be one
• The conclusion should reinforce the overall thesis and ask your audience to be stakeholders in your argument. It should not simply restate everything you said in the
essay…but it should also not introduce new information. Instead, make the argument
relevant to your audience. This may be a good place to focus on that “so what” factor.
• The body of the essay should have a logical organization and provide your audience with everything they need to understand your argument. You may use classical, Toulmin,
Rogerian, or ImRAD organization strategies. The following sections can work really
o A background or methods section where you provide your audience with background information, definitions of important or widely misunderstood
concepts, or relevant conversations or context for your topic.
o A case study or literature review section where you explore the research that’s been done related to your argument (works well for the sciences).
o An analysis section where you analyze primary or fictional texts to illustrate your argument (works well for the humanities).
o A rebuttal or refutation section where you acknowledge other viewpoints in relation to your own argument.
• Some organizational methods don’t work. Don’t write a narrative of your research journey and how your feelings or thoughts changed as you researched and wrote, and
don’t write an annotated bibliography in essay form (i.e. each paragraph is about a
different source, and your voice or argument never shows up).
• All arguments must be backed up with evidence from your sources. You will need to include citations for ALL information from your sources either in the lead-in or the
parenthetical citation. You may use direct quotes, paraphrases, and summaries.
• Sources may include anything that available for Unit 2. You may also use short news stories, some tertiary sources (for dictionaries, use OED; for encyclopedias, use scholarly
or specialized), and fictional works. Do not use Wikipedia, study guide websites, or
sources that do not pass a source evaluation for authority, accuracy, and credibility.
• Do not include a cover page.
• Double-spaced, in Times New Roman, 12-point font, left-aligned (not centered or justified), and 1-inch margins
• Last name and page number in the top right corner, 0.5 inch from the top and 1 inch from the right.
• Header with your name, instructor name, course with section, and date in MLA format
• An original title (not the assignment or topic), centered at the top of the page
• Indented paragraphs (0.5 indent)
• Optional: Subheadings can break up the organization. They should be bolded but not centered
• Direct quotes should be enclosed in quote marks with lead-ins. Parenthetical citations should be directly after the cited material (not necessarily at the end of the sentence).
They should not be after the period or within the quote marks.
• Optional: If you use block quotes, you should limit your use of them. If they take up too much of your paper, I won’t count them toward your word requirement. They should
have a lead-in with a colon, no quote marks, indented a full inch to the left (but not the
right), and with the parenthetical citation after the ending period.
• Works cited page, topped with the centered words Works Cited, beginning the first blank page after your essay ends (not as a separate file)
• Alphabetized works cited entries for all your sources in MLA 8 citation, using hanging indent. Do not include the annotations from your annotated bibliography.
• Optional: Images and charts can be included, but they must be cited in the works cited page AND using the Figure system (see Unit 3.1 folder).
The Writing Process
Step 1: Review your research question and research to compose a working thesis statement.
Assignment: Unit 3 conference, 10pts for Unit 3.1 process, conducted at the end of March and
beginning of April
Before you begin planning your research paper, you need to review your research and start
thinking about what you want to accomplish. This is something we have to get right, so I’m
asking for a required conference to talk about your research and working thesis. Before the
conference, brainstorm ideas for what you want to accomplish with your research paper and have
a working thesis statement in mind.
Step 2: Outline your research paper.
Assignment: Unit 3.1 outline, 10pts for Unit 3.1 process, due Mar. 24
This informal outline will blueprint your research paper’s organization and overall argument.
The outline should be at least a page with the working thesis, a purpose for each major section,
and where you’ll be placing your sources. You may choose how to format your outline as long as
I can understand it.
Step 3: Write the first draft of your Research Paper.
Assignment: Unit 3.1 first draft, 20pts for Unit 3.1 process, due Apr. 7
This draft should attempt to be as complete as possible, but the minimum word count I’ll accept
cited page for all of your sources. For the parts of the paper that haven’t been written yet, you
might include those sections from your outline just to give me a full picture of what your paper
will eventually look like.
Step 4: Revise your Unit 3.1 Research Paper.
