Final Research Article
*Please check the schedule and weekly overviews for exact rough and final draft due dates.*
Your Final Research Article (FRA) will present and support a reasoned argument based on the research you have conducted over the quarter. It will incorporate the revised material from your Background section and Literature Review (LR), but will also include new material representing your own argument and support. Read through the list of sections under “Organization” or check the “Sample FRA Outline” on our main Canvas page to make sure you are aware of the additional material you are required to include.
Be sure to revise your main research question as necessary. The one-sentence answer to that question will be the main claim of your original argument, and should provide the focus for the whole FRA.
The whole document should be 3000-3750 words (about 11-15 pages), not including references or appendices. It should be double spaced, formatted according to your selected stylebook (MLA, APA, or CMS), and size 12 Times New Roman font. There should be an original title for the whole paper, and each section following the introduction should have a heading. There should be a references page, citing at least 12 sources you have quoted or discussed in your FRA, including your group’s selected TED talk.
Your Final Research Article should include a title, Abstract, introduction and roadmap, Background, Literature Review, Original Argument, Conclusion, end-of-text references, and Appendices (optional). Headings should be used for each section as required below. The title page and end-of-text references should have their own pages, but you do not need to begin a new page for each of the other main sections.
· The title (and title page, for APA and Chicago styles) should reflect your narrowed research question rather than a general topic: it should hint at the specific argument you will be making (See CR, p. 248). If desired, the title can be awesome and/or clever.
· The Abstract (1 paragraph, below the title) should be placed below the title (for MLA) or on a separate page after the title page (for APA or Chicago), with its own heading, and consist of one paragraph (150-200 words). The abstract will be a summary of your whole research paper, including your narrowed topic, a description of its context (including any relevant problems or debates around your topic), your research question and main claim, and a statement about the significance of your project to the broader community in your field (See CR, p. 211-212). Note for MLA users: Although MLA does not usually require an abstract, you should still include one below the title for this class.
· Your introduction/roadmap (two paragraphs) is the beginning of your actual paper. You may include a heading for your introduction, but it is not required. The introduction section should consist of two paragraphs: the first paragraph should catch the reader’s attention (without being sensationalist or over-dramatic), state your finalized research question and main claim, and discuss the significance of your subtopics or the motivation for your research question (possibly the idea from your TED speaker that inspired your topic) (See CR, p. 232-247). You should be sure to include whatever keywords you have identified as important for your paper somewhere in this first paragraph. The second paragraph should provide a short “roadmap” that guides the reader through the structure of your FRA. Briefly outline the goals and main topics of each main section of your paper, showing how each section fits into the structure of the FRA as a whole, but without going into too much detail.
· The Background section (4-5 pages) will be a revised version of your existing Background. You should include at least the “Background” heading; you may choose to use subheadings to break up your Background section if appropriate. You will need to reduce the introduction and conclusion sections from your original Background to possibly a sentence or two at the beginning and end of the section, since you are now incorporating this paper into a larger work, and this information will be provided by the introduction and conclusion of the FRA. You will also need to revise your Background section to take into account any changes in focus from your LR or original argument sections. This might include new relevant information or subtopics you are addressing.
· Your Literature Review (4-5 pages) will again be revised to include any updates in your research question, new sources you have located, or topics you have decided to address. You should include the heading “Literature Review” at the top of the section as well as the two subheadings for your Summary and Discussion/Evaluation sections. Because the first draft of your LR culminated in a clear statement of your research question, you should move the conclusion of your original LR to the first paragraph of your Original Argument section and adapt it to provide an introduction to your argument.
· Your Original Argument (3+ pages) presents and supports the answer to your research question—your FRA’s main claim. This section should be at least three pages long and include a heading. Begin with a paragraph (adapted from your LR conclusion) explaining your research question and its justification, leading from your evaluation of scholarly articles to a more thorough discussion of your main question, and addressing the topics or questions you believe should be examined further. You will be constructing your own argument as a direct response to your research question, paying attention to the issues raised by the sources you have consulted for this project. If your main claim agrees with those of your sources, show how your analysis makes a unique contribution to the field. If it disagrees, explain why. In both cases, present your evidence and reasons clearly, as well as acknowledgments, responses, and warrants if necessary. Remember to acknowledge and address possible questions or counterarguments, and to show how your specific argument connects to important issues or debates within your field. (Review CR, ch. 7-11 on constructing and supporting your argument).
· While writing your Conclusion (1-2 paragraphs), imagine that someone has read your paper and asked “so what?” Rather than purely summarizing what you’ve discussed in your paper, the conclusion should show the significance of your work, your research, your arguments, and the questions you have asked. You should leave your reader with a sense of why your paper was important, and with good reasons to keep thinking about the texts, issues, and arguments you have discussed. Consider offering suggestions for further research. Include a heading for this section.
· Your references page should include at least 12 sources that you have engaged with in the various sections of your FRA, including your group’s selected TED talk. Refer to the Purdue OWL style guides for proper formatting, and please feel free to use a citation tool such as Zotero, Mendeley, or Noodle Tools. A proper heading (e.g. “Works Cited” or “References”) is required according to your group’s chosen stylebook.
· If appropriate, include any supporting materials such as graphs, diagrams, statistics, or images as an Appendix. If you have more than one appendix (a very rare physiological anomaly), use the letters “A,” “B,” “C,” etc. to differentiate them.
· Keep your research question in mind the whole time you are researching and writing. This will help you stay focused on your topic and avoid getting distracted by interesting but irrelevant sources and discussions.
· Write yourself a list of keywords that you believe are important to your paper as a whole, and try to work all of these keywords into every section. This will help your paper feel cohesive from the beginning to the end. If you want, you can include this list at the end of your abstract.
· Think of the paper as a conversation (still written with an appropriately academic tone)—what would you need to have a successful conversation with someone about your topic? Use this idea to spot places where more background information is needed, or where the evidence could be more convincing. What annoying conversational habits might you be committing in this paper?
· Try to keep each paragraph focused around some main point or topic; look for natural shifts in focus or transitions between important ideas, and use these as chances to break to a new paragraph. Mix in different types of evidence to support your claims.
· Don’t patchwrite! Mixing together bits and pieces of other people’s writing is not original research. Make sure you paraphrase thoroughly, and keep the focus on your own discussion.
· Always try to find the original published source of the data, ideas, or quotations you are using. If you read a statistic on Wikipedia, track down the original source and cite that. If you read in Mental Floss about a scientific study done at the University of Notre Dame, track down the actual journal that published the study or find the research program’s website.
· If you can’t find the original source of a piece of information you want to use, follow the Purdue OWL guidelines for citing an indirect source in your citation format.