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English 102 Fall 2018 Student Example—Mercury in Dentistry
MINI-RESEARCH PAPERS ASSIGNMENT
This quarter we'll write two short mini-research papers, one due at mid-quarter and the other due at the end of the quarter.
PLEASE NOTE: Expectations will be higher for the second mini-research paper.
Before we get to the actual assignment, let's talk a bit about research papers. First, most students make research papers more difficult than need be. Some do this by choosing too large a topic to cover in such a short space; because they fail to narrow their subject to a manageable topic, they become so overwhelmed with information (information overload) that they don't know where to begin. Others wait until just before the due date to begin the assignment; this leaves them little time to learn, digest, synthesize, and enjoy the discovery inherent in proper research. Both groups often come to hate the research assignment when, in fact, they could benefit immensely from it if they followed a more disciplined process.
What is a research paper? In simplest terms it's an essay that blends your words and ideas with other people’s words and ideas. Even better might be this: a research paper is a regular essay to which you've added other people's words and ideas for authoritative support and enhancement. In any case, the paper itself is the result of your research and thought.
Regardless of definition, research can be a lot of fun if you start early and have narrow topic. Another big help later in the process is an outline. An outline may seem like extra work, but it has one huge advantage--it limits the topic so that you don't have to cover anything that's not on it. If a related topic is not on the outline, you don't have to find or read sources about it, you don't have to ask about it in interviews, and you don't have to consider it in your final report. So remember, outlines restrict topics, not researchers.
The key to success: Start early so you can follow the steps in the process, one by one.
More help with the process will be given as the quarter goes by, and Tim Aman will be available through CANVAS discussion to advise you on locating and evaluating resources. For now, let's get to the assignment.
THE ASSIGNMENT: Two mini-research papers, one due at mid-quarter and the other due at the end of the quarter.
Mini-Research Paper #1 is due around the middle of the quarter, and Mini-Research Paper #2 is due at the end of the quarter. Specific due dates will be announced later.
Please note: Neither mini-research paper will be accepted late for any reason.
POINTS POSSIBLE: Each is worth up to 100 points, plus 25 points for a brief informal oral presentation on the paper of your choice toward the end of the quarter (on-campus classes only).