You can select ANY topic that you want. Choose something to which you are deeply passionate. Because you have the freedom to choose the way in which to explore your topic, I suggest that you write about something that deeply interests you. That said, however, there are some restrictions and limits. Your topic must be about something where you can access academic resources.
Requirements (Your research paper must):
I would like this topic to be about bodybuilding (let me know if you have any other requests)
- Be at least 12 pages of written text
- Contain (at a minimum) the 6 specific sources listed below
- Contain a Works Cited page
- Be written in proper 100% correct MLA format
- 3 pages minimum not including works cited
You must be creative and ask an original research question about the topic. As an example, pretend your research paper topic was steroids. A very poor and dull research question might be, What are the effects of steroid use? A much better research question could be, How has the use of steroids by football players combined with head injuries resulted in liability issues for college and professional football? Here is another example: Is the death penalty moral? This research question is too opinion-based. A much better research question could be, Has the death penalty worked as a deterrent against murder in the states that employ the death penalty?
Your research question MUST lean towards cause and effect rather than opinion.
You must cite a MINIMUM of SIX sources throughout your research paper. The minimum criteria for your sources are as follows:
- At least one source must be from the Pierce Library database
- At least one source must be from a credible website, appropriate for academic use (.edu or .gov only)
- Two additional sources may be repeated from any the sources from above, or in combination with the following:
- A Film
- A Documentary
- An Interview
- A Ted Talk
- At least one source must be from our textbook, Thinking for Yourself
- At least one source must be from our textbook, Outliers: The Story of Success
Your thesis must be a single sentence and appear at the end of your introduction. In essence, your thesis is the answer to your research question, a summary of your research findings. In other words, you should not be able to write your thesis until you have completed the research. Do not approach your research question as though you know the answer. Your research should answer your question, thereby forming your thesis. This suggests to the reader, in as much detail as possible, what he or she will read in the following pages, why he or she should read it, and in what order it will be presented. DO NOT leave your readers in suspense or surprise them in the thesis! Concretely tell your readers what they are about to discover.
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