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TOPIC: Your topic should address an intricate issue, problem, event, or a topic of interest to advance your knowledge and express your ideas regarding that topic. This is a collegiate level course, so your paper should be more academic in terms of its topic and style. Be sure to cover several angles of thought throughout your paper and craft an argument that not only illuminates information, but also addresses its implications. If you write about a facet of science or technology, realize that this field changes quickly. Use current and up to date sources rather than old, outdated sources that should only be used as background information, or to show progress in a particular area of research.
AUDIENCE: Your paper should be understood by a broader audience than scholars who would work in the field you address. You will have to explain concepts and not expect your audience to understand in-house jargon. If you are working on a paper in your field for another class or on the job we can negotiate audience requirements.
FORMAT: The length of your paper should be 1500-2000 words double-spaced (not including graphics, cover page, appendices, or reference page) in 12 pt font, Times New Roman. Eight "rambling" pages are not better than 8 clear, fully developed pages. Write your paper in MLA format and use MLA format in-text citations and works cited format.
THESIS: Your thesis must be included in the introduction, generally at the end of the introductory material. In essence, your thesis should take the form of an essay map so that your reader knows your exact progression. The body of your paper should provide supporting evidence to support your thesis, in a logical fully developed, consistent manner. For each new topic that supports your overall thesis, provide a topic sentence or two, which is, in effect, the thesis for that subtopic which supports your controlling idea for the whole paper.
SOURCES: Use a minimum of 4 varied current sources?for example, books, journals in your major, Internet sources (be careful with these), interviews. Check the source of all information for reliability. Is the Internet site sanctioned by a reputable institution or organization? Is the person interviewed experienced in your subject? Does he or she have a built in bias you need to address in your paper? What biases of your own may you have to be aware of to produce a scholarly look at this subject?
– NOTE: Follow the current standard MLA style for documenting the sources in your text. Use parenthetical citations (citation information in text between parentheses). Give parenthetical citation information for quotations AND paraphrases. Include page number for direct quotes.
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