Research Essay

Topic: Many Generations of One Family Living Together

This essay includes research and will be constructed in MLA format with MLA in-text citations and a Works Cited page (Click here for a Powerpoint over MLA citation rules and procedures). Please read through M4 very carefully, as it includes wonderful tips and tricks to understand and present the research process. Further, click here for a sample MLA essay with sources.

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This essay will be 4-5 pages double-spaced over a topic of your choice. You may want to take one of your previous opinion or personal value essays and totally revise it to reflect and include research and a Works Cited page. This would give you a chance to improve your essays through revision and engaging with research. Please note – if you use the same topic, then this essay MUST reflect substantial revision.

Please note: In this essay, do not just present summaries of sources and chunks of cited material without entering into a conversation with it. Share your insights about the research. Verbally tie it in to your ideas. This is what makes an engaging essay. Use signal phrases and in-text citations.

Many essays that you write in college ask for support of your argument with use of secondary sources (avoid wikipedia and sources that are not credible. Be wary of .coms. Your most credible sources tend to come from library databases — such as ESC library — .org, .gov and .edu).

Note–you will enter into a conversation with your sources/authors of your articles about their ideas. It is critical that you insert your voice to signal to your reader where your discussion ends and a quote or paraphrase begins/ends. It must be very clear that which comes from your own ideas and content and that which you airlift out of a secondary source. To do this, you may use “I” and transitionary phrases (further, on the other hand, although Johnston states, clearly, indeed, etc.).

You will interweave your sources with your own critical and logical thinking using vivid, descriptive details and examples as well as an engaging tone.

If you have difficulty coming up with a topic, consider looking for an issue or topic relevant to your major and/or career interests or visit the site from Essay one. You could also take a look at a list of topics from an article in the New York Times:

Make sure you have a strong thesis, topic sentences, discussion and vivid examples. Read Chapters 20 and 21 in the textbook carefully. If you use sources, CITE correctly and consistently and supply a Works Cited page smile. Essays should be at least 4 full double-spaced pages in size 12 Times New Roman font,1500 words in correct MLA format (see our textbook and/or ESC’s Online Writing Center – see link below). Essays must be spell checked and proofread thoroughly before submission. It is critical in a research essay that you have in-text citations (the parenthetical note at the end of a quote or paraphrase that has source identifying information and a Works cited page.

1. Empire State College’s Library and Research Resources provides database resources and other library services.
2. Empire State College’s Online Writing Center offers writing assistance, workshops, resources and tutoring.

Refer to the Course Information > Course Syllabus – Learning Contract for evaluation criteria. These criteria are also good to use as a checklist when you are in the revision stage of your writing.

Please read carefully to the end as this includes valuable directions and instructions:
Once you are confident that you have a strong, clear thesis sentence, then prewrite, write, and revise to create a thesis-support essay with sources and in-text citations (approx. 4-5 pages, double-spaced, size 12 point Times New Roman font). Submit the final version of your essay here for the instructor’s formal evaluation and grade. Please attach your submission to the assignment area in a WORD , RTF, ODT document. Do not copy and paste your assignment as it distorts the formatting.

Basic essay organization (ALL paragraphs must be indented and be minimum 8-10 lines double-spaced):
Provide an interesting introduction. Lead up to the thesis so that it is the last sentence of the introduction. A thesis is ALWAYS debatable and never a fact (i.e. The earth is round or video games contain violent content).
Start each paragraph with a topic sentence (that is an observation or claim that relates to, or supports, the thesis).
Explain and elaborate on the topic sentence and lead up to a vivid, concrete example from life, your observations and intuition which you explain, discuss and provide insights for your reader to support your points.
A good conclusion elaborates further on the thesis and leaves your reader pondering … smile

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