In your research paper, you will answer your research
question and provide evidence to support your conclusion. Your goal is to write
a well-supported, clearly organized, thesis-driven argument in a form that will
effectively communicate your thought process to your target audience. You will use APA Style and Format.
Your topic will be the same issue you have been
researching for your Annotated Bibliography. You might have shifted your focus
slightly based on the research you collated in your AB, and that’s fine.
Setting Up (Structuring) Your Paper
Figuring out what kind of paper you want to write or
what kind of claim you want to make will determine how you will structure your
paper. Structure (organization) is incredibly important in a paper as it guides
readers through your thought process. You need to ensure a logical progression
of thought throughout. Essentially, you
need to think about what information needs to be presented early on, in the
middle, and towards the end, and how you are going to paragraph the information.
You can set up your argument in a variety of ways.
For example, you might set it up as a proposal argument: during your research,
you have discovered that a problem exists. In your research paper, you would
then outline the problem, explain what (if anything) has been done in the past
to solve it, and why those attempts have not been successful, and then propose
a viable solution. This is also called a claim
Another possibility, especially if you do not have a
viable solution, could be to focus your paper on arguing that a certain problem
exists and make a claim of fact.
You would then in your paper shed light on the different aspects of the problem
and explain who is affected and why this is a problem that should be taken
seriously. If you are not writing about a problem but, rather, are explaining
how something has happened or how something has come into existence, you would
also have a claim of fact. In this
case, you would outline the origins of the issue and explain what happened or
how things developed over a certain amount of time. You may also want to define
and explain the different factors that helped shape the issue.
Yet another possibility here is to set up your paper
as a claim of value: you could
evaluate an issue, a problem, or whatever it is you have researched. Claims of
value typically make a judgment and argue that something is good or bad. For
example, if my research topic was reality TV shows, my claim of value might be
that while some reality shows have added value to TV programming, others have
been detrimental to the viewers’ experience. As you can see, a claim of value
does not necessarily have to deal with huge issues—it simply argues that
something is beneficial or detrimental, and then explains in depth why this is
Or you could develop your research paper as a claim of definition: waiters are
In the final draft of your Research Paper, you should:
o Get to at least 5 pages in length. This
does not include the Reference, title, and abstract pages.
o Present a clear claim (thesis) about
your issue that is an answer to your research question
Cite at least 5 sources. At
least 3 of these should be scholarly (peer-reviewed) sources. Non-scholarly
sources should be credible. Hang on to your sources; you will need to
turn them in with the second draft.
o A strong research paper will aim to synthesize
multiple sources in body paragraphs when possible instead of automatically
using just one source in each paragraph.
o Present your argument in a structure that
allows your target audience to follow your train of thought and that presents
the issue you are writing about in a logical way. This is not a five-paragraph
o Address any relevant counterarguments you have come across to
strengthen your position
o Edit and proofread your draft so that it is virtually free of
errors in grammar and mechanics and consistently uses a tone appropriate for
your target audience
o Follow APA documentation style.
Cite all sources used in your paper according to accepted conventions of
must upload the articles you listed on your Reference page in PDF or docx
format for the RD2* due date. Web pages, or other non-PDF sources: paste into a
Word document and upload the Word document.
Research Paper In your research paper, you will answer your research question an