Paper 3: Mini Research Paper

UWP 23 – Winter 17
Paper 3: Mini Research Paper

R. 2/16: Introduce Paper 3
T. 2/28: Annotated Bib draft 1 due—bring two copies to class for peer review
T. 2/28: P3 Background and Argument sections due—bring two copies to class for peer review
Wed. 3/01: Annotated Bib final draft due on Canvas for grading by 11:59 pm
R. 3/02: P3 full draft with all sections due—bring two copies to class for peer review and editing
T. 3/07: P3 Teacher-Student Conferences; Submit P3 (1000-1200 words) for teacher feedback on Canvas by 11:59pm
R. 3/16: P3 Portfolio Draft (1000-1200 words) due to GD Portfolio Folder by 11:59pm
F. 3/17: P3 Reflection Memo due on Canvas by 11:59pm.

Purpose: Using library and Internet resources effectively is an important part of your university career. Likewise, the research papers you write in college will likely be very different than the report-based research papers you may have written in high school. To that end, this assignment will help you learn how to better search for information and introduce you to the standard college research paper format.

Topic and Task: Many countries strive to provide a top-notch education for their citizens, and each country has created an educational system that works best for their society. However, every educational system has its benefits and drawbacks. For Paper 3, you will research one specific aspect (see below) of an educational system and analyze how that aspect could lead to the success and/or failure of the students when they study in other educational systems and/or in society in general.

First Step: Look over the list of possible topics below and then choose one that interests you.
Second Step: Begin looking for sources on the topic you chose. Notice which ideas/arguments are similar or different, or if different sources/authors have overlapping ideas. By doing this, you will be able to begin narrowing down your research focus.
Third Step: Formulate your research question. (This will be discussed in class.)
Fourth Step: Find as many potential sources as possible for your topic. However, you should not use more than five outside sources so as not to overwhelm yourself.
Fifth Step: Write the Annotated Bibliography. (See directions on the last page of this assignment sheet on how to write it.)
Sixth Step: Once you have your sources and a solid research question, begin drafting the Background and Argument sections.
Seventh Step: Once your Argument section and your thesis are clear, begin drafting the other sections.

**Remember that the focus of this paper should consist of an analytical argument; in other words, you are arguing your position on the answer to your research question, not simply reporting information.

Choosing a Topic:
In the article, “Educational Expectations: How They Differ Around the World: Implications for Teaching ESL College Students,” the author summarizes the literature on different educational approaches around the world. While her discussion is not exhaustive, she presents a lot of interesting information. For your paper, you will choose one of the topics discussed on pp. 121-122 of the article and investigate it further.
Required Sources: You must use the assigned readings (P3R1) and at least three sources that you have found on your own. At least one of your chosen sources must be academic.

Genre & Audience: This is a mini-research paper to be published in Prized Writing, a student writing journal at UC Davis.

Paper Requirements:
? Your name, class & section, date, and word count in the upper left corner
? Final Draft: 1000-1200 words
? You must cite one assignment reading and at least three outside sources, one of which must be academic.
? Carefully follow the structure and section headings outlined in the format sheet below.
? You must use APA format for in-text citations and the References page.


Your title should be your research topic (for example: “Domestic Terrorism in the United States: Its Roots and Motivations”) and could even be your actual research question (for example, “What motivates American citizens to commit acts of terror against their government and fellow citizens?”). Have fun choosing a creative and compelling title!

The actual sections of your paper must be labeled as follows. Note that the word length is a general suggestion – do not include word count in your section headings.

I. BACKGROUND (about 200 words)

Introductions to research papers are slightly different from introductions in regular essays. The introduction should provide the reader with all the background information needed to understand the general factor, using information you’ve learned from your sources. Here, you will describe the issue, but not your own specific research focus. (Be sure to cite sources and quotes according to APA format. You should have several citations in this section since you are presenting the conversation that has been taking place on the issue.)

II. ARGUMENT (about 100 words)

Once you’ve provided the reader with the background information of your event, you will briefly explain what you have chosen to focus on and why. What were you curious to find out? This section should present your research question. Finally, it should end with a brief summary of your key findings and the argument you will make in your paper – this is your thesis. (Not too many details in this section; save those for the body/analysis section below. You will not have any citations in this section.)

III. ANALYSIS OF THE ISSUE (about 500-600 words)

Your paper must not only report evidence—facts about the issue—but it must weave together these facts so that they form an argument that answers your research question. Good research papers provide evidence based on reliable sources, are ordered and logical in the presentation of evidence, and reach a clear and focused conclusion that answers the question posed at the beginning of the paper. In addition, good arguments also consider competing claims: What other ideas have been put forward (or could be put forward) to counter your points? How would you respond to them? In fact, consideration of counter-arguments is often a good way to begin this section of your paper. What have people generally believed about the issue? What are the weaknesses in their beliefs? What evidence do you have to suggest an alternative explanation? How does your position differ from popular beliefs?
Build each paragraph. Remember to follow the list of paragraph elements below to help you to be sure you have a fully developed idea in each paragraph. These are arranged in a pattern/sequence: however, you may alter this sequence to suit your content.

1. General statement of the topic for the paragraph (topic sentence)
2. Explanation of that statement
3. Evidence: examples, quotes, statistics/data, personal experiences/observations
4. Analysis: what that evidence means
(Steps 3 and 4 may repeat as you show connections between one source and another)
5. Synthesis: show the connections among ideas in the paragraph and with your thesis

IV. CONCLUSION (about 200-250 words)

Synthesize, don’t just summarize: Include a brief synthesis of the paper’s main points, but don’t simply repeat things that were said in your paper. Instead, show your reader how the points you made and the support and examples you used fit together. Emphasize what you found to be the most significant findings in your research. Pull it all together.

Perhaps include a provocative insight, quotation from your research, or questions for further investigation. This can redirect your reader’s thought process and help him/her to apply your information and ideas to his/her own life or to see the broader implications this event could have.

Note that each section above could include more than one paragraph.

Your paper should total 1000 – 1,200 words. You will also need to include a References page, also in APA format, which is not part of your word count.

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