formal research essay

You will write a succinct one and page up to 2 page (do NOT go over or under the full length requirement) assertive, thesis-driven paper that further explores a debatable aspect of issues addressed in the article(s) chosen for your formal speech. You will follow the format shown in CANVAS.

This assignment is worth 75 points.


An Overview
Assertions are like megaphones. They should clarify and amplify the point you are trying to make. If they are too loud or too soft the point won’t get made.

The assertion is one of the most important parts of an essay, so its very important that you know how to write one.

The assertion is where you make a defensible claim and/or clearly define the side you want to argue. It’s easy to get lost when coming up with assertions. Heres a quick guide to help you write a perfect assertion (basically, your thesis, your assertion, will be the first sentence of your paper).

Be Knowledgeable
Before you start writing your assertions, make sure your facts are straight. You will need to do more research on the subject than you did for your formal speech, and you will need to collect additional, reliable information that proves your point. Remember, every topic has two sides to it, so you want your main points to be strong for your side of the issue.

Be extra vigilant when looking for sources. Have a reputable source back up each point of your assertion; make sure theyre accurate.

In addition, be careful not to stray too far away from your topic when using evidence. Use your thesis statement as a stabilizing guide while you are writing. (Remember, dont make a thesis a question.)

Be Clear & Concise
Since an assertion lets you take a stand on your topic, its very important that you keep things clear and concise. Dont beat around the bush. State your thesis in the first sentence, the beginning of your introduction, but dont elaborate extensively yet. Thats for the latter parts of the paper. Theres also no need to use too many adjectives. Just keep everything short and to the point. Ideally, your assertion/thesis is only one sentence long.

The Thesis
In an assertion essay, the thesis statement should clearly state your logically backed-up view on the issue. Be as specific as you can with your thesis. Begin writing with the thesis and sources in mind. Having your sources and a thesis statement ready before writing makes it much easier to write an organized, focused paper.

Using Strong Sources
To write a research paper on a topic, one of the typical requirements is that you include credible outside sources. A source is deemed credible if it is scholarly, which signifies that the author is an expert in his or her field, and the source has likely been peer-reviewed. Thus, some of your best sources will come from FSU Library databases, such as Business Source Complete and ABI Inform. And well-established newspapers, journals, and magazines (hard copy or online) can also sometimes make for good sources.

Integrating Sources (also see Appendices B & C in the text) 
It is important to note that, even though outside sources are being discussed, your voice should be heard clearly throughout the paper. The instructor and readers want to know what the student has to say on the topic, not just what others have already said. Sources should be used to enhance and supportnot replaceyour ideas.

For every source, the student must determine the purpose of that source and how to best incorporate it into the paper. Both aspects are crucial to effectively integrating sources throughout the paper. Remember, every source used MUST be cited in APA format, both in the text and in the References page! Failing to cite sources properly can result in plagiarism, so it is imperative that all information obtained from sources is documented. 

Example of Use of Quote
The motivation and urgency to create and improve hybrid-electric technology comes from a range of complex forces [paragraphs topic sentence]. Some of these forces are economic, others environmental, and still others social. In Societal lifestyle costs of cars with alternative fuels/engines, [introduction to source] the authors argue that [c]ontinued reliance on current transportation fuels and technologies poses serious oil supply insecurity, climate change, and urban air pollution risks (Ogden, Williams, & Larson, 2002, p. 7). Because of the nonrenewable nature of fossil fuels as well as their negative side effects, the transportation industry is confronted with making the most radical changes since the introduction of the internal-combustion automobile more than 100 years ago. Hybrid-electric vehicles are one response to this pressure.

This educational page and others documents in this unit are based on information from:

The report should include one and pages up to 2 pages (Times New Roman font, twelve point type size) of content, and a one page References page with at least TWO sources in addition to the original research article(s) for the speech (for a total of THREE to FOUR listed and parenthetically-cited sources). Check the consistency of the double-spacing between lines, paragraphs, the memo headings and the first line of text, references, etc.

DON’T plagiarize! Do all these things:

Anything in your paper that’s not common knowledge be sure to acknowledge you’re paraphrasing it or go ahead and do a direct quote;
use parenthetical APA-style citations within the body of your document;
have a perfect APA-formatted REFERENCES page as the last page of your report;
make sure everything on the REFERENCES page is quoted or paraphrased at least once within the text. 
Have a REFERENCES page with at least three sources. Have the sources listed in alphabetical order. Additional sources (besides the one to two chosen for your speech) can either focus directly on the initial topic or explore related issues. These additional sources should back up your assertion(s) (your thesis) about the debatable facet of your speech topic. Do not have Wikipedia as a source listed on your references page.

Edit for sentence to sentence transitions, paragraph transitions, etc.
All pages should be numbered and double-spaced (except for memo heading at top of page 1). The first page of text should be numbered 1.
The word REFERENCES needs to be bold and centered at the top of the page in ALL CAPS for the reports final page (page 3). The references should be in correct APA format. The sources should be listed in alphabetical order (Do not number the sources!).
Remember, youll need to quote or paraphrase within the text of your report (using APA format) from each source listed on your References page.
Use Appendix B & C in the text for help with the rules for using APA documentation format.
Please follow the example carefully. Use a single-spaced memo heading at the top. Use the styles and formats in the example. Please double space and use 12 point type size. Use one inch margins. Do not have extra space between paragraphs. Do not use headings.

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