For this assignment, you will write a research essay based on the research topic you selected for your research conversation assignment. If you want to change topics, that is certainly possible, but please contact me first. Your essay can follow the five paragraph model, it can be an academic synthesis of sources on your topic (note: synthesis is distinct and more sophisticated than summary), it can analyze the issue, or it can contribute to the debate about a particular topic, perhaps offering suggestions for future research or raising unanswered questions about the topic. The sky’s the limit (within the parameters we discussed this term, of course).

Remember: university-level writing must do more than describe or explain; it must analyse, evaluate, and argue. Papers that are largely descriptive or that rely chiefly on summarizing other writer’s arguments, examples, and ideas will not receive good grades.

Even though you are permitted to write on a topic that interests you, this remains an English course. As such, I shouldn’t receive essays with experimental data, surveys, etc. Your research paper will bring together the writing and reading skills you have learned throughout the term.

In addition to the learning objectives described above, your paper must:

  • Have a central argument (thesis) about your topic and a sense of your essay’s purpose.You must also include an essay map.
  • Use relevant evidence from at least three academic sources to support your argument.
    • You may use more than three sources if necessary, but not less!
    • You may not use non-academic sources unless you have cleared it with me first in writing.
  • Demonstrate your ability to use proper academic writing conventions (i.e. summarize and paraphrase effectively and correctly, use an appropriate essay structure, and demonstrate proper academic citation—MLA 8th edition).

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