When you used source material, did you introduce the quotations you used in a signal phrase?


Fat Tax: More and more countries are adopting fat taxes (adding more tax to junk food and soft drinks)  in an effort to curb rising obesity rates and also to offset the economic costs of obesity. Numerous studies suggest that as the price of a food decreases, individuals get fatter. Yet, since the poor spend a greater portion of their income on food, such a tax has been said to be regressive. In your thesis, take a position for or against the fat tax.

Argument Essay Checklist

In addition to proofreading for spelling, grammar, and usage and making sure you use clear and simple language, ask yourself the following:

  1. Did you use formal language (avoiding contractions, the use of first or second person and personal anecdotes)?
  2. Is your thesis statement clearly stated, preferably at the end of the introduction, and did it reflect a clear position on your topic?
  3. Are generalizations and opinions supported by specific details?
  4. Did you bring up the opposition’s viewpoints and refuted them with counter-arguments of your own?
  5. When you used source material, did you introduce the quotations you used in a signal phrase?
  6. Did you add an in-text citation each time you used a source?
  7. Did you cross-reference your sources correctly? All citations should have an entry in the References page.
  8. Did you include excessive quotations; is too much of your paper quoted material, or are you including irrelevant information? (Don’t do this! The number of quotations should not exceed 25% or so of your total essay).
  9. Have you looked at the sample paper in your handbook? Are all the details, including dates in your bibliographic entries, spacing, indentation etc. correct?
  10. Did you assemble your References page correctly? Remember that organizations, such as World Health Organization and Pew Research Center are listed as authors. Did you alphabetize the entries?
  11. Is your paper formatted correctly based on the Formatting and Typing Guidelines provided?

A research paper is an expanded essay that presents your own interpretation, evaluation, or argument, using what knowledge is already available on the subject. This type of paper involves studying a topic in order to find the best possible information in that field. Your paper must present your own opinions and ideas supported by your research, correctly credited to the original authors and organizations.

Basic Requirements:

  • Length: 900-1,500 words. A minimum of 900 words is required in order for your essay to be substantial. What is important is that you get your point across.
  • Organization: Introduction, supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion.
  • Language: Use formal language and avoid the use of first and second person — avoid references to yourself (NO “I believe, in my opinion” etc.), no personal anecdotes, and do not address the reader (avoid “you” altogether).
  • Documentation: five correctly documented quotes or paraphrases from five adequate sources.
  • Style: APA style is usually used for the type of research you will be doing. Continue in that style unless otherwise stated by your professor.
  • Cross-referencing: You must use in-text citations (also known as in-text references) or signal phrases each time you use the words or ideas of your sources in the essay. Cross-reference your work as explained in your handbook. The handbook is especially necessary for this essay.
  • Support: You’ll need a minimum of five sources. Support your ideas with expert opinion, facts, statistics, and other information you find in your research. It is a mistake to create a Frankenstein research paper by copying and pasting.

Rubric and Research Paper Procedures: Persuasive Argument Research Paper

Rubric (a more detailed rubric will be used explaining how the points will be assigned):

Language and Content: 60 pointsIn-text documentation: 20 pointsReferences or Works Cited:20 points

  • Use the topic you chose in Discussion D2.2 Choose a Topic/Thesis Statement If you are not comfortable with the topic you chose, see “If you wish to change topics” below.
  • Take a position: This is not merely a pro/con paper where you list both sides of an argument. In this paper, you will take a side. Know your position.
  • State the opposition’s viewpoint: Because this is an argument, you must bring up the opposition’s position and do your best to establish counterarguments to refute it.
  • Do more research: A minimum of five references is required for this paper. They must all be from different sources.
  • Write in formal English: This is a research paper, so keep to the formal third person (avoid “I” and “You”) and avoid personal anecdotes.
  • Proofread carefully! If you are not sure of your writing skills, you may go to one of the MDC campuses to the Writing Lab where tutors are available. You may also use free online tutoring through Smartthinking.com. Go to the link under Tools and Resources (side menu) to find out about this resource.
  • Revise, edit, and proofread. I can’t stress this enough.
  • Format correctly according to the documentation style your professor assigns. To assure that your Microsoft Word program does not force those extra spaces on you, remember to go to Paragraph > and click on the box on the left-hand corner that reads “do not add extra spaces between like paragraphs.”

Formatting/ Typing Guidelines for Research Paper

  • Convert your papers to Microsoft Word before submitting.
  • In Microsoft Word, make sure you look under the Paragraph section. On the bottom of the left-hand side, there is a box which reads “Do not add extra spaces to like paragraphs.” Check that box! In academic papers, there are no extra spaces between the paragraphs. Instead, you must indent each new paragraph. I recommend tapping the tab key to indent.
  • The research paper must be typed, double-spaced.
  • Pages must be numbered. Use the correct pagination format for the documentation style your instructor has chosen.
  • The title of your paper is centered, using the same font and font size as the rest of the paper. Your title must not be bold, underlined, or italicized.
  • Use Times New Roman 12 pt. font.
  • Use one-inch margins at the top, bottom, and sides of each page.
  • Long quotes: Quotations of forty or more words in the typescript (APA) or four lines (MLA) should be set apart followed by the page number. Shorter passages are integrated into the text of the paper.
  • APA requires a cover page with a running head, an abstract, and a References page. Do not neglect to include these