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Research Strategies: Writing a research paper requires you to become more formal in your writing style and more organized. For this paper, you are to eliminate all use of first and second person from your paper. This includes the following words: we, us, our, you, your, I, me, my.
I especially don’t want to see any sentences with I think or I believe or You should, etc. You are to write consistently in the third person.

Even though you are using research to support your points, remember, the paper is still mostly your own words. As a general rule of thumb, 60% or more of the paper should be your wordsand thoughts written in third person. You are using research to make your own points clearer and stronger. Make sure you continually refer to the MLA Handout &sections in your textbook for guidance on incorporating quotes.

Your first stop in your research should be the Central Library’s website located at Remember, Academic Search Complete is the best database to use.
Absolutely no sources can come from Wikipedia or any generic website unless it ends in .edu, .org, or .gov. Websites with physical equivalents or sponsored by well-known companies such as CNN, Time, ESPN, can be used along with any websites listed on the Pathfinders. If you want to use a site which is questionable, it must be approved Entries included with forbidden sites will not be counted.

You must cite a minimum of 3 different sources in the paper. There is no maximum. The paper must be at least 4 full pages in length. You must have at least 5 direct quotes in the paper.


1. You can write an informative paper. You may construct your paper to
(a) illustrate something,
(b) to show the cause and/or effect of something
(c) to explain how or why something occurred (Process Analysis).

2. You can write an argumentative paper. You may construct your paper to
(a) argue a point
(b) convince the reader to do or not do something
(c) take sides on a controversial issue

When choosing a topic, you should be able to phrase it in the form of a question. Your answer would be determined by and supported by your research. For example:

Question: Are there harmful effects to kids from playing video games?
Answer: There is evidence to suggest that video games may lead to obesity, poor grades, and undeveloped social skills in kids under 13.

Question: Should torture be allowed in times of war?
Answer: Despite the fact that a few people may be hurt from this, torture is necessary in times of war in order to protect the many.


The following topics are NOT allowed: Diseases (unless some new development in treatment has been made), Abortion, Abortion Pill, AIDS/HIV, Breast Cancer, Cloning, Drinking Age Debate, Legalizing Marijuana or the effect of commonly known illegal drugs, Rastafarianism, STDS, and Voodoo. Topics off limits also include Historical Events, basic biographies of people (dead or alive), Religious Arguments, and anything that could be considered racist, sexist, or homophobic.

Format of Paper:

• Your introduction should be a minimum of 6 sentences with the thesis statement as the final sentence.

• Each paragraph after the introduction should include no more than 2 direct quotes. Paraphrase, if used, should be used sparingly: no more than 2 paraphrased passages of no more than 3 sentences. I do not want to see a paraphrased paragraph.

• You are to use attribution (signal phrases) for each new source. Remember, this means you should state the author’s name and title of the work from which the quote comes the first time you use a source.

Example: In his book Why Kids Failnoted author Abraham Jenkins states, “Kids spend in excess of 4 hours a day in front of a television” (54).

• The conclusion should be a minimum of 6 sentences and should restate your overall point.

• Your paper must be at least 4 pages in length (7 or more fully developed paragraphs should accomplish this). You should try to follow the hamburger model, as this would fulfill all the requirements of the assignment.

• A Works Cited page must be included as the last page of the paper (does not count in the page length) and must include 3 entries minimum.

REMINDER:3 sources — 4 pages —5 quotes