English Assignment

| November 30, 2015

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Secondary Source Research Paper



Overview:  For this paper we will focus on using secondary sources.   You will be allowed to research and write on any subject you wish, but I encourage you to begin looking at subjects related to your major or any career goals you possess.


You should begin this project with only a general topic or thesis you wish to explore through research.  The point of the secondary-source paper is not to start with a specific thesis, but to explore a topic and develop a thesis based on the information you find.  You will find and evaluate sources related to that topic and use the information you discover as the basis for your paper.


In this paper, you will NOT just be telling me what the research you find says.  Instead, you will be taking that information and using it to create your own argument or idea.  You should look at the sources you find and think about what they say and how their words interact with the other sources.  You should then put information from all three sources together with your ideas to create an argument and thesis that is based on the sources, but is taking their information and ideas in a new or slightly different direction.


Sources:  For this paper, you will need at least three (3) sources.  Because the purpose of this essay is to learn to work with and evaluate academic research materials, at least two of the sources must be from either scholarly books or peer-reviewed journals. You may use any other reputable source for the third, such as newspapers, magazines, interviews, and .edu or .gov websites.  Unfortunately, Wikipedia is not an acceptable source.


Requirements:  The final draft should be 3 pages long, in 12 point Times New Roman Font with 1” margins.  It should follow MLA formatting style and must be double-spaced, stapled, and include page numbers, and a Works Cited page.


You need to also cite your sources properly using MLA style both in the body of your paper and in the Works Cited page (see The Writer’s Harbrace Handbook Chapter 12 for MLA documentation rules or the Online Writing Lab at OWL Purdue)


Grade:  Your grade will be determined by the following:

Mechanics/Style – 20%

Organization – 30%

Content – 50%


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