For this paper, we will work with the concepts of research, synthesis, MLA conventions, essay organization and construction, and expository composition. In this paper, you will choose a topic of your own about which to inform us. Genetically Modified Organisms, Organic Farming, Global Warming, Mars Travel, Recycling, or about anything you might want to research a bit yourself will work. You will need to provide a particular focus and develop a research question that you will answer in your essay. In addition, you will need to acquire at least 4 credible and comprehensive sources of at least two “types” to use in your essay. Of course, you can use more than four sources, but you must use at least 4. You must show synthesis of the information provided in these sources and correctly cite and document them using MLA conventions. You will find the JFK Library online data bases very helpful when researching your topic and we will be attending a library presentation to aid us in research. Be sure to get all of the necessary documentation information you will need when researching so that you won’t have to try to find the source again.
What needs to be done is a research exercise, a “fact finding” exercise. This paper is evidence of a thorough, balanced research of your topic. You need to explore more than one element of your topic: ethics, economics, applications, social, and/or any other relevant aspect of your topic that results from your research. For example, some elements of stem cell research are ethics, economics, social and religious, political, among others, or you might thoroughly research hydroponics as a part of continued deep space exploration or a moon habitation development. A balanced research would look at the position and presentation of those in favor and those opposed to continued stem cell research or space habitat development. From alternative energy to Physician Assisted Suicide, there are no shortages of qualified voices on all sides of an issue. Your job is to find them and represent them fairly in your paper.
THIS IS NOT AN ARGUMENT. While I believe that it is difficult to write anything without some form of persuasion involved, you must remember that your primary goal is to inform your audience. For this paper, your audience is assumed to be other first and second-year composition students who are interested in your topic.
This paper should be two full pages to 2 1/2 pages in length (front & back is okay), not including the Works Cited page, single-spaced, size 10 Arial font with one inch margins. Normally, an MLA paper is no smaller than sized 12 font and is double spaced. Otherwise, the paper will need to conform to MLA conventions and good composition criteria.
In addition to focus, development and support, organization, and good mechanics, your paper will be assessed for depth and clarity and the use of “modes” of expository discourse: comparison, causality, process, analysis, definition, and etc. Your purpose and ideas should be clear to your reader, and your use of sources evident through summary, paraphrase, and critique. This paper should be mechanically correct and is worth 100 points.