Unit 3.1 peer-review, 20pts for Unit 3.1 process, conducted on Apr. 8-11
Unit 3.1 revision report, 10pts for Unit 3.1 process, due Apr. 11
After you’ve turned in the Unit 3.1 first draft, you will revise your paper, using the following
• Peer-review: We will review each other’s papers using peer-review questions. Remember: If you don’t have a draft, you can’t participate in peer-review.
• Instructor feedback: I give feedback on all drafts, even if you got full credit on that draft. I expect to see attempts to address the feedback in the final draft.
• Feedback from our peer mentor, Cameren Golden.
• Self-revision: We will discuss ways to revise your own paper in class.
• WASC Learning center: You may visit the Learning Center, either digitally or in personal. Please see the Resources tab in Blackboard for details.
• AUM Library: You may contact a librarian through the Ask Your Library function on the AUM library website. This is especially helpful if you are having problems locating your
Step 5: Reflect on your writing development.
Assignment: Unit 3.1 Reflection, 15pts for Unit 3.1 process, due Apr. 14
You will write a 500-word reflection on your writing journey. Due to the deadline schedule, we
will need to write this before you turn in your final draft. Please see the Unit 3 Reflection
Step 6: Turn in the final draft of your Research Paper.
Assignment: Unit 3.1 Research Paper final draft, 100pts and worth 90% of the Unit 3.1 grade,
due Apr. 21
The final draft should fit all the assignment requirements (2000-2500-words of essay, at least 5
sources/3 scholarly, with correct MLA 8 in-text citations and works cited entries for all sources).
You must make substantial revisions addressed in instructor feedback and peer-review. If you
turn in the same thing you turned in for the first draft, you cannot receive a passing grade. You
will also receive a failing grade if: 1) there are fewer than 1800 words of essay, 2) there are
fewer than five sources, 3) there are fewer than three scholarly sources, 4) any of the sources
listed do not follow source guidelines, 5) the in-text citations and works cited page do not
attempt to follow MLA 8 format, and 6) the citations are so unclear that it falls within the realm
of unintentional plagiarism.
Highly Effective (HE) 100%: Accomplishes the assignment goal with very few rhetorical issues
and displays creativity and inventiveness when applicable.
Effective (E) 85%: Accomplishes the assignment goal with possibly a few rhetorical issues.
Satisfactory (S) 75%: Accomplishes the assignment goal.
Developing (D) 65%: Does not entirely accomplish the assignment goal.
Should be addressed (SBA) 55%: Does not accomplish the assignment goal at all.
Research Paper – Assignment Goals HE E S D SBA
Content – 60%
The thesis should be arguable, debatable, and specific. The overall
argument should match the thesis and follow sound logic. For
above satisfactory, the thesis should be well refined with a “so
what” factor, and the paper should fit the thesis well.
The paragraphs and sections should be developed and give
appropriate support and context for your thesis. For above
satisfactory, the paragraph development overall should include
specific topic sentences that connect to the thesis, thorough
explanations of the evidence, and connections back to the thesis
and section at the end of the paragraph.
The paper, particularly in the introduction and conclusion, should
invite your audience to be stakeholders in your argument. For
above satisfactory, the paper should make effective rhetorical use
of ethos and pathos to appeal to the audience.
All sources used in the paper should meet the expectations and
requirements for a scholarly research paper. For above
satisfactory, the sources should be well-chosen and balanced in
context and how they’re used.
Structure – 20%
The paper should be organized effectively according to a logical
organizing principle. For above satisfactory, the organization
should be rhetorical effective, with a close attention to paragraph
focus and very little repetition.
The paper should use transitions, subheadings, and other
organizational tools to “signpost” to an audience. For above
satisfactory, the transitions and subheadings should give the
purpose and clearly communicate the logic of the structure and
organization to the audience.
Knowledge of Conventions – 20%
All sources should be cited within the paper with appropriate in-
text citations, using MLA 8 consistently. For above satisfactory,
there should be only 1-5 repeated errors.
Each source should have a works cited entry on the works cited
page, using MLA 8 consistently. For above satisfactory, there
should be only 1-5 repeated errors.
The paper should use correct MLA page formatting. For above
satisfactory, there should be only 1-5 repeated errors.
The grammar and style are edited and appropriate for the situation.
For above satisfactory, there should be only 1-5 repeated errors.