As explained in Chapter 10 of The Curious Writer, every research essay begins with an inquiry question. That question usually takes one of two forms: What does the evidence suggest is true? or, What is the relationship?
Using a research essay format (Chs. 9-12 in The Curious Writer, but especially Ch. 10), write a 4-6 page (1000 word minimum, 2000 word maximum)/4-6 source essay (12-font, double-spaced) in which you answer one of the following inquiry questions:
Category I: What does the evidence suggest is true?
Is there any credible evidence to support the idea that beings from another world have ever visited Earth?
Is there any credible evidence to support the idea that there is (intelligent) life on other planets in the universe besides on Earth?
Is there any credible evidence to support the idea that time travel is possible or could be possible some day?
Is it true that there is no need to send human beings into space in the future because robots and computers can accomplish all that is needed in future space exploration?
Category II: What is the relationship?
Has all the money devoted to the space program over the years in the USA produced anything of true lasting value for the USA or the human race in general? Has all the money spent been worth it?
Is there any reason to think that a return trip to the moon would have any meaningful impact on life as we know it?
Would there be any particular benefit in launching a manned flight to Mars that would truly justify the cost?
Thesis statement. The thesis statement should be a clear statement of what you discovered to be the answer to your question. (Do not pick a question to write about that you feel you know the answer to already.) You don’t need to convince us that your answer is true in your introduction. Just give us the answer in the last sentence or two of your introduction so we know where your essay is headed. The rest of the essay should lead us to accept that answer as true in much the same way that you were led to accept that answer as true through your thinking about the information you uncovered through your research.
Use the 90%/10% ratio for your written product with 90% from you and only 10% from the sources.
This essay must have a References list as its last page. (Not “Bibliography” or “Works Cited.”) It must also include citations for all borrowed, quoted, paraphrased, or summarized material in the text of the paper. Be sure to review pages 455-472 of Chapter 12 for guidelines for using APA formatting. (NOTE: No abstract is needed for your final draft.) If citations are missing, it will result in a failing grade. If one citation is missing, it will result in a lower grade.
This essay may not use first person in any location. Focus on evaluating the information you find as objectively as possible, so keep the tone formal.
Consider using section subheadings to help organize the train of your reasoning that leads to your conclusion. If you do use subheadings, follow the levels as described on pages 457-58 of Chapter 12.
Please, never start or end any paragraphs in your essay with quotes or summaries from other sources. Your words must start and end each paragraph. Your sources should not answer your inquiry question for you. YOU must offer your answer to the inquiry question based on the information you find in your sources. Those sources may agree with your answer or disagree. In fact, if you have not included sources that disagree with your answer, then you have not researched thoroughly enough and have not approached the inquiry question with a truly open mind.
This essay may not use any quote longer than 3 typed lines, so no APA LONG QUOTES allowed for this.
Be sure to that each paragraph has a clear, strong topic sentence that ties back to the thesis statement (your answer) as a supportive point. There should never be any doubt how each paragraph contributes to reaching the final answer (your thesis).
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