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ENC1101 - Research Paper Guide - Professor Baker: Home

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Instructor Information

John Baker

WLR 128

Professor Information

Research Paper Proposals: ENC 1101




 Length and Voice:  225 words: Max.1 page (type, dbl.-sp.); use 1st person.


Assignment: A 1-page paper that announces your intentions for the research paper.  Use paragraphs and topic sentences to explain the parts below, or use an outline. 


Contents: The proposal should include basic information about your own individual project, beginning with the topic you have chosen. The topic should be narrow enough for a 1,200-word paper, and it must be related to current evens relevant to Americans today.  Strictly historical accounts and biographies are not acceptable.  For certain other topics also off-limits, read the research paper guidelines handed out in class earlier in the term.  


Topic Explanation: First, in several sentences announce your topic.  A topic is more narrowly focused than the list of suggested subjects.  For example, the subject of gender and the family itself is too broad, while the question of how to achieve better pay for single mothers is a topic worth investigating.  Likewise, family nutrition is too general a topic, but the causes and effects of overeating in young children is more focused and a subject about which much has been written.  


State a research question: Example: How do lifestyles and diet in America today  encourage obesity in school-age children?  Or a related matter: What can families in our country do to address the problem of obesity among school-age children?


Background Information: Example: According to recent clinical studies by pediatricians, an alarming number of school-age children are now obese, compared to children of previous generations. Consequently, doctors and dietitians recommend new dietary guidelines for the home and schools alike, along with suggestions for keeping children more physically active.


Statistic: Mention a statistic that is relevant to your topic, and name the source.


Relevance: Explain the topic's relevance to current events/contemporary culture. Reversing childhood obesity is relevant because children who are obese face increased health risks as adults, including diabetes and heart disease.


Interest in Topic: Explain something about why you are choosing this topic.


Sources: Give the title and author of at least one book and / or bylined magazine (or journal) article on your topic, and use MLA style. Book titles are in Italics, articles within quotes.  If you have trouble finding books and magazine articles, switch topics today!


Thesis Statement: The proposal should not include a thesis statement.  That can and should change as you write the paper.



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