For your final research paper, you will examine a contentious issue, explain thevarious sides of the issue, and argue your own stance on it. Essentially, you will writeyour own argument using the They Say / I Say format. A successful paper will explain thetopic at hand and why it’s important, summarize the current conversation, and provideyour own argument. You’ll want to plant a naysayer and use metacommentary asappropriate, and all ideas should be well connected so your paper flows well.
What topic should you choose? It’s up to you; any topic with opposing viewpoints willwork very well. The main thing you’ll want to consider in choosing your topic is scope.You don’t want to choose something so small that there’s not much information on it. Onthe other hand, if you choose an enormous multi-faceted issue with a long history andmany nuanced opinions (such as abortion), you’ll quickly become overwhelmed with theresearch, and you probably won’t be able to narrow down the issues.
You will need sources for your paper — a minimum of 8. After all, if you’re going tosummarize the current conversation on your topic and offer us some relevant quotes,you’ll need sources. Plus, when you write your own side of the issue, you’ll want sourcesthat corroborate what you say.
This should includetwo main parts.1. A summary of at least 200 words explaining your topic, why it’s important, whyyou chose it, and some of the main issues surrounding it.2. An annotated bibliography of at least 4 of the 8 sources you plan on using. Forthis part, you’ll need to cite your sources using MLA formatting, then write aparagraph (at least 75 words) on each source that briefly summarizes what it’sabout and why you’ve chosen to use it.