Research Paper Requirements

Students are responsible for knowing this information.

  1. Choose a specific topic of interest that directly relates to the course material.  Peruse the textbook for ideas. Topic proposals are due by the date listed in D2L schedule via the Dropbox.  Write a paragraph using your best writing skills explaining why your topic is historically significant and why you chose this topic.
  2. Use a minimum of five sources, and no more than ten.  All sources should be appropriate for college-level study and writing.  If you are not sure about a source, consult with another instructor, a librarian, or your instructor.  Sources should vary, e.g., a book, a periodical, and a scholarly website.  Sources and thesis statements are due by the date listed on the D2L schedule via the Dropbox. Sources must be formatted in the Chicago Manual of Style bibliographic form, preferably using Endnotes as with Footnotes your paper will have to be longer.
  3. Only three of the five sources may be from an internet website.  Only scholarly websites that are properly researched and documented are acceptable.  Be wary when using internet sources.   The other two sources must be publications of some type.  If you are not sure, consult with another instructor, a librarian, CMS guidelines, or your instructor.  Electronic books and journals are not websites, and are acceptable.
  4. Encyclopedias are not proper sources for research papers.  Do not use them.
  5. Wikipedia is not a proper source for research papers; neither are search engine sites like ask.com or askjeeves.com, etc.  Do not use them as sources.
  6. Textbooks are not proper sources for research papers.  However, each chapter of the text includes a list of suggested readings for further research that may serve to be very helpful leads.
  7. Begin with an introduction that includes the thesis statement.  Sources and thesis statement are due by the date listed on the D2L schedule via the Dropbox.
  8. Thesis Statement: Your essay should have a specific thesis statement.  Research the topic and focus it into a clear, concise thesis statement.  A thesis statement is a focused conclusion based on research, i.e., an argument.  Ask a question about your chosen topic.  Research the question, and draw a conclusion.  Form your own opinion or interpretation of the topic.  This is your thesis statement.  For example, if your topic is George Washington, a question to ask might be: How did George Washington come to power in the United States?  Was it because he was a successful businessperson?  Was he a trusted public official?  Was he a trusted military officer?  Was it because he was respected for being honest and trustworthy?  Read three well-respected sources on Washington and determine the answer to your question. That answer, in statement form, will be your thesis.
  9. Body: The body of your essay should support your thesis statement and contain the points you are making about your topic.  The thesis statement is a map of your essay, and the body of the essay follows the map.
  10. Conclusion: The conclusion of an essay should summarize the paper, but not repeat the introduction.
  11. Use Chicago Manual of Style of writing.  Refer to a CMS writing guide, Hodges’ Harbrace Handbook, or use one of the external links posted in D2L.  Papers should have one-inch margins, be double spaced, have a proper heading and pagination, and a bibliography. 
  12. Proper citation of sources is required.  All citations must be cited in CMS.  If you borrow someone else’s ideas and they are not your own thoughts, you must cite your source, whether you are quoting or paraphrasing that source.  Not citing the source is plagiarism.
  13. Plagiarism: Plagiarism is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.  Plagiarism may lead to a failing grade in the course.  Avoid plagiarism like the bubonic plague.
  14. Papers must be between six and eight full pages in length of writing, double-spaced.  That means, I should receive:

Title page, 6-8 pages of your writing, Endnotes page, Bibliography

  1. Papers must be typed in 12-point Times New Roman font.
  2. The title page and the Bibliography page should be formatted in CMS.
  3. Final drafts should be submitted by the date listed on the D2L schedule via the Dropbox.
  4. Late research papers will receive a late penalty.  If I do not receive your essay via the Dropbox by the deadline, it will be penalized five points per day for each day it is late.  After one week past the due date, it will not be accepted.  You will then receive a 0 (zero) for the assignment.

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