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Write a research paper using evidence to support a thesis that addresses your research question examining a current issue or event in the news from the perspective of your field of study. The audience is people who are generally educated but do not have extensive knowledge of your field or topic.

Step 1: complete all assigned components, use and cite eight sources, and answer reflection questions (earning up to 100% of the possible points)

 Write a working thesis statement and sentence outline here. This sentence outline needs only four sentences: the thesis statement (this is one sentence) and three topic sentences that lay out your plan for supporting your thesis.     

Use research to write a paper that will inform or persuade an audience

  • Form unified, coherent, and well-supported paragraphs in support of the thesis statement 
  • Select sources, use them to inform and support your writing, and document them in APA style
  • Demonstrate accurate grammar and mechanics in writing
  • Participate in the process of receiving feedback and revising your writing

Step 1: Submission (earn up to 100% of the possible points for the assignment)

Your submission should include all of the following components:


To earn the maximum possible points on this assignment, use and cite at least eight sources.

At least three of these must be from scholarly journals, and all sources should be selected based on reliability, currency, and level of information/analysis. The UMGC library will be very useful in helping you find appropriate sources. You can, but do not have to, include all of the sources from your annotated bibliography.

Note that it is possible to earn a B on this assignment by using only six sources, including three scholarly journal articles. To earn an A will require an additional two sources.

Consider the following in incorporating your sources:

  • Sources are meant to help you build your argument, not to define the paper’s organization. Therefore, it is usually not helpful to have an entire paragraph focused on a single source or to focus on a source in a paragraph’s topic sentence.
  • To weave sources into your own writing, avoid dropping quotes into your paper without an introduction or transition in your own words. An example of a transition into a quote is underlined in the following: This idea is corroborated by Snyder (2019) who explains that “community-based interventions have to be adequately funded” (p. 10).
  • It may also be helpful to follow a quote with a comment on its significance to the paper’s ideas.

Content and Organization

This paper is the culmination of your research project, in which you are examining a current issue or event in the news from the perspective of your field of study. Before drafting your paper, you will have chosen a topic, developed a research question, and identified several potential sources in an annotated bibliography. You should write on the same topic for this paper, unless your professor has asked you to make changes to your topic.

As you write your paper, be sure to include the following:

  • an introductory paragraph that includes your thesis statement. The introduction is meant to engage your readers and orient them to the topic, and the thesis statement should clearly state your position or central claim to be supported in the body of your paper.
  • any definition of terms or background information that your reader is likely to need to understand your paper
  • focused body paragraphs that begin with topic sentences and use transitions as needed. This is where you will support the thesis using arguments and evidence. Use the sentence outline you developed in class to guide you.
  • a concluding paragraph that reiterates the thesis, summarizes key points of the paper, and leaves the reader with the “So what?”
  • an APA reference list that includes all of the sources cited in the text of the paper, in alphabetical order

Research is a key element of this paper. Take care to support your claims with research throughout the paper. Include APA in-text citations whenever you use sources, whether through quote, paraphrase, or summary. 

Language Choices

  • As a writer, you are free to decide how you use language, keeping the following in mind:
    • style: your language choices should result in a consistent writing style that is purposeful and aligned with your goals
    • readability: your language choices should ensure that your ideas are clear and easy to follow
  • When composing your assignment, think about the conventions for academic writing, including:
    • punctuation: this includes things such as recommended use of commas, colons, and apostrophes.
    • word-level accuracy: this includes things such as capitalization, spelling, word-tense, and usage.
    • sentence-level accuracy: this includes things such as sentence boundaries, subject-verb agreement, and pronoun-antecedent agreement.
  • Take time to review your language choices after you’ve drafted your assignment. Think about your goals for the style of this writing and your own writing habits (like using “text-speak,” omitting capitalization, or writing sentence fragments). Revise as necessary to accomplish your style and readability goals.
  • Reading your writing aloud is a helpful technique when reviewing your language choices for style and readability.

This paper calls for an academic style, which most frequently involves third person point of view. Second person “you” is seldom used in academic writing. First person “I” is best restricted to discussions of your personal experience or involvement with the research topic or your role of as the researcher. Not all research papers will will include these discussions. First person statements of opinion (“I believe,” “I would say,” etc.) may weaken your claims. Instead, state your position without these phrases, and provide evidence.

Length and Format

This paper should be at least 2000 words, including references.

Incorporate these elements of APA style:

  • Use one-inch margins.
  • Double space.
  • Use a consistent, easy-to-read font between 10-point and 12-point.
  • Include a title page with the title of your paper, your name, and the name of your school.

Reflection Questions

The reflection questions are to be answered separately. Post these in the “comments” box when submitting your assignment. Be sure to address all four questions.

  • Aside from simply meeting the requirements, what were your personal goals for this assignment? State at least two goals and answer in a short paragraph of at least three sentences. Goals may be of any sort: specific areas of writing, organization, time management, etc.
  • When reviewing your language choices, what choices did you make to approach your goals for staying within or moving beyond conventions for academic writing? Please be specific and answer in a short paragraph of at least three sentences. Examples of specific language choices are writing only in third person, using discipline-specific vocabulary, writing to reflect one’s own dialect, etc.
  • What parts of your work on this assignment are you most proud of? Please be specific and answer in a short paragraph of at least three sentences. 
  • What challenged you in this assignment and/or where do you need additional support from your instructor? Please be specific and answer in a short paragraph of at least three sentences.

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