Topic: Should scientists be allowed to perform painful and sometimes deadly animal experimentations
Thesis: Painful and sometimes deadly experimentations
are necessary for human life-saving research.
I.D.: magn0128 password:password; use for recommended sources. My personal I.D. is 7636
Research Paper Assignment
It is essential that you learn how to write a research paper following the strict guidelines of MLA (Modern Language Association). Even if other instructors ask for papers in a different style, like APA, you will at least be familiar with using the techniques of finding sources, incorporating information from them, and documenting borrowed information correctly without plagiarizing.
Your research paper will be an argumentative essay documented with information from sources that support your thesis.
1. The first step is to choose a topic. This topic MUST BE DEBATABLE. It cannot be a report on something like anorexia or a battle of the Civil War.
2. You must write a thesis statement that asserts your position. For example,
testing is necessary to develop new medicines and advance scientific knowledge,” or “Animal
testing is unethical and should be outlawed.”
As you can see, there are two sides to most controversial issues.
It is your responsibility to select a topic that can be argued and for which you can write a thesis statement that takes a position in favor of or against something.
A good source of topics is located in MELO at the SMCC Library site.
To reach the SMCC Library site
Go to smcc.edu
Click on Library Resources.
You will find links to Style Manuals, Magnolia, MELO, Literature Online, and
If you need an ID to log in, use magn0128.
Go to Opposing Viewpoints and click on a topic.
When you click on a topic such as “Prisons,” you will find these headings:
Viewpoints, Reference, Statistics, Magazines & Newspapers, etc., that provide
source material for use in a documented essay, which is what you
will be writing.
Titles like “Incarceration Does Not Reduce Crime,” and “Incarceration Reduces Crime” illustrate how a topic can be argued from two different viewpoints. You must choose one side to argue and you will have to read extensively in order to find information that supports your viewpoint.
The following topics are not allowed for this assignment: abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, capital punishment, homosexuality, and gun control.
The format for this paper will be MLA style (MLA stands for Modern Language Association).
A good website that explains the MLA style is located at the following address:
www.dianahacker.com/resdoc ( A link to this site is provided in Blackboard’s External Links)
The site is titled Research and Documentation Online. A menu with the heading Humanities has links to Finding Sources, Documenting Sources, and Sample MLA Paper.
When you click on Finding Sources, you will see another menu in the upper right that lists areas such as literature, music, philosophy, religion.
When you click on Documenting Sources, you will again see another menu. For your paper you should follow the rules explained in the following links:
• MLA in-text citations (for using parenthetical references)
• MLA list of works cited (for the Works Cited page)
• MLA manuscript form (for headers, headings, titles, margins, etc.)
• The Sample MLA Paper is longer than the one you are required to write, but it is an excellent example of how to do a research paper correctly. There are marginal notes that explain the various elements. To read the sample paper, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you don’t already have it installed on your computer, you need to download it; it’s free (click on Google and search for Adobe Acrobat Reader download).
The thesis in the sample MLA research paper is worded as an assertion about the need for cell phone use regulation:
“Regulation is needed because drivers using phones are seriously impaired and because laws on negligent and reckless driving are not sufficient to punish offenders.”
For your paper to be acceptable, you must first select an appropriate subject that can be argued. The argument must be supported with evidence. The evidence comes in the form of information that you find from extensive reading.
Plan to spend time reading about a topic you are interested in. Check out the availability of information before declaring your choice of topic. A change of topic is NOT ALLOWED after yours has been approved.
Read carefully the file titled “Plagiarism” located in the Research Unit Folder.
Remember that all borrowed information (not just quotes) must be documented (cited with parenthetical references).
Requirements for the Research Paper:
1. Length: 3-4 pages (no less and no more), double-spaced, 10-12 pr. font.
2.Number of sources: minimum of 4, maximum of 6 Do not use incyclopedias, including Wikipedia, as sources.
At least 4 sources form the following sites:
A. Databases available in the Magnolia Project (in External Links of SMCC Library Resources link)
Go to EBSCO host and search these sites:
Academic, Eric, Newspaper Source, Mas Online plus, Master
3. Use of sources:
a. At least 2 parenthietical references in each paragraph other than the introduction and conclusion. NOTE that parenthical references go BEFORE, not after, the period at the end of the sentence.
b. Between 3 and 7 direct quotes (phrases or whole sentences)
c. No more than one block quote (a block quote contains more tan 50 words and is indented 10 spaces from the left margin). NOTE that a block is indented an additional half-inch from the left margin; the poarenthetical reference will go AFTER, not before, the end.
4. Organization: 6-8 paragraphs
5. Works cited: A list of all sources cited in your paper (with parenthetical references) in correct MLA format. Follow MLA rules for alphabetizing and indenting.
Formatting rules for research papers
1. Use Microsoft Word software
2. Margins should be set at 1" for top and bottom and left and right sides.
3. A research paper does not need a title page.
In the upper right corner, create a header with your last name, followed by a space, then the page number. In Microsoft Word, you go to “View”; then choose “Header”; then right justify to get your cursor all the way to the right margin. Next, type your name and hit the space bar. On the header toolbar, click on the # symbol. This will insert the correct page number for the first page and all subsequent pages.
One inch from the top of the first page and flush with the left margin, type your name, your instructor's name, the course number, and the date on separate lines, doublespacing between the lines.
4. The title is centered. Capitalize the first letter of the first and last words and any large words in between. Leave articles and prepositions in lower case—unless you have only three words… then capitalize all three. Do not underline, capitalize, or put quotation marks around the title. You should double space between the heading and the title and between the title and the first line.
5. Always use double space—everywhere, for everything…even the heading, the works cited page, block quotes….everything from top to bottom, beginning to end.
6. Remember to indent to show the beginning of a new paragraph. Use the tab key to indicate a new paragraph. Do not use extra line spacing to indicate a new paragraph.
7. Always use a standard font such as Times New Roman or Arial. Do not use any special fonts---anywhere. Point size should be 10 or 12.
8. Use quotation marks to indicate the title of an article or essay you refer to in your paper.
9. The list of Works Cited appears at the end of the paper. Begin on a new page that is numbered consecutively with the text. Alphabetize by the author's last name. If you have no author’s name, list by the entity that published the work (such as the State Department of Transportation) or by the title.
10. In the text of your paper, acknowledge the sources by keying brief parenthetical citations in your text to an alphabetical list of works that appears at the end of the paper.
Example : (Marcuse 197) Note that there is no comma and no abbreviation for page.
This tells your readers that information in the sentence was derived from page 197 of a work by an author named Marcuse. If readers want more information about this source, they can turn to the works-cited list, where, under the name of Marcuse, they would find the information about the book or work cited.
Bestohoff, Len. “Cell Phone Use Increases Risk of Accidents, but Users Willing to Take the Risk.” WRAL Online. 11 Nov. 1999. 12 Jan. 2001
Cole, Thomas B. “Cell Phone Use.” Public Policies. 290.5 (203) 583-586. Academic Search Premier. EBSCOhost. Southwest Mississippi Community College, Summit, MS.
9 Dec 2003 .
Farmers Insurance Group. “New Survey Shows Drivers Have Had ‘Close Calls’ with Cell Phone Users.” Farmers Insurance Group. 8 May 2000. 12 Jan. 2001 .
Pena, Patricia N. “Patti Pena’s Letter to Car Talk.” Cars.com. Car Talk. 10 Jan. 2001 .
Redelmeier, Donald A., and Robert J. Tibshirani. “Association between Cellular-Telephone Calls and Motor Vehicle Collisions.” New England Journal of Medicine 336 (1997): 453- 58.
Criteria for Research Paper Assessment
Your grade will be based on the following criteria:
• Proper MLA style for the heading
• Appropriate title in correct format
• Introduction with thesis placed at the end of the paragraph
• Grammatical correctness throughout
• Good topic sentences for each paragraph with adequate support (at least 2 citations in each paragraph except for the introduction and conclusion)
• Citations (Parenthetical References) are in parentheses
Author’s last name is not followed by a comma before the page number (Barksdale,
65); it should be (Barksdale 65)
If author is not known, use source title (abbreviated with proper capitalization and punctuation)
Page numbers are given for print sources
Punctuation (usually a period) appears on the outside of the parentheses
Paraphrased passages have parenthetical references
At least four direct quotes/ No more than eight
Block quotes( indented 10 spaces) for direct quotes of more than 50 words (or more than 4 typed lines); no quotation marks; parenthetical reference appears after the end punctuation. No more than one block quote.
Attribution to sources is adequate
• Works Cited
Works Cited is typed correctly in the center of the page/ not in quotation marks, underlined or in bold
The entries are in alphabetical order
The entries are not numbered
All cited sources are listed
No sources are listed that have not been cited in a parenthetical reference
The entries follow correct MLA style for Works Cited
Titles contain capitalization of all important words
Plagiarism will result in a failing grade.
Inadequate paraphrasing: You have merely rearranged the author’s original words. Example: (Original) Because the government has overspent, schools are poorly funded. (Inadequate paraphrase) Schools are poorly funded because the government has overspent.
Quoted material with no quotation marks
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