Research paper assignment

You will write a 1500-word research paper using APA style on a topic of your choice that I approve.  (Your name etc., and the reference-page entries don’t count toward the word total.)  (The main components of APA style that we will be concerned with are in-text citations, reference-page entries, and page layout.)

If your paper is short of 1500 words, you will receive the percentage of the points that you earned based on the percentage of the required words that your paper contained.  For example, if the paper were worth 100 points and you scored an 80, but the paper contained only 750 words (half of the required number), you would receive 40 points.

The paper will be organized exactly like the essays we’ve already completed with two important exceptions.  Within the body paragraphs, rather than your own thoughts and experiences, you will paraphrase and quote information from credible sources (beyond yourself) to convince your reader that your supporting point (topic sentence) is true.  The other difference is that the paper will be longer than the essays you have done so far; and so rather than being restricted to only three supporting points, you may have three to eight.

Of course, your paper will be graded on sentence flow, unity, coherence and support as your essays were.  In addition, your paper must:

  1. use at least nine sources (beyond yourself)
  2. use at least one story (detailed example) to support most of the points
  3. use at least one statistic or expert testimony to support most of the points
  4. paraphrase 90% of the evidence from your sources and use short quotations only in rare cases when the original words are especially compelling
  5. use at least three different sources within most of the points
  6. use correct APA style (in-text citations, reference-page entries, and page layout.)
  7. not claim causation based on correlations.

Take a look at this sample paper.