The Final Paper: Guidelines and Dates
This, as you know, is the final assignment for our 101 course. I hope you’ll use it as an opportunity to really stretch your capacities as a writer, use critical thinking skills we’ve been honing in class discussion, and see yourself as someone who is synthesizing and creating new knowledge through the imaginative force of your writing.
For the assignment, you must have a clear and arguable thesis which declares a specific argument. Writing about the solution to a problem is probably the easiest way to get started. Your topic can be whatever you want except four topics are banned: abortion, gun control, the death penalty, and marijuana legalization. To be
successful, you need to back up your claim using, at minimum, four sources, only one being from a web site. I’ll be looking closely at how you use these sources—a good paper will use sources to move into new terrain and will engage your research in a dialectical, or conversational, kind of way.
Try to bring your own focus into the writing. To reiterate: I’m not looking for a research essay that’s a loose collection of facts and others’ arguments that you’ve unearthed. This paper is an opportunity to position yourself—your voice, opinions, stories, and background—in and among these other sources. A good essay will be well organized with topic sentences that begin each body paragraph and at least one cited example that backs it up. It is usually a good idea to use both paraphrase and quotations. Make sure that both are cited correctly. Also make sure to acknowledge the opposing viewpoints of your argument and try to refute them to the best of your ability.
April 26 – Topic Proposal is due. It will take place in this week’s discussion forum
April 26 and 28 – Conferences — Every student should have a 15-minute appointment with the professor to discuss their research project. This will take place either through Zoom or a phone conversation and will be instead of attending class.
May 5 – Peer-editing workshop #4. Bring your completed draft with you to class. May 10 – Essay needs to be submitted to the proper dropbox before 11:59 PM Arizona time.
An effective response to this assignment should include the following (all of the below criteria must be met in your piece to receive full credit):
5 – 7 pages long (not counting the required works-cited page), typed in 12-point
Times, double-spaced, stapled, with page numbers, and one-inch margins (naturally).
The proper inclusion of photos that support your argument may help your grade but will not help the page count of your essay. Have text on at least five pages and include a works-cited page. Incorporation of at least four outside sources with no more than one website. Dictionaries and encyclopedias do not count as a source. In order to receive full credit, these sources must be properly cited in the text using parenthetical notes and included in a works cited page Properly format your essay using MLA guidelines. Use clear, concise, engaging language that indicates an awareness of your reader’s expectations and formal mechanics, grammar, and spelling.