On-line Research Writing: English 102
Professor Gary Parks (email@example.com)
Shoreline Community College
Shoreline, WA, USA
Assignment Description: This is a major research paper supporting a thesis within your selected subject area. The paper should show your own informed perspective on the selected topic, and it should synthesize your own prior knowledge and observation on the topic with researched information from all required sources, including Technopoly. See below for further clarification regarding the use of Technopoly. The recommended length for the paper is @ 2200 words. The paper may be no larger that 2400 words. Topics / thesis statements must be approved by the instructor. The paper must use a minimum of eight sources, with the following source requirements:
The instructor will discuss and demonstrate (typically on the Help DB) ways to use source materials. Papers that do not meet these resource stipulations will not be accepted and will be returned for finishing (see criteria below).
After the paper is received in Week 8, the instructor will make suggestions for improvement. The most common types of comments have to do with development, organization, quality and variety of sources, documentation issues, or the paper's overall level of insight (the extent to which it escaped being an encyclopedic regurgitation of existing knowledge). After reading these comments, students may, if they choose, submit one revision for a re-grade by the end of the quarter (see Assignment Calendar for exact date). This revision submission is not required, but is an optional opportunity for students who wish to try to improve their grade. Students who submit a revision must also submit a revision log. The average rise in score on a re-submitted research paper is @ 25 points, although it is possible to improve less or more, or not at all in some cases.
Please note that although a revision cycle is offered, the paper due in Week 8 is a finished paper. It is not a draft. See below under criteria for more details on this. Also see the syllabus Finished Paper policy in the syllabus.
Note: As the syllabus points out, any plagiarism in the paper, at any stage,
even a small amount, earns it a 0.0 and disqualifies it from revision oppportunities.
The paper includes the following checkpoints which must be completed (even if late for no points) for the paper to be accepted.
Note: There are many other writing process steps necessary to write a successful paper, including pre-writing techniques, outlining, extensive drafting, and revision as descibed in our text. These steps are utterly necessary for a successful paper, but they are not all collected or directly assessed. The checkpoints above are the only ones collected. You will find these checkpoints listed in the Assignment Calendar. Also, make sure you understand the Checkpoint Policies specified in the syllabus.
Purpose: This paper and its checkpoints demonstrate your abilities to find appropriate research sources, to critically evaluate sources, to compile your findings, organize them, and integrate them with your personal knowledge, outlook, and experience in your own academic writing voice, to document source material, and to self-evaluate.
Criteria: The paper should show appropriate organization, development, mechanics, style and voice, and documentation as exhibited in model essays in Writing Research Papers (WRP) and at the course site (Documents/Sample Work) and as outlined in the English 102 Writing Assessment Rubric. Papers must meet source requirement stipulations (see above). The paper must also use current MLA documentation style as specified in Chapter 18 of WRP. The paper should also be formatted appropriately (see "Format" below). Any papers that do not meet these criteria will be returned to be finished and lose the end-of-quarter revision opportunity (see Finished Paper policy in syllabus for more detail).
Word count is one--though by no means the only--important dimension of a research paper because by writing a paper of the appropriate size you are working with the issues that arise in longer, more complex essays. For example, organization is much more challenging in a 2200 word essay than a 500 word essay, and the larger essay will need to show greater diversity of source material and deeper detailing. On the other hand, papers should be focused appropriately. Overly long papers often exhibit organization or relevance problems and show inattention to final editing. Papers longer than 2400 words cannot be accepted and will be returned to be finished (i.e., cutting / focusing work).
Note: Word count refers to the body of the paper only, not including the Works Cited.
The recommended length for this research paper is around 2200 words. The following grading scale shows potential grade level based on word count. Please note that this is a reference to maximum possible grade. It is not a guarantee. Word count is the easy part. Papers are further evaluated for organization, development, documentation, mechanics, style/voice, etc.
|Word Count||Potential max grade (out of 400 points)|
|Above 2400||Returned for finishing (cutting /focusing). No revision opportunity.|
|2000 to 2400||400 points--target size|
|1500 to 2000||350 points|
|1200 to 1500||300 points|
|800 to 1200||200 points|
|Below 800||Use your imagination.|
Format / How to Submit: A formal outline and title page are not required with paper submission. Make sure your name is on the first page of the paper. Use a title for the paper. Papers should be double spaced and in 12 point font. Include the Works Cited as the last page of the paper (i.e., in the same document; do not send separately). File must be in Word (.doc) or text file (.txt). If you use a word processor besides Microsoft Word, do a "Save As" and select the "text only" file type or "Word" if available. Please do not place headers or footers in the document--it will probably not be printed out anyway. Submit the file as an attachment to a course message. Keep two electronic copies in two different places (e.g., floppy disc and hard drive). Remember to make arrangements if having deadline problems. You don't want to be late without arrangement on this one!Back to Top // Assignments // Syllabus // Blackboard site