• Write an essay in which you take a position on a controversial issue and elaborate on it giving reasons to support your stand. You must anticipate as well as counter objections — use counterargument. You must argue your position clearly and logically if you are to convince others.
  • The actual topic is for you to decide in consultation with your instructor. It should be something you are interested in and something you can provide support for. You must give me your topic in class by March 26th.
  • Do take the time to choose a topic that allows you to access authoritative written sources. You need to have at least four acceptable scholarly sources; you may have more, not less. You need to include quotations, paraphrases, and summaries from your sources to support your stand. These must be cited correctly. A reference list is required. The Woodbury library databases are recommended, and the librarians will help you refine your search if you ask.

Essay Requirements:

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  • Length: 1500 – 2000 words, word count recorded on last page of essay
  • Format: Times New Roman, Font 12, double-spaced, indent paragraphs, one-inch margins, underline the thesis statement.
  • Folder: You must keep a folder with all work connected to this essay. This will include pre-writing, drafts (handwritten and typed), your outline, drafts with peer comments or mine, etc. Failure to produce this folder when requested will result in a reduction of your final grade on the essay.


  • Use a pre-writing technique to gather ideas. The more ideas you gather the easier it will be to write.
  • Guided by the ideas you have, write a thesis statement. This statement should broadly include the main reasons you will give to support your position. You may change this statement later.
  • Arrange the ideas in an outline. The lack of any outline can limit your success in producing a good essay. Write, revise, and rewrite.
  • Guided by the comments you receive from your peers or me, revise on your own and visit the Writing Center.
  • The final essay must be uploaded to Turnitin by April 30th before class. A hard copy must be turned in at the beginning of class on that date.

Final topics due:Tuesday March 26 (in class)

Research plan:Friday March 29 by noon, on Discussion board

Research proposal:Tuesday April 2 (hard copy in class)

First peer review:Tuesday April 9 (bring a hard copy to class)

Introduction/outline:During conferences Week of April 16

Second peer review:Tuesday April 23 (bring a hard copy to class)

Presentations:April 23 and April 30 (in class)

FINAL ESSAY DUE:April 30 (hard copy at beginning of class & uploaded to Turnitin)

The Research Plan is a page which you will complete indicating your general interest in the topic and what you hope to find. (Template provided)

The Proposal is a 4-5 page document which includes the research question, motivation, plan, a literature review and references. (Template provided)

The Progress Report is a 5-minute oral and visual account of the student’s progress on the research project to date.

The First Peer Review is a 2-3 page draft which includes an introduction, a synthesis of at least 2 articles to be included in the final paper, a conclusion, and a list of references.

The Second Peer Review is 3-4 page draft which includes an introduction, a synthesis of at least 3 articles to be included in the final paper, a conclusion, and a list of references.

Present findings of your paper, this is a 5-minute oral account regarding your paper. Each student will discuss the following:

  • What was your topic?
  • What was your position on this subject?
  • Were you able to find ample support for your argument?
  • What did you discover about this topic that was important?
  • Why do you believe this to be important?

WRIT 112 Research Plan Paper 4Name:

Working topic (What is the focus of your interest?)

Brief Introduction

(Why do you want to do this research? Why does this topic matter to you? What do you already know about it?)

Research Question

(What do you hope to find out, or what question(s) do you hope to answer by completing this research?)

Research Method

(What do you need to find out in order to answer those questions? How will you obtain this information?)


(What sources have you already identified? List at least one of them and explain how you will use it.)


(How will you organize your time in order to complete the various stages of this research paper?)

The research proposal is a plan, a description of intended action. It is a way to explain to your professor and classmates why you intend to research a specific aspect of a topic, how you intend to research it, and what purpose your work will serve.

Answering the following sets of questions will help you write your research proposal:

  • Answers to these questions will establish a general framework for your research activities:
  • Answers to these questions will establish a specific focus for your work:
  • Answers to these questions will help you establish the sources and materials you intend to use during your research work:
  • What is your topic? (A brief description of your topic)
  • Why do you want to research this topic?
  • Why do you think this is an important topic?
  • What special experience have you had that will prepare you for the research? (Work experience? Classroom experience? Reading? Hobbies?
  • What do you think you will learn by doing your research?
  • How much will your professor and classmates know about the topic?
  • How do you plan to limit the time period of your topic? The last five years?
  • How do you plan to limit your topic geographically? Are you only focusing on LA, California? The US? Other countries?
  • What special circumstances will limit your topic? Will you deal with only certain kinds of people? Only a certain aspect of the topic?
  • What is the question or set of questions you hope to answer through your research?
  • Why do you think your research question(s) is/are important? This is a crucial part as it explains why your project is worth doing.
  • What is your working thesis? While this may change as you do more research, you must have an idea about your specific purpose and clearly show your argument.
  • What do you expect the conclusion of your paper to be? (Again, this may change as you go through the process of drafting and revising your paper)
  • What books do you plan to use in your research?
  • What journal articles do you plan to read?
  • What articles from general-interest magazines will you use?
  • What newspaper articles can you use for your research?
  • Can you survey people? How many?
  • Can you interview someone well versed in your topic? Who?
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