1. The basic purpose of the research paper is to support a focused thesis statement with strong research.
2. The paper can be written in any mode, including but not limited to:
• Compare and Contrast
• Cause and Effect
• Argumentative (***Required for AP students***)
• Critical Review
• Literary Analysis of Chosen Issue; for example, a student’s chosen issue is Cultural Identity/ Assimilation.
After reading, the student would critique the treatment of the issue in one or more texts (Things Fall Apart, Joy Luck Club, Great Gatsby, or others). The service learning experience could include volunteering at the International Fair, providing tutoring to newcomers, or documenting stories of cultural identity.
3. Each paper must cite a minimum of five different sources that are authoritative and current. Encyclopedias and other general resources are not acceptable, including technological reference bundles. Students should strive for variety and balance by using print, online, interviews, digital media, and other reliable sources for information.
4. Papers should be approximately six (6) to eight (8) pages of text.
5. The thesis statement should be in bold-faced type. A thesis statement is a short statement that summarizes the main point or CLAIM of the research paper, and is developed, supported, and explained in the text by means of examples and evidence.
6. Sources should include at least one primary source. Students whose primary sources are individuals should explain
in the text the person’s expertise. NOTE: Students should identify primary sources with bold-faced type in the
list of works cited. Primary sources are original materials. They are from the time period involved and have not been filtered through interpretation or evaluation. Primary sources are original materials on which other research is based. They are usually the first formal appearance of results in physical, print or electronic format. They present original thinking, report a discovery, or share new information. (The definition of a primary source may vary
depending upon the discipline or context.) Examples include: Audio recordings (e.g. radio programs); diaries; interviews (e.g., oral histories, telephone, e-mail); letters; newspaper articles written at the time; records of organizations, government agencies (e.g. annual report, treaty, constitution, government document); speeches;
survey research (e.g., market surveys, public opinion polls); video recordings (e.g. television programs)
7. Students should learn to evaluate research in terms of validity and possible bias. This examination is especially important when students are using on-line sources.
8. Research should take a variety of forms, primary and secondary, traditional and non-traditional. Students may design, administer, and analyze surveys, conduct interviews of experts, access on-line databases, or consult portable database products. Students should tailor their research to their topic to ensure a reasonable balance of sources.
9. Students should not rely solely on on-line sources.
10. Students must carefully document all research information that they cite in their papers. This should include parenthetical documentation within the paper and a list of works cited at the end of the paper.
11. Students should access the most recent edition of the APA or MLA Handbook for Writers of ResearchPapers (or an equivalent) guidelines for appropriate documentation.
12. Students should understand research ethics and the serious consequences of plagiarism.
13. Students should create and integrate a student-generated graphic in their paper, if applicable.
14. Students should acknowledge counterpoints in their presentation of the research. The treatment of the counterpoint
should serve to broaden the knowledge base and strengthen their claim