Writing Project: Researched Paper

Writing Project: Researched Paper
Your assignment is to select a topic of your choice within the parameters of the course’s overall theme, and then apply it as a lens to analyze the final course text. You must “argue” the topic’s significance, scope, and impact based on your own outside research, using the primary text to humanize the issue. The final product will address different audiences within various disciplines and adhere to conventions within your field (English or Writing Studies).
***Note: The following questions are primarily meant to guide the writing of your research paper.
Statement of the Problem
Explain what the problem is you’re looking at and why it matters. State clearly and plainly what you intend to research and why. Although we tend to think of research as neutral, writers always convey a viewpoint—even if that is to say that people should pay attention to the topic. Since this is a researched paper that argues why your topic matters to our society or people around the world, be sure to your state your thesis in a well-defined manner.
Scope and Significance
In this section make sure to state why this issue matters. Explain how it came to be a problem or significant issue to many, not just you. Explain who is affected and in what ways. Suggest ways in which this issue or problem might change in the future.
Research Frameworks
Explain the framework that you are using here. In other words, how are you going about researching your topic? What kinds of primary sources does your discipline use to provide the information necessary to guiding new research? What secondary sources will you synthesize for your audience, both to contextualize your topic and situate yourself as a researcher and writer? Why are you choosing those specific ways of approaching the problem? What are people in your field looking at specifically?
Data Collection Methods and Possible Sources of Data
Analyze your primary source(s), and connect your insights to secondary research.Remember to follow the conventions of your field (MLA).
Additional Connection
Describe any further implications related to your research. What else do we need to be examining or drawing attention to? What would you suggest researchers turn to or highlight?
Your paper should:

  • assert a thesis that 1) explicitly states the crucial nature of the issue, topic, or problem, and 2) makes clear how your research will build upon established research;
  • provide context that will help your intended readers understand the importance of the topic to individuals and our society in a complex way;
  • use specific rhetorical strategies that will engage the audiences you seek;
  • acknowledge and address counterarguments—especially obvious counterarguments;
  • include select quotes and paraphrases from the reading that support your thesis;
  • make plain how these quotes and paraphrases contribute to the overall purpose of your paper.

You should know by now that your peers will have high standards for arguments they take seriously.  As you develop your argument, your goals will be to

  • demonstrate a thorough understanding of all readings;
  • base your argument on evidence;
  • write with your readers in mind.

If you meet these goals, you should establish credibility with your readers and persuade your professor to approve your choice of project.
*Rough Draft due: 5/2
*Final Draft Due: 5/9
Intended Readers
Your paper will address readers in your particular academic community, a group that should be characterized as discerning and well educated.  Keep in mind the diverse make up of your intended readers. Remember to use appropriate terminology and definitions as necessary to illustrate a point.
Format and Required Documents
Your short researched paper should

  • be double-spaced;
  • be 5 pages minimum, 12-point Times New Roman font ONLY;
  • be justified on the left-hand margin, with one-inch margins all around;
  • follow all correct guidelines for the heading, pagination, internal documentation, and Works Cited.


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