Length: Five full pages (minimum, not including the works cited page)
Source requirements: Must incorporate work from at least six sources, listed on a complete Works Cited page (does not count toward length requirement). At least three of the six sources should be of academic quality (AVL); one of these three should be peer-reviewed.
You have selected a topic, evaluated sources, written bibliography entries, and generally marshaled your research material together. Now it is time to combine everything that you have read, written, thought of, and struggled with this semester into a thoughtful, well-developed, college-level research paper.
For this essay, your main goal is to skillfully and effectively present your position on your topic. With all the research you have conducted this semester, you should be prepared to offer a well-informed, thoughtful, educated opinion on your chosen subject. In order to take an educated stance on your topic, you will need to incorporate material from the sources that you have been gathering. Make sure that you incorporate good, strong quotes and paraphrases to add expert testimony to your opinions, and make sure you use this material in an appropriate way. You should always set your quotes up, present them, and then explain/analyze them seamlessly. Quotes and paraphrases are only as good as you make them; avoid simply dropping them into your text. The best quote in the world is pointless without adequate explanation and justification. Be sure to have all of your sources documented correctly (if you have questions about citing your sources, talk with me and check the Purdue OWLs online MLA Style Guide).
It is extremely important that you have a strong, clear, opinionated thesis statement that answers the so what? question. Why is your topic important? Why is your opinion correct (or, if not correct, at least well-informed)? Make sure that you employ sound logic in your response, and you should establish yourself as a well-informed, credible author. Now is the time to employ the effective writing techniques youve learned throughout the semester from evaluating sources carefully and reading like a writer (RLW).
It is also key to address and refute your counterargument at an appropriate point in the essay. The strength of your own argument will be questionable if you ignore the fact that others could be reasonably opposed to your point of view.