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research paper 2000 words 2


  • Capture our interest with a hook
  • Explain the context we need to understand the general topic. Consider that your audience will be unfamiliar with the topic.
  • Explain the problem in depth. Who is this affecting? What are some of the effects of this problem? Why does this problem require attention and a solution?
  • Include a clear, specific, arguable thesis statement that states the problem and the steps toward a solution. The thesis statement should be 2-3 sentences.
  • Include “bright spots”—steps individuals or organizations are already taking to help alleviate the problem. Although there’s no simple solution, what is already being done to help? Based on your research, what do you think is a logical solution, or steps