Dr. Dean Taciuch
George Mason University

Fall 2010

English 302: N04
Final Research Paper

The major assignment for this course will be 10-12 page research paper on a topic chosen appropriate to your field of study. You may choose a topic we've discussed in class, but you are not limited to these topics.

The research paper is the final part of the research project you've been working on all term: the research proposal, literature review, annotated bibliography, personal research report, and draft with peer review. The final paper itself will include most of the literature review (as a background section) and the personal research report (revised into a Discussion and Conclusions section).

The final essay must synthesis multiple sources (usually between 8 - 10 sources) into a coherent essay which expresses your ideas and findings on the subject. You should have a mix of different sources, incorporating journals, magazines, newspapers, books, and websites. All sources must be cited in an appropriate format.

The purpose will be argumentative: you are trying to convince your audience that your interpretation of the information is correct.. Consider your audience: what do they know about the subject? What do they need to know?

The final paper will have a three part structure: an Introduction, a Background section, and a Discussion and Conclusion section.

In the Introduction, explain your reasons for conducting the research. Why is this issue important to your audience? Give a brief overview of the consensus and controversies on the issue.

In the Background section, present your Review of the Literature.

In the Discussion and Conclusion section, you will develop your thesis. This section can be a revision (for a different audience) of your I-Search report. Focus on what you consider to be the key issues. Explain and present your conclusions and (if appropriate) recommendations.

A Works Cited or References section is also required.

Grades on the final essay will be based primarily on the writing and organization. Unlike the other essays in this course, the final essay cannot be revised. We will, however, have a peer review session in class.

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