Please include your field of study next to your name in the heading.
Style: You will write your paper using Modern Language Association (MLA) guidelines. For further information, you may need to review MLA guidelines online.
Report is to be double spaced
Length should be 3-4 pages (not including Works Cited Page)
No cover or title sheet is required (based on MLA style)
Since this is an academic paper, only use third person language throughout.
Thesis: While this can be a strictly informative paper, I would recommend writing a paper with a more persuasive thesis statement, as these papers are generally easier to write and more interesting to read.
Sources: You should have at least three outside sources (2 scholarly sources + 1 credible web source). Scholarly sources are journal articles (online or print) and nonfiction books (ebooks or print). Do not use outdated sources (more than 5 years old) for a current topic unless you are providing vital historical background. Find your scholarly sources through the library databases (which may be accessed from home via the LTC Web page). You may incorporate more than one credible web resources to supplement your scholarly research, but papers that solely use websites (even credible sites) will not receive passing scores. Wikipedia, blogs, and “.com” sites are not credible sources for this assignment. However, “.org,” “.gov,” and “.edu” sites are typically credible. See page 20 of your MLA book for information on evaluating sources.
Incorporation of Sources: While the entirety of a source that you select does not have to support your thesis, make sure that the information that you use from the given source does directly support the thesis of your paper. While you may use block quotations, it is recommended that you paraphrase long quotations instead of having them represent a significant portion of the paper. Use quotation marks if you are using the exact words from a source.
*In order to receive a passing grade for this assignment, outside sources (paraphrases, direct quotations, and block quotations) cannot comprise more than 40% of the paper. The best papers utilize outside sources for 5-20% of the text.
Please avoid stand alone quotations. Use signal phrases to help introduce your direct quotations.
Documentation: All specific facts and statements that are not your own personal thoughts/commentary or information known to be common knowledge MUST be documented within your paper (i.e. in-text citations). Merely listing your sources in a Works Cited Page is NOT sufficient documentation. All works on the works cited page must appear somewhere in the text of the paper with an in-text citation. Use the Trimmer book or one of the MLA websites to help you with documentation.
If you are unsure if you are documenting correctly, please ask for clarification.
**FAILURE TO DOCUMENT YOUR INFORMATION CORRECTLY WILL RESULT IN AN AUTOMATIC “F” on your research paper—due to plagiarism.** (For additional information on plagiarism, see the related online document on this topic.)
A few of the problems that will result in an automatic “F” for plagiarism:
1. Used a source in the paper with an in-text citation but did not include that source on the works cited page.
2. Included a source on the works cited page that does not appear in the paper.
3. Failure to use quotation marks around a direct quotation—even if an in-text citation is present.
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