Reasearch Essays

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English 102

Research Essay Guidelines

Produce a research-based essay that meets the following criteria (absolute requirements):

1. Topics: You should write on the "Community College Issues and Challenges" issue that you
clear with me in advance. Any changes later on to your topic must be discussed with me before
you write!

2. The essay is a combination of informative, analytical and argumentative strategies, but the
main thrust must be argumentative. You are not writing a report. We will go over what this
kind of essay looks like in class, but the student models in Chapter 23 of our text will give you
some idea. I hope to bring good models to class, as well.

3. Research “supports” (in the general sense) the points raised in the essay, but the argument is
ultimately the author’s. All of the guidelines for finding and using sources that we outlined in the
Annotated Works Research project apply here, as well. Use a variety of sources, mostly
academic journal articles.

4. All standards of college-level grammar and MLA style are observed.

5. Your research essays should be at least 8-10 pages in length (not counting the Works Cited
page) and incorporate 10 sources, minimum. The final drafts of your essays, as with all other
work, should be professional in appearance: typed, double-spaced, titled and with numbered
pages. Note that 7 1/2 page essays or those containing only 9 sources will be rejected.

6. You must use correct MLA citation form. *You MUST have a regular (not annotated) works
cited page attached to your essay that includes ONLY those sources that you’ve actually used and
cited in your final draft. This component is, again, a minimal requirement. Not having an MLA-
style citation page will result in rejection of the essay.

7. You must turn in your essay, as with all others, via email attachment in Microsoft Word.

8. You must turn in copies of all source materials, although electronic copies put on a CD or
attached to an email are acceptable. For books, you need to copy relevant chapters. For videos,
make sure I can easily obtain a copy if I need it.

We’ll discuss other details of content and style in class. You are responsible for all class

Final essays are due December 5, 2008, by 5:00pm, no exceptions whatsoever. Since computer
problems will not warrant you an extension, your best strategy is to get the essay done and
printed in advance of the due date—not at the last minute. If you choose to email your draft to
me, you will still need to get me either hard or electronic copies of ALL sources--all before

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