Research Paper Assignment
So far this semester we have discussed the effects of mindset with Lamott, Dweck, and Duckworth; how
experiences can shape a person with Stephen King; and how personality and behaviors develop and evolve with
Susan Cain. This Research Paper assignment asks you to present a thesis-driven essay based on these ideas.
In other words, you can write about pretty much anything to do with personality, identity, motivation, learning,
behavior, etc. And you may research these ideas from any of a variety of perspectives: psychological, biological,
sociological, etc. This assignment is intentionally broad to allow each of you to explore, research, and prove
something about a topic that specifically interests you. For example, you may choose to prove why your topic has
changed over the years or why your topic is especially relevant now or to a specific group of people, etc.
This Research Paper assignment is not a “data dump” or a report where you fill your paragraphs with info from
outside sources. The purpose is the same as our previous essays: to prove something to your reader using your
critical thinking and analysis and relevant, credible, researched supporting info. This means that the Analysis
section of your MP paragraphs is where you present your critical thinking, your commentary on the Evidence, and
your proof for your TS. Be careful not to fall into the trap of just presenting more research material in this area.
Your topic also needs to be current, something that is having an affect right now. Because of this, I’m asking that
you use materials published only within the last 5 years. If you’re presenting a MP paragraph on the history of your
topic, you may use an older source for that info only, but other than that, if you have a good reason for using an
older source, run it by me first.
Possible Structural Options for Your Paper:
• Problem and solution
• Cause and effect
• Compare and contrast
Assignment Requirements: Points possible: 250
• 6-8 pages
• Separate Work Cited page, presenting at least 5 credible, cited sources
• Standard MLA formatting and 8th edition citation rules
❑ Bring page of possible research topics/questions + all your outside sources + lots of questions
Monday, 10/28—Draft 1/SFD
❑ 3-4 pages of your paper + separate WC page with properly cited sources + lots of questions
Wednesday, 10/30—Draft 2
❑ Work fulfills all Assignment Requirements
Monday, 11/4 OR Wednesday, 11/6—Draft 3/ BRING 3 CLEAN COPIES FOR PEER REVIEW
❑ Work fulfills all Assignment Requirements and has been revised from Draft 2
Wednesday, 11/13—Draft 4
❑ Work fulfills all Assignment Requirements and has been revised from Draft 3
Monday, 11/18—Final Draft
❑ Work fulfills all Assignment Requirements and has been revised from Draft 4
❑ Paper copy brought to class.
❑ Also submitted to Turnitin Canvas folder, before you come to class, to be checked for plagiarism.
✓ You must submit at least 2 drafts before the Final Draft. You may not submit, and I will not
grade, a SFD from any student.
✓ All drafts will be brought to class typed on paper.
✓ However, just in case, make sure you have your most recent draft electronically accessible at
A = 225-250
B = 200-224
C = 175-199
D = 150-174
F = 0-149
Essays that don’t address assignment will earn an F.
ESSAY ELEMENTS Needs major
What you need to do to improve
Structure & Focus
Thesis is provable, clear, and strongly
supported throughout your paper.
Each TS clearly introduces the single
focus of each MP paragraph.
Each MP paragraph is well organized and
presents one focused piece of support for
Critical Thinking & Support
Your MPs are insightful.
They clearly present your analysis of the
outside source material and your
explanation of how and why that supports
your TS and thesis.
Outside Source Material
Solid ethos is presented when introducing
OSM clearly, directly, and strongly
supports the single, focused idea for that
Paraphrased or quoted OSM is cited
correctly, including page citations and
OSM can be easily identified on the WC
Communication & Presentation
Ideas are presented clearly to create a
smooth flow of focused ideas.
You have acknowledged the reader of
your paper by presenting interesting TIC
ideas and providing thoughtful closure to
your Main Points.
Work has been MLA formatted, proofread,
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