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Writing Assignment: This week you will take your research paper, for which you already have three good sources (your M2 annotated bibliography), to the next level. You will do this by writing a title, introductory paragraph, outline of main points, and a Works Cited for it. Take a look at my review of the sample student papers posted above–if there is a difference between what a student composed or how the sample paper is formatted and what the directions below say, follow the directions to get the best grade.
In one document, complete these three parts of the assignment to begin your research paper:
A. Create what will become the opening of your research paper in module four.
1. Begin with your name, the name of the course, the name of the instructor, module number and name of the assignment, the name of your university, and the due date in the upper left-hand corner of your paper.
2. Create a running header in MLA format (see the lectures for the first week on how to do this).
3. Center a two-part title before your first paragraph. Short titles for research papers are usually a bad sign that you don’t have a defined and focused topic. Be specific in your title and use enough detail so that the title really tells the reader what the research paper is about. If it runs onto two lines, that’s fine (and probably a good sign). Just break it somewhere near the middle to make the lines about equal in length. Don’t make one part of the title “Outline” or any description of the format. Make it a title about the thesis that can work for your research paper next week. Usually the first part of your title names the topic of your paper and the last part hints at or uses words from the thesis statement of your paper to convey to the reader the angle you are taking on the topic of the paper.
4. Write a four-step intro paragraph with an italicized thesis in the third step (see instructions in the Formatting Checklist for how to form these for steps).Don’t use the word “will” in the preview step of this paragraph. And most importantly: Make the thesis assert something, but make it a descriptive, informative thesis, not a thesis that is evaluative or persuasive  or prescriptive (in the sense of opinion or judgment).
B. Follow the introductory paragraph with an outline of the main points of the rest of your paper. Each of these points must be a complete sentence, not just topics or phrases or sentence fragments. Use Roman numerals (I. II. III. IV. …). There should only be one sentence per point, not two sentences. (You don’t need to go to the next subordinate outline level, but if you do, use A. B. C. …) The points must not be questions but should be single declarative sentences. They must be your own words and not quotes or paraphrases or even ideas you are citing parenthetically at the end of the sentence. These are YOUR main points in what will become your main sections of your research paper. I strongly recommend you look at the outline in this sample paper at this website: http://www.dianahacker.com/pdfs/hacker-levi-mla.pdf –but note that the thesis in this sample paper is an argumentative one and not the informative one that I am requiring for your paper.
Important note about your preview step: The main points (I. II. III. etc.) of your outline should each align with the preview steps in your introduction paragraph, using the same wording found there. The main points you write should be clear declarative sentences that elaborate on your thesis and reconnect to your thesis statement directly or indirectly. If in your preview statement you say your paper will cover four things, then you should have exactly four main points in your outline, not three or five. They must align completely and directly and “steal” much of the same wording as found in the preview step. I recommend you write your main outline points, then copy and past them up into the preview step of your introduction paragraph, remove the outline numbers (I. II. III. IV. etc) and then make the wording flow with words like: first, second, third … or next, then, finally. If you need several sentences in your preview step, that is fine.
C. Follow your outline with your Works Cited page. Simply copy and paste the entries from your Module 2 assignment into this document at the end under the title Works Cited. But do NOT include the annotation paragraphs, only the bibliographic entry itself. Make the Works Cited start on its own page by using Cntrl-Enter to create what is called a hard page break.  If you have more sources at this point that you plan to use in the research paper, list those here too. Know now that the main sources that you cite the most in your research paper must be the three EbscoHost sources I approved in M2 in your annotated bibliography. Do not reference or use Wikipedia. The safest approach is to use only EbscoHost sources and not any you find just googling for sources. I look with suspicion on stand-alone website references. Government and think-tank databases that contain statistics, however, are acceptable. If you need to define something, don’t use a dictionary for that; instead, find a definition in a scholarly work on the topic and quote that source.

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