Your last major writing assignment of this semester will be your research paper. Please keep in mind that your paper has to be an argumentative paper. This means that you have to formulate an argument that takes a specific stance on a controversial subject. You can expand your draft of Essay #3, thus, creating a five to seven page research paper with a work cited page.
Designer Babies: medical science and research has reached the point where prospective parents are able to customize their unborn children. They can choose gender, eye color, and other options. Should parents be allowed to create their designer babies? On the other hand, are designer babies a bad idea in the sense that it will create a class divide between those who can and those who can’t purchase designer babies? Are there any unintended medical consequences where the child will suffer?
This argument should be clearly stated in your thesis statement. The body of your essay should be devoted to bolstering and defending your thesis statement, and the outside sources that you will be using should be strong evidence that supports and defends your argument or thesis statement.
Like the other essays, you will be writing an academic essay with an introduction, body, and conclusion, but because this is a research paper, you will need to incorporate several outside sources (books, peer-reviewed journals, websites, etc.) into your paper. This means that you need to quote or paraphrase certain passages from your sources and write them into your body paragraphs. Your sources will be your evidence that will defend your argument (thesis statement). As with any paper using outside sources, you will have to cite every source using the MLA (Modern Language Association) format. Please watch the videos on MLA rules posted on Canvas. In the case of the research paper for this class, you will be required to cite from at least six outside sources (of course, you can go beyond the six outside sources minimum). All of your sources should be electronic sources as long as they are credible sources that provide accurate information. I prefer that you find your sources from the online databases found at Mt. SAC’s library, but if you have to widen your search, you must make sure that your sources are reliable and trustworthy. In fact, your web sources should end in either .gov, .edu, or .org. Furthermore, at least three of your outside sources must be research articles published in peer-reviewed journals.
You will also be required to make citations in the text of your body paragraphs as well as attach a “Works Cited” page at the end of your paper. There is one more thing that I want to mention: I want to discourage you from using religious texts such as the Bible or the Tibetan Book of the Dead, unless a religious text relates to your argument in a way that does not simply promote a certain faith.
When it comes to in-text citation, I PREFER direct quotes because there is no confusion about what is an outside quote and what is your own writing. Paraphrasing is acceptable, but I STRONGLY DISLIKE summarizing outside sources; the delineation between what are outside sources and what are your own words is too hazy and confusion in regards to summarizing. The rule of thumb regarding in-text citation is ALWAYS cite the source when in doubt. Any information, detail, or fact taken from an outside needs to be cited.
There is one more important thing to keep in mind. I do not like a lot long quotes (outside sources). I consider long quotes to be quotes that are longer than four or five lines. If you do use long quotes, then you must contextualize and/or explain everything in that quote. I find that long quotes fill up space rather than help make a convincing argument.
If you have any questions about MLA citation format, you can always check the rules at the library, which has the latest information on MLA formatting. I will always try to help you if you have any questions regarding MLA citation, but the library has information about all kinds of formatting and citation rules. You can also access the Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) website on MLA rules via this link: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_formatting_and_style_guide.html (Links to an external site.).
You will be using outside sources to defend your argument, but you will also have to use certain types of rhetoric in your paper. You should not assume that your outside sources will be enough to prove your argument. You need to build rhetorical strategies around your sources. Listed below are some of the rhetorical issues that you need to address in your essay.
You need to defend your argument with convincing evidence, which will come from your outside sources. Keep in mind the various types of evidence:
Numerical Data (statistics, polls, etc.)
Research Data (for example, conclusions made from scientific and academic studies)
Appeal: you need to figure out what sort of appeal to use in your paper and how you will build this appeal off of the evidence you present. Will you be incorporating a logical or ethical appeal around your sources, or will you use both? How can you form a strong appeal along with your evidence? I will discourage you from using emotional appeal since it is very hard to pull off in a research paper. Please note: you should focus on logical and ethical appeal only.
Please be aware that you cannot assume that your evidence will speak for you. You must build a strong appeal (logical, ethical or emotional) off of the evidence that you present, and don’t forget connotative and denotative language as well as tone.
Requirements for the Research Paper:
The essay must be typed and double-spaced and the font should be no larger than a 12 point font;. Please be aware that MLA rules require your paper to be typed in the font, “Times New Roman”, and please be aware that this essay must be in 3rd Person POV only.
If you are going to expand upon your draft of Essay #3, your research paper MUST be anywhere from five to seven full pages (of course you can write more than eight full pages). However, this requirement does not include the “Works Cited” page. For example if you meet the minimum (six pages), then you must add a “Works Cited” page for a total of seven pages. The minimum length requirement will be strictly enforced. If you turn in something less than six full pages of writing (not including the “Works Cited” page), at least 3% points will be deducted from your grade.
You must use at least six outside sources for your paper. Please follow MLA citation rules. This includes both in-text citation (body paragraphs) and “Works Cited” page.
Please follow MLA formatting rules when typing your Name, my Name, the course number, and so forth on your paper. Use the sample essays as a model.