Composition Guide

Topics: Research, Parenthetical referencing, Style guide Pages: 5 (663 words) Published: March 7, 2014
The AP English Language and Composition Research Paper Process The Rationale: Many college courses require you to submit a major research project, a term paper. Therefore, the knowledge of the research process and paper development can be an invaluable tool for success after high school. Furthermore research and citation processes may be addressed on the AP exam. In other words, even though you may be grumbling now, you will thank me for this one day!

The Assignment: You will demonstrate your understanding of the research process by submitting a 4 – 6 page research paper written in MLA format on a topic of your choice. You will adhere to the MLA style with proper citations and a "Works Cited" page. You will use at least 6 sources: 2 books, 2 Internet, and 2 "other" – software, periodicals, etc. You will process your final draft through Turnitin before submission.

The Method: We will approach the research process in stages and you will be required to submit, subject to assessment and grading, evidence of the successful completion of certain stages. Due dates for certain stages will be announced on my web page and in class. We will devote a portion of each class period to the discussion of research methods and techniques, citation, plagiarism, and paper formulation and organization. Research Paper Process Checklist (Due dates T.B.A.)


Choose topic, decide on purpose and audience; submit formal proposal Develop strategy and research plan
Survey available materials; submit preliminary bibliography
Narrow the topic through preliminary research
Submit research question and hypothesis
Obtain sources, develop working bibliography
Submit working thesis and rough outline
Read and evaluate sources, take notes
Submit final thesis statement and outline (typed)
Organize and prepare first draft
Submit first draft for peer evaluation
Evaluate peer responses
Do further research, if necessary
Revise draft
Prepare "Works Cited" page
Submit revised draft for peer evaluation
Prepare final draft; proofread
Process final draft through Turnitin
Submit final draft

This paper will represent significant grade. It is imperative that you adhere to the schedule and submit the required materials on time. Remember: process assignments earn no credit if submitted late. Not only will you gain knowledge of your topic, but also you will develop a greater understanding of research methods.


Clarify What to Do

Choose a topic (and a backup topic). You may want to consider: −

if are you interested in the topic;
if learning about the topic will help you in a course;
if learning about the topic will help you in a potential major; if learning about the topic will help you in your career;
if your audience will be interested in the topic;
if your topic will meet my approval.

Do exploratory reading to see how your topic is being dealt with in the literature; focus your topic.
Write a research proposal and a working outline.
The research proposal should include four things:
1. The principal purpose of the paper
2. The intended audience
3. A single-paragraph explanation of how you intend to approach the topic including genre (argumentative, expository, analytical)
4. A working thesis statement or a research question

Gather Data

Create a working bibliography or list of resources
Gather all the resources available to you
Determine if there is enough information available to you on your topic.

Locate, Examine, Read, and Record Sources

Locate sources
Read quickly to find the best sources
Read and take notes
Optional: Conduct original research (e.g., interviews)

Organize for Writing

Reevaluate your notes and select those most relevant
Optional: Write the research paper in 30 minutes (a miniature...

Cited: page, and format, as well as spelling, grammar, and
sentence structure.
Process the paper through Turnitin, a requirement of the assignment.
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