Research Paper in Advanced Composition

Requirements Instructions for Research Paper in Advanced Composition

If you have turned in every assignment for the class up to this point, you are almost done! All that remains is the Research Paper and the Final Exam. The paper will be your biggest challenge.

Paper Requirements Overview:

Paper should be 1500 words long.

The paper should be persuasive. You should write a paper that tries to prove a point.

The paper should quote from five sources (or more but not less). The sources should be good quality. One quote per source is enough, but more are allowed. You can also paraphrase a source in your own words, but you should quote it word for word at least once.

The sources should be quoted in the paper according to APA style, cited in the paper according to APA style, and placed on a References page at the end of the paper.

Topic Options:

  • A Contemporary Controversial Issue (are we handling Corona virus correctly, should we legalize marijuana, is homosexual marriage right or wrong, is abortion right or wrong, is Trump a good president, how much is racism still a problem in America, is Hollywood ruining us, does Bigfoot exist, are UFOs real, how do we fix health care—issues like that).
  • A Philosophical/Theological Issue (does God exist, are right and wrong a matter of opinion or truth, did Jesus rise from the dead, is there an afterlife, is there a heaven, is there a hell, are all religions true or just one, what’s the best kind of government, what is beauty—issues like that).
  • A Literary Interpretation Paper (where you take a poem, a novel or a movie and write an interpretive paper; it’s kind of like the poetry paper you wrote but you find research that helps explain what it means). Students like choosing this one especially if they can write about a movie. You’d have to pick a movie worth writing about.

Mistakes That Will Kill Your Grade:

A short paper. I take off five points for every 100 words short. Make sure it’s 1500 words long (and that can include the References page).

Fewer than five sources. I will take off twenty points for every source short of five.

No References page—I’ll take off twenty points if this page is missing.

References appearing in the paper are cited in the paper AND on the References page.

References in the paper MATCH the references on the References page.

Cite references in the paper even when you don’t quote them directly. If you rewrite information from a source in your own words, cite the source at the end of the paragraph.

I will take off five points if the pages aren’t numbered or if there’s no title page.


In one sense, you already did a research paper for this class. A persuasive research paper is a paper that argues a point by using expert sources to support the arguments or reasons you’re using to prove the paper’s point. AND YOU DID THIS ALREADY WITH THE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE PAPER. In that paper, I gave you the research, I pointed out the most important points, and I outlined the paper for you by making it about the three sources and the three questions. You quoted and cited the sources in the paper as you made your argument. Then you placed the sources on a References page. In your research paper, you will have to figure out what your main points are, and you will have to find the sources yourself. But otherwise, writing the paper using the sources is something you’ve already done!