Your culminating project for the course will be an 1,200-1,500 word (5-6 pages) researched argument about a work of art for an educated reader who is not necessarily familiar with the work in question.
The work of art on which you write will be the same one you wrote about in your Close Reading Essay. The differences between the Close Reading Essay and the final research paper will be several. The most obvious one is length, with the Close Reading Essay being about 2/3 as long as the research paper will be.
Your argument may have developed and in many cases changed quite dramatically over the course of the last few units, so the argument in your research paper may be different from the argument you made in your preliminary essay. Feel free to change your thesis, if necessary. Finally, the research paper requires you to use at least 6 sources that are appropriate for college-level research. Ideally, these will be the same 6 sources you used in your Annotated Bibliography, but if you want/need to change some sources out, you may. Just make sure that they fit into these 6 categories:
2 editorial sources that agree with your argument
1 editorial source that disagrees with your argument (counterargument)
1 contextualizing source (a court case, a bill or law, government document, etc.)
2 scholarly peer-reviewed articles and/or academic book chapters
Organization: The research paper can be organized in a number of ways, but it should be organized in a manner that best fits the paper’s content. Regardless of the particular organizational pattern you choose, your research paper should be guided by a clear thesis statement, employ logical organization and progression of thought, clear and smooth transitions, and coherent and developed paragraphs.
In addition, your essay must present at least one source of counterargument and provide a concession/rebuttal. You must present at least one point of view that does not agree with your thesis, and you must offer a defense of your own thesis against it.
Sources and Documentation: The research paper must use and cite a minimum of six sources (see categories listed above). You may use other sources as well, as long as they are relevant and do not detract from the credibility of your paper. All quotations must be quoted exactly and attributed to the proper source using both parenthetical citations and a Works Cited page. Quotations should be smoothly integrated into the paper and should also be explained adequately. In addition, no more than 300 words of the essay should consist of directly quoted material.
Formatting: Your research paper should be at least 1,200 words and no more than 1,500 words long. It should follow standard MLA conventions: double spaced throughout, 1-inch margins all around, and 12-pt. Times New Roman font.
All parenthetical citations and Works Cited entries should follow 8th edition MLA format. Use the MLA Citation guides posted on Canvas to review what information should be included in a citation, in what order the information should appear, and how to format the information correctly.
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