A research paper is an expanded essay that presents your own interpretation, evaluation, or argument, using what knowledge is already available on the subject. This type of paper involves studying a topic in order to find the best possible information in that field. Your paper must present your own opinions and ideas supported by your research, correctly credited to the original authors and organizations.
· Take a position: This is not merely a pro/con paper where you list both sides of an argument. In this paper, you will take a side. Know your position.
· State the opposition’s viewpoint: Because this is an argument, you must bring up the opposition’s position and do your best to establish counter arguments to refute it.
· Do more research: A is required for this paper. They must all be from different sources.
· Write in formal English: This is a research paper, so keep to the formal third person (avoid “I” and “You”) and avoid personal anecdotes.
· Proofread carefully!
· Revise, edit, and proofread. I can’t stress this enough.
· Format correctly according the documentation style your professor assigns. To assure that your Microsoft Word program does not force those extra spaces on you, remember to go to Paragraph > and click on the box on the left-had corner that reads “do not add extra spaces between like paragraphs.”
· Length: 900-1,500 words. A minimum of 900 words (NOT including abstract and references pages) is required in order for your essay to be substantial. What is important is that you get your point across.
· Organization: Introduction, supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion.
· Style is usually used for the type of research you will be doing. Continue in that style unless otherwise stated by your professor.
· Cross-referencing: You must use in-text citations (also known as in-text references) or signal phrases each time you use the words or ideas of your sources in the essay. Cross-reference your work as explained in your handbook. The handbook is especially necessary for this essay.
· Support: You’ll need a minimum of five sources. Support your ideas with expert opinion, facts, statistics, and other information you find in your research. It is a mistake to create a Frankenstein research paper by copying and pasting.
· Convert your papers to Microsoft Word before submitting.
· In Microsoft Word, make sure you look under the Paragraph section. On the bottom of the left hand side there is a box which reads “Do not add extra spaces to like paragraphs.” Check that box! In academic papers, there are no extra spaces between the paragraphs. Instead, you must indent each new paragraph. I recommend tapping the tab key to indent.
· The research paper must be typed, double-spaced.
· Pages must be numbered. Use the correct pagination format for the documentation style your instructor has chosen.
· The title of your paper is centered, using the same font and font size as the rest of the paper. Your title must not be bold, underlined, or italicized.
· Use Times New Roman 12 pt. font.
· Use one-inch margins at the top, bottom and sides of each page.
· Long quotes: Quotations of forty or more words in the typescript (APA) or four lines (MLA) should be set apart followed by the page number. Shorter passages are integrated into the text of the paper.
· APA requires a cover page with a running head, an abstract, and a References page. Do not neglect to include these.
The amount of quotations should not exceed 25% or so of your total essay.
Use formal language (avoiding contractions, the use of first or second person and personal anecdotes)
Student Loans: A generation ago, the federal government opened its student loan bank to profit-making corporations. Since then, law by law, student debt has become the worst kind of debt for American students (best for banks and loan collectors). Student loans are not even allowed to be dismissed in bankruptcy. Consider some possible solutions: Permitting loan forgiveness, allowing bankruptcy, eliminating private collection agencies from this process.
CHOOSE TOPIC FROM THE BELOW LIST
1. Water/Environment: Last year, Americans bought more than 4 billion gallons of water in individual-portion bottles. The environmental impact to all those plastic bottles, made from non-renewable resources like natural gas and petroleum is a concern. Although bottled water is 10,000 times the cost of tap water, consumers are reluctant to give up their bottled water. They feel bottled water is safer and convenient to carry around. In your thesis take a position for or against buying bottled water.
2. Human trafficking: The exploitation of human beings is a world problem, yet this form of slavery is not something that only occurs outside our borders. The United States Department of State estimates that between 14,000 and 18,000 individuals are trafficked into the country each year. The laws in place have not been helpful in controlling this kind of trafficking. Choose a position: More border regulation should/should not be in place to reduce human trafficking into the United States.
3. Fat Tax: More and more countries are adopting fat taxes (adding more tax to junk food and soft drinks) in an effort to curb rising obesity rates and also to offset the economic costs of obesity. Numerous studies suggest that as the price of a food decreases, individuals get fatter. Yet, since the poor spend a greater portion of their income on food, such a tax has been said to be regressive. In your thesis, take a position for or against the fat tax.
4. Terrorism: Determine what your position is with dealing with terrorists. Consider whether the United States should negotiate with groups that are religious or apocalyptic in their objectives, such as “Islamic State,” as opposed to groups that are political. Take a position: Negotiating with terrorists is appropriate in all cases, is never appropriate, or appropriate in some cases.
5. Drunk Driving: Taking away the licenses of drunk driving offenders has not proven successful (they drive anyway), so consider an argument for or against more stringent law enforcement, such as requiring ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenders, sobriety checkpoints and whatever new technology or regulation could prevent drunks from continuing on the road while inebriated.
6. Teen Drivers: Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death to 15 to 20-year olds. Teen drivers are three times more likely than drivers aged 21 and older to be in a fatal crash. Because of this, many states have adopted driver training courses required of teen drivers. Should we in Florida? Choose a position: All Florida citizens under the age of 21 should/ should not be required to pass a complete driving education course before receiving a license to drive.
7. Senior Drivers: Because of high accident rates and the increasing risk elderly drivers impose on roadway safety, advocates want drivers’ licensing requirements across the nation to become more stringent as drivers age. Choose a position: All citizens over the age of 75 should/should not be given yearly driving and vision exams in order to renew licenses.
8. Texting: The dangers of texting and talking on the phone while driving are well documented. How do we as a society address the use of electronic devices while driving in order to put the brakes on the fatalities that these distractions are causing on the roads? Will regulations interfere with citizens’ individual freedom? Choose a position.
9. Sexual Predators: In what ways and how should violators be caught and punished if preying on children on the Internet? Do you oppose or support certain forms of censorship to catch or prevent predators preying on children? If you are against regulating the Internet, then in what ways can parents protect their children? (Do not make this an advice article for parents. Write it in the third person, avoiding references to “I” and “You” altogether). Also consider: Should TV shows such as NBC’s “Dateline” series, “To Catch a Predator,” continue bringing attention to the problem of adults sexually preying on youngsters over the Internet?
10. Foreign Adoption: Over the past decade, the USA has adopted at least 15,000 children internationally each year. Due to less regulation, corruption and human trafficking, there have been considerable problems, and some countries have banned foreign adoption altogether. In addition, many children within the USA are in foster care, so some people want the USA to also ban foreign adoptions. Consider an argument for or against adopting children from foreign countries.