The purpose of this paper is to exhibit your understanding of the various research concepts we have learned this semester: objective summary, source evaluation, literature review, presentation, argument analysis, and APA style.

The purpose of this paper is to exhibit your understanding of the various research concepts we have learned this semester: objective summary, source evaluation, literature review, presentation, argument analysis, and APA style. The aforementioned skills have prepared you for this paper and will help you set the foundation for your future academic, professional, and scholarly research.

Your final paper should take a position, select and integrate sources, and develop an original persuasive argument using APA style and documentation. You will be using the content you generated from the research project for this culminating paper. You will be writing an IMRAD style of paper, which features an introduction, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion.

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Organization and Development

Your paper should follow standard APA formatting and must contain the following:

• Title page (1 page)
• Abstract (1 page)
• Introduction* (1-2 pages)
• Literature review* (this is where 90% of your secondary sources will go) (4-6 pp.)
• Methodology* (detailed description of primary source materials) (1+ page per source)
• Results* (of primary source research) (2 pages)
• Discussion* (an interpretation of your results against the background of the lit review) (3-4 pages)
• Conclusion* (describes next steps and limitations of research) (1 page)
• References (1-2 pages)
• Appendices (5 pages)
The items marked with asterisk should collectively be about 11-15 pages in length (see sample essay on Blackboard). The entire paper will likely be 20-25 pages.

Consider the following questions as you draft each section of your paper:

Title page
– Should be properly formatted and include only required elements (title of your paper, your name, and your institution; no author’s note necessary)
– Header should be properly formatted according to APA, 7th edition

Abstract
– Header and heading properly formatted
– Provides a brief objective summary of the project (this should be the last thing you write!)

Introduction (Background/Context):
– Header and headings properly formatted
– What is the issue or controversy being researched?
– Who is your audience and how can you “hook” them? Interest your audience in your research.
– What is your specific research question?

Literature Review:
– Header and headings properly formatted
– What background does your audience need to know to understand the context and complexity of the issue?
– What are the major components, issues, or topics related to your research question?
– What are the current discussions surrounding each of those components, issues, or topics, according to your secondary sources?

Methodology:
– Header and headings properly formatted
– Provide enough information to your readers about your primary research process for them to understand what you collected and how you collected it
– For surveys, your methods would include describing who you surveyed, how many surveys you collected, decisions you made about your survey design, and relevant demographic information about your participants (age, class level, major).
– For interviews, introduce whom you interviewed and any other relevant information about interviewees such as their career or expertise area, as well as a discussion of what kinds of questions you asked and why.
– For observations, list the locations and times you observed and how you picked those locations and times, how you recorded your observations (i.e. double-entry notebook), how you decided what you were recording.
– For all data types, you should describe how you analyzed your data. How and why did you do it the way you did?

Results:
– Header and headings properly formatted
– You should provide specific details as supporting evidence to back up your findings. These details can be in the form of direct quotations, numbers, or observations.
– The results section can include charts, graphs, lists, direct quotes, and overviews of findings on the sides of the pages with proper labels.
– Be selective! Include only the most relevant results.

Discussion:
– Header and headings properly formatted
– The discussion section presents your own interpretation of your results. This may include what you think the results mean or how they are useful to your larger argument.
– If you are making a proposal for change or a call to action, this is where you make it.
– How will you incorporate the results of your own fieldwork?
– How do the various perspectives of your sources interact with one another?
– How can you turn others’ arguments into a conversation in your research paper?
– How will you include the opposition’s stance?

Conclusion:
– Header and headings properly formatted
– The conclusion discusses next steps. It often considers limitations in your study and recommends further options.
– What do you want your audience to do as a result of reading your paper?
– What is the future outlook of your topic?

References:
– Properly APA formatted list of every secondary source used in the paper.

Appendices:
– This is where you will put your full primary research instruments (the surveys that you did, the transcript of your interviews, your observation log notes) and the full results that these instruments gave you. Include these in an organized, well-labelled fashion.

Audience
Consider your audience to be members of the NIU and DeKalb communities.

Evaluation
Your research paper counts for 200 points. Your paper should:
– Follow APA guidelines. 10 or more errors in your in-text or reference page citations will result in a grade of C or lower for this 200-point assignment.
– Grab your reader’s attention and clearly introduce and explain the topic
– Have a well-defined thesis, presenting both the specific issue and the writer’s opinion
– Contain an accurate, relevant, clear, and properly formatted abstract
– Use well-organized intro paragraphs and present information in a logical and meaningful order.
– Use effective transitions and create solid cohesion and flow by repeating and expanding upon central ideas
– Thoroughly and persuasively address reader concerns and counterarguments
– Present persuasive evidence for each opinion and maintain a consistent opinion
– Incorporate evidence for both sides of the argument with well-supported, effective, and relevant citations from your sources
– Present a sufficient amount of fieldwork results/discussion and effectively incorporate these results
– Properly cite all sources on References page
– Conclude by reiterating your thesis, concisely summarizing the main points of your paper and calling the reader to action
– Be reviewed for grammar, spelling, and any other mechanical errors

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