Assignment for Spring 2013
The Research Paper
possible central ideas (2 points)
Introduction paragraph (2 points)
Tentative Works Cited page (2 points)
cards (5 points)
Outline (2 points)
Preliminary draft (5 points)
Presentations (5 points extra credit)
Use the techniques of causal analysis, persuasion, comparison/contrast,
narration, description, illustration, and/or definition to
explore the idea of the outsider in society.
You are required to include at least eight quotes
and/or paraphrases from at least five sources.
In addition, you must list your sources on a Works Cited
As you research this topic,
consider the following questions: Is
“outsider status” today, or was it at a different point in
history, based on self-perception, culture, society’s political
views, and/or media propaganda?
Are there other factors to consider when examining this
Also, consider some potential
“causes” of outsider status—religion,
race, nationality, political stance, social beliefs,
adoption, altered appearance through tattoos, piercings, plastic
surgery and the like, illness, injury, birth defects, mental
illness, age, weight, sexuality, gang affiliation, or
Type of Essay:
This essay is a thesis paper,
not a mere report.
In other words, your paper must make a point, which must be
clearly worded in your thesis statement.
You will want to narrow your topic to focus on one (or
two, if you are comparing or contrasting) group(s) of outsiders
today or at a specific time in history.
6-7 pages (2,000-2,500 words), not including the Works
Utilize at least five sources:
one book, two periodicals (newspaper, magazine, or
journal articles—either hard copies or online copies are
acceptable), one personal interview, and one
multimedia source (work of art, sound recording, film or
video, radio or television program, podcast, live performance or
lecture—online versions are acceptable).
An encyclopedia, including Wikipedia, does not count as a
Search for the most accredited, relevant sources on your topic.
clear central idea that is referenced in all topic sentences and
main idea statements
logical method of organization with clear transitions (body
paragraphs must begin with clear topic sentences and contain at
least two main ideas apiece; this essay must have more than five
Careful use of sources—use the most current MLA guidelines for
both in-text citations and the Works Cited page
Research notes written on note cards or typed on several pages
printing documents from the Internet and highlighting these will
not count as note-taking)
preliminary draft, for peer review
ten-minute verbal (and visual, if desired) presentation of your
findings to the class
This assignment has been designed to help you learn basic skills for
writing a research paper.
You’ll be required to use the library and the Internet,
develop a clear central idea, smoothly incorporate researched
material into the paper, and write a Works Cited page.
In addition, you’ll continue to practice skills already
learned in class such as writing a clear thesis, writing clear
topic sentences, organizing body paragraphs into distinct main
ideas, using transitions, and providing specific support,
whether based on research or personal experiences and
and error-free sentences are also a requirement of this paper.