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To begin, select one of the Categories (listed in bold) below and review the various topics (listed underneath) you may be curious to explore. Then think about a question related to the topic you are interested in researching.

Categories & Topics to Choose From:

Business & Economics
-Consumer Behavior
-Privacy and the Internet

Environment, Climate and Natural Resources
-Natural Disasters

You are required to upload three separate documents. These include:
1. Prewriting & Outline
2. Draft 1
3. Revised Final Draft

Each document will be eligible for points for this assignment.  All three required documents listed below must be uploaded and turned in before the assignment is considered fully submitted for a grade.

Prewriting & Outline: This document requires two parts. Please submit both parts together in a single document.

Part I is your prewriting. This can be freewriting or brainstorming. This prewriting document should demonstrate your first attempts at thinking on paper about your topic. Take about 10 minutes to freewrite about the topic you have selected from the list of available choices. Try to raise questions that you might consider worth exploring and addressing in your paper.

Part II is your outline. Think of the outline as your strategy for planning the essay. Include the following four items:

a. The topic you will be analyzing.
b. The main focus of your paper.
c. Your main claim about the topic. The main claim should be your answer to a question or concern about a controversial subject. If there are not at least two sides to the claim about your topic, it is not a suitable claim for this paper.
d. The evidence (at least three separate pieces of evidence) you will present to support your claim.

Draft 1: This draft should contain your first version of the essay. Include an introductory paragraph, three to five body paragraphs, and a short concluding paragraph. Remember your job and goal with this essay is to make a claim about your topic. You will need to use outside evidence (this is the research portion of this assignment) to support your claims.

Direct quotations from research articles are an effective way to present evidence. Be selective with the words you quote leaving plenty of space in the essay for analysis and commentary in your own words. MLA recommends no more than 10% if quoted and/or paraphrased material for a paper. For instance, if your essay is 650 words, make sure to limit your quoted and/or paraphrased material to 65 words.

Grammar and spelling errors are not a problem here in the first draft. This is your messy draft where you can see where you are fully on track and where you may need to adjust course for the revised final draft.

There should be SUBSTANTIAL changes and differences between Draft #1 and the Revised Final Draft. A word change here and there or indenting paragraphs or leaving out one sentence is not considered substantial changes between drafts. Let Draft #1 be your thinking on paper draft in paragraph form.

Points will be deducted if there are not substantial changes/differences between Draft # and the Revised Final Draft.

Revised Final Draft: A 650 word essay written in third person point of view with three outside sources and a Works Cited list all in MLA format. This is your final version of the essay that has been revised for clarity, coherence, unity, and organization, edited, and proofread for errors. Make sure the paper adheres to MLA format.

Word count: The final draft essay must be approximately 600 to 650 words. There is a wiggle room policy of 50 words either direction. Essays under 600 words OR over 700 words will have points deducted. If you find your essay is underdeveloped work on finding areas where you can expand your research and more fully develop the paper. If you find your essays word count is climbing beyond 700 words, work on revising and editing see where you may be able to combine ideas or cut away repetition.

Outside sources: The final draft essay must contain at least three outside sources from three different online sources such as scholarly journals, university websites or archives, and/or national newspapers.

No print material is acceptable.

In addition, Wikipedia, encyclopedias, and dictionaries are unacceptable sources for this paper.

Are there databases or websites that are off-limits for the essay paper? YES!
Unreliable websites are to be avoided.  We will be going over how to determine reliable versus unreliable sources.

Avoid evidence/material from the following:
Yahoo! Answers
Anybody Out There
Blurt It!
Cliff Notes

No printed books/journals accepted for this assignment. I must be able to have online access to all of the research material listed on your Works Cited page.

Quotations: Quotations should be carefully selected as MLA recommends no more than 10% of the paper be quoted material. This 10% rule applies to paraphrases as well. When you quote and/or paraphrase from your research material, watch that you keep it to 10% of the total word count of the paper. For example, if the paper is 650 words, the quoted and/or paraphrased material should not exceed 65 words.
The essay must have all quotations and paraphrased material in quotation marks along with citations in MLA format.
Each quotation within the paper requires at least one sentence of explanation and/or analysis in your own words.

Consult the Purdue MLA Format & Style Guide link below or an MLA online site for help in formatting citations. In addition, review the module material and assigned OER reading. If you need additional help with MLA format, visit the LAVC Writing Center.
Works Cited page: The essay must have a Works Cited list at the end of the essay. The Works Cited list should be in MLA format. All three to five outside sources quoted or paraphrased within the essay should be listed in alphabetical order by author in the Works Cited list.

Consult the Purdue MLA Format & Style Guide link below or an MLA online site for help in writing the Works Cited list. If you need additional help with MLA format, visit the LAVC Writing Center.

Papers submitted without a Works Cited list will result in zero points. (If I cannot check your sources listed in the Works Cited page, I cannot assess and grade the paper.)

MLA Format & Submission Requirements:
Standard MLA format which includes one inch margins all the way around, 12 pt font, double-spaced.

Identification in upper-hand corner which includes your first and last name, the professors name, the class and date in the upper left-hand corner.
Running headers with your last name and page number: MLA requires that each page of the essay include in the upper right corner a running header that gives your last name and the page number. Note that there is no punctuation between that last name and the page number, nor is the word page used or any abbreviation like p. or pp. included.
MLA Style & Guidelines: For those who need a review of MLA format, there are many free online sites. The one I recommend is Purdue University. Students in the past have said that the “MLA Format and Style Guide” available on the Purdue site is user-friendly and helpful.  Here is the link:
Purdue MLA Format and Style Guide
(Links to an external site.)

Use Microsoft Word doc. or docx or pdf only

A Few Writing Tips:

Do not include a lengthy summary of any articles you use in your paper. Your reader needs only a brief sentence summarizing the overall idea of the article, followed by your specific quote.

Your main mission in this paper is to present, explain, and support your claim about the topic.

After the introductory paragraph, try to begin each new paragraph with a subclaim that helps you develop your main claim. Use the rest of the paragraph to elaborate and provide evidence for this subclaim.


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