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Research Paper Requirements Your research paper must be 15 full pages in length (or more if you wish). The paper must be formatted using 1 inch margins and size 12 Times New Roman double spaced font. Please submit the paper as a Word document.
The first 12 full pages must consist of the following sections: -Abstract -Research Question/Thesis Statement -Methodology -Research (main portion of the paper) The last 3 full pages of your 15-page (or more if you wish) paper must consist of an analysis section. This is where you must provide your own analysis, beliefs, concerns, projections, etc. about your topic. This is the section where you can also get into the media effects/media ethics associated with your topic if you want to do so.
Following the 15 pages (or more if you wish) listed above, you must provide an Endnote page(s) and then a Bibliography.
The Abstract is a one-paragraph synopsis/summary of your paper topic. The Research Question/Thesis Statement is one-sentence in length. The Methodology must be 1 page in length (No more than one page. No less than one page).
As far as endnotes are concerned, here are the requirements. First, you must have a minimum of 60 endnotes. Second, endnotes should be in the Research section of your paper. Third, you may not use any endnotes in your Abstract or your Methodology. Fourth, your Analysis section should only have a few endnotes at the very most because it is your own opinion. Fifth, you must place your Endnotes at the end of the paper and not at the bottom of each page.
As for the Bibliography, you must have a total of at least 20 sources (you should have already gathered half of those sources for your annotated bib assignment). At least 10 of those sources must be primary sources (you should have already gathered at least half of those primary sources for your annotated bib assignment).
Note: You do not have to provide annotations (summaries) for any of the sources in this bibliography.
The following problems will result in a significant point deduction:
-failure to write 15 full pages -failure to provide 12 full pages of the first part of the paper (Abstract, Research Question, Methodology, Research section) -failure to provide 3 full pages of Analysis -failure to have at least 60 endnotes -failure to have at least 10 primary sources (more is fine) and a total of at least 20 sources.
You are required to use Chicago citation style for the research paper just like you did for the annotated bibliography assignment. However, no points will be deducted for minor citation style errors. If you ignore Chicago style, points will be deducted. Also, you may not use any of my lectures as a source. You may not use Wikipedia as one of your sources.
Some questions you might have—
1. How many of my 20 sources must I actually use in writing my paper?
You are not required to use all 20 sources. However, you need to use at least 13-15 of the 20 sources. Also, you must use your primary sources. Papers that rely heavily on secondary material and do not use primary material will lose points.
2. Is it inappropriate/bad to use several endnotes from the same source?
No. For instance, if you have a few crucial court cases or relevant legislation, it makes perfect sense and is very appropriate to cite heavily from those primary sources. So you might have several endnotes in a row from one of those sources (e.g. endnote # 6-12 all from Smith v. Jones). Moreover, you might use that source several times throughout your paper (e.g. You cite Smith v. Jones for endnote # 5-9; 23-27; 52-55). However, I would have a problem if you cited too heavily from a single secondary sources (e.g. endnotes 23-33 or 17-22; 34-39; 52-56 all from the same NY Times article).
3. How can I attribute a source in my paper?
You can attribute information in your paper (in the Research section, for instance) in one of the following ways:
According to the FCC, “In 2010, the commission received 239 complaints about broadcast ownership rules.” (This statement would also require an endnote because it uses a quote). Or you could say: The FCC said….
Sometimes you really do not need or want to use a quote because you don’t really need to provide exactly what was said. In that instance, you can simply paraphrase and use an attribution. That scenario might look something like this:
In a recent statement, the American Civil Liberties Union stressed that social media networks are at the heart of serious, new privacy concerns. (You don’t need a quote— you simply attribute the information to the source—the ACLU and use an endnote).
4. Why do I need both an endnotes page(s) and a Bibliography page(s)?
They are not the same thing and they serve different functions. Endnotes are used to cite the various sources you actually used to write your paper. Your bibliography, on the other hand, must provide a list of all of the sources you gathered while researching (all 20) your paper whether or not you ended up using those sources to write your paper.
5. How many quotes should I use in my paper?
There is no one, specific answer to that question. You should use a quote when knowing exactly what was said is important. However, frequently it is fine to paraphrase and attribute. What would be a problem would be overusing quotes—simply stringing together quote after quote after quote. Such action is not appropriate and might indicate that you really don’t understand your topic so you have to constantly just plug in quotes.
6. Can I include my own personal opinion in the first twelve pages of the research paper?
No, you cannot include your own opinion in the first twelve pages of the paper (Abstract, Research Question, Research section). However, your paper certainly can take a specific point of view. You just need to find “others” to say it for you (a court case, legislation, newspaper article, etc.). So, for instance, you cannot say— “I think…” But you could say—The FTC said or According to the court in Smith v. Jones, or The ESRB said…
7. Can I include my personal opinion in the “Analysis” section?
Yes—in fact, you are required to do so. You must provide your own analysis/opinion in that section. Don’t use First Person. Instead refer to yourself as “the researcher” or “the writer”. Finally, please don’t hesitate to ask me questions if you are uncertain about the assignment. I want you to work hard and then get a good grade. I am more than happy to answer all of your questions and there is no such thing as a foolish question. And— please ask me. I can only be responsible for the accuracy of the answers I provide.
Be sure to re-read the course syllabus in Folder One for additional detail on the research paper.