Name: ___________ Pd: ______
Research Paper Unit
RESEARCH PAPER (MLA) - Modern Language Association
“Innovation in History: Impact and Change”
A formal analytical research paper:
Includes information from several scholarly sources
Gives credit to those sources using parenthetical citations (in-text Citation)
Informs “ the reader what others have to say about a topic [and] . . . thoughtfully offer[s] a unique perspective on the
issue at hand.”
Purdue University Online Writing Lab
Assignment – TOPIC
Throughout his political career, President Kennedy inspired people to work for the benefit of their
communities, their country and their world. Write a research paper about a prominent individual who
has made a difference in the world through his/her invention, decisions , actions and risks.
Your work must relate to the theme- “Innovation in History: Impact and Change.”
Consider an innovation as an invention, creation, discovery or a device that changed the world (both intentionally
and perhaps unintentionally).
Through your research and analysis, consider the following questions:
o What is the invention/innovation? Who is (are) the inventor(s)?
o Why did this innovation happen at this particular time and in this particular place?
o What was the innovation’s significance when it was introduced/discovered?
o What is the long-term impact of the innovation?
The innovation must be at least 25 years old (one generation) in order for you to analyze its legacy.
Writing a Research Paper: A 10 Step-by-Step Approach! (Red Book)
1. Choose a Topic (pages 7-21)
2. Locate Sources /Preliminary Thesis Statement (pages 22-46)
3. Take Notes (pages 47- 64)
4. Write a Thesis Statement and a Preliminary Outline (pages 65-76)
5. Write a Final Outline (pages 77-79)
6. Write a First Draft (pages 88-108)
7. Document Sources (pages 109-121)
8. Revise the Draft (pages 122-137)
9. Find and Correct Errors (pages 138-148)
10.Publish your Research (pages 149-160)
STEP ONE- Choose invention
Below is a list of possible inventions.
(Please see me if you want to research something that is not listed below.)
Anesthesia Contact Lenses
MRI scanner Dentistry
Penicillin Laser Eye Surgery
Aspirin Polio Vaccine
Science The Arts
Telescope Impressionism Piano
Microscope Cubism Saxophone
The battery (voltaic pile) Telephone
Air conditioning Television
John Deere plow Internet
Blue jeans/denim 1890s
Important American Bridges (Example: Verrazano Bridge)
STEP TWO: Locate Sources/ Preliminary thesis statement and Working outline
A thesis statement is an assertion that you will be able to prove in the body of your paper. Before researching your topic,
your thesis statement will be a vague statement but you will make it much more clear, focused and insightful once your
research has been completed.
EXAMPLE: Sesame Street has had a significant impact on children, both academically and socially.
STEP THREE: Locate at least 4-5 sources and take Notes
General encyclopedias may be consulted for background information but do not count as a source. WIKIPEDIA IS NOT
to be consulted!
Your sources must be reliable. Please consult the LC Media Library Center.
Prepare the source citations following the 2009 MLA guidelines and the format on the WORKS CITED handout or a
citation website. I suggest that you keep a word document of your citations on your flash drive that you can ultimately paste
into your research paper. Mrs. Emmerick will help you with Noodletools.
We will be in the library or computer lab. For a week which means that you will need to stay focused .
You must complete a minimum of 25- 30 fact cards from 4-5 sources before you can start writing a draft.
Your fact cards must draw on all 4-5 sources. I expect that you will get at least five fact cards from each source. For
example, I will not accept your cards for credit if you present 28 cards from source #1, one card from source #2 and one
additional card from source #3. You may have a total of 30 cards but you are not really using multiple sources as the basis
for your paper.
I will not accept your draft for credit unless you complete the minimum number of note cards.
When taking notes, never put more than one fact, quote or idea on a note card.
Always put the slug/tag on the upper left-hand corner of the note card.
If you can’t connect the fact to your working outline, you are off topic or you need to revise your outline.
Slug Source #
ONE FACT PER CARD
Type of Notecard
Paraphrase, Summary, page #
Quotation, Commentary or n.pag.
Keeping track of your sources will help you avoid plagiarism (using someone else’s words or ideas as though they were
When taking notes, write in phrases unless you are copying down a direct quotation.
If you are directly quoting a source, be certain to put quotation marks around the sentence and write n. pag. on the bottom
left-hand corner of your card.
GUIDELINES FOR PARENTHETICAL CITATION
In MLA style, parenthetical citations enable you to give credit to your sources for the facts or ideas you include in your
Always cite direct quotations. Cite all statistics, opinions and facts that are not common knowledge.
The parenthetical citations direct readers to the full bibliographic information listed in the Works Cited (the last page of the
If the author's last name is the first word on your source card, then include the author's last name in the
parenthetical citation before the page number(s). Note that no comma appears between the author's name and the
By three years of age, Bengal Tigers are fully grown and males reach 200-230 kilograms and up to 3 meters in length
If the author's name is used in the sentence introducing the source material, then cite the page number(s) in
According to Hall, Tigers are heavier predators than lions, and average about 50 deer each, per year (15).
If the first word(s) on the source card are the title of a website, article, etc, you will use that first word (or words) in
the text or parenthetical citation. When using an internet source, you will NOT include a page number in the citation.
While nearly half of all cubs do not live past the age of two, life expectancy for panthera tigris is about 26 years, both in the
wild and in captivity (“Bengal”).
While panthera tigris is an excellent hunter, it fails 90 percent of the time it attacks, assuring that its food source will not be
depleted (Tigers 223).
If you have used more than one work by an individual author, include an abbreviated form of the title of the work
in addition to the author's name and relevant page number(s). Separate the author's name and the title with a
Man-eating and cattle-killing are usually attributed to older tigers, injured tigers, or young adults unable to leave an over-
crowded territory (Smith, Bengal 125).
If you use two sources by authors with the same last name, include the author's first name in the text or the
The white ear spots may enable mothers and cubs to keep track of each other in the dim forests at night (Woods, Katrina 59).
When including a direct quote of someone who has been quoted within the text of another author, include the
quotation’s author in the sentence and include the source information in the parenthesis as seen below.
According to Nguyen, the “tiger, largest of all cats, is one of the most charismatic and evocative species on Earth; it is also
one of the most threatened” (qtd. in Thomas 42).
When material from one source and the same page (or a limited range of pages) is used throughout a paragraph, use
one citation at the end of the paragraph rather than a citation at the end of each sentence. Caution: all of the information
in that paragraph must come from a single source and from a limited range of pages. Make sure that you reference the
source at the beginning of the paragraph.
Parenthetical citations usually appear after the final quotation mark and before the period. An exception occurs,
however, in quotes of four or more lines since these quotes are presented as block quotes: that is, the passage is indented
and uses no quotation marks.
Research Pages Note Cards and Bibliography cards
You will use these pages to help you record the info you will use in your paper. If you “quote” then you will
need to “quote it exact” and take down the page number. If you are just copying facts or info that you will put in
your own words than you just need to copy the source.
When an encyclopedia is well known, simply list the author (if found), the article title, the title
of the encyclopedia, the edition number, and the date of the edition.
Author. (if known)________________________________________________________
“Title of Article.” _________________________________________________________
Title of Encyclopedia. (underline or italicize) _________________________________
Edition number. ____________________ Date of Edition. ________________________
Posner, Rebecca. "Romance Languages." The New Encyclopedia
Britannica: Macropaedia. 15th ed. 1987.
Author or editor. __________________________________________________________________
Title of Book. (underline or italicize) __________________________________________________
City of publication: -
Mittenthal, Robin Eric. How to Be a Professional Student. Harvard
University Press, Cambridge, MA: 2003.
“Title of Article.” _________________________________________________
Title of Magazine. (underline or italicize)
Magazine date: ___________________________________________________
Page numbers used. ________________________________________________
Lord, Lewis. "There's Something about Mary Todd." US News and
World Report. 19 Feb. 2001:53.
Complete publication information may not be available for a Web site; provide what is given.
Author. (If found)_______________________________________________________
“Specific page or article title.”_____________________________________________________
Date published or updated. _____________________________________________________
Corporation or Institution. _________________________________________________________
Date accessed _____________________________________________________________________
Younis, Steve. “Superman in the Comics.” Superman Homepage. 26 May. 2004. 15 Apr.
LC Library subscribes to databases of full-text articles on the Web. Works Cited entries for these articles should include
information about the original print publication and information about the online subscription service.
“Article Title” ________________________________________________________________
Magazine/ Journal Title _____________________________________________
Article date: _____________ Volume # (if found) ___________ Page numbers. ____________
Database Title . _____________________________________________________
Online subscription service. ____________________________________________
Library through which you accessed the
___________________________________ Date of access__________________
General URL to database___________________________________________
Fox, Justin. "Who Wants to Be an Internet Billionaire?" Fortune 8 Nov.1999: 40.
ABI/INFORM Global. ProQuest. Amador Valley Library, Pleasanton, CA. 15 Jan. 2004
STEP FOUR: Write a polished THESIS STATEMENT. We will study this in greater detail.
Step 5: Outline
STEP SIX: Final Outline- Revise the working outline and create the formal outline for your paper.
We will review the format in class.
STEP SEVEN: Draft the paper and DOCUMENT SOURCES.
We will draft the first rough draft in class.
I will collect your drafts to check your progress.
Your final draft must include at least 5-6 parenthetical citations (in-text Citations) to show that your research has gone
beyond “common knowledge.”
STEPS EIGHT-NINE-TEN, ETC.: Revise your draft!!!
The final draft ( the research paper, the works cited page and the final outline page) must follow MLA formatting. The
body of the final draft must be between 850-1500 words (4-5 typed pages) + works Cited page..
Typed final drafts must be in New Times Roman 12 font with one-inch margins.
All drafts (including the first draft) must accompany the final paper.
Please refer to the grading rubric distributed for the grading criteria.
Grading: This research assignment and paper will be a major part of your grade; do not take this grade lightly. Each part of
the assignment will be part of the grade. You cannot just hand in the final paper and still expect to do well. The total
assignment is worth 100 points, broken down as follows:
Note cards/ Thesis……………………………….……..15points Due: _______________
Outline (at least 2 pages)…..….………………. 15 points Due: ________________
First Draft ….…………….……… 30 points Due: Friday Dec. 17th
Final Paper …………………………......…….. 40 points Due : ________________
Essay Color Coding
Hook – Color coded ( RED)
Thesis Statement- Color Coded (GREEN)
Topic Sentences – Color Coded (YELLOW)
In-text citations- Color Coded (ORANGE)
Transitions – Color Coded (BLUE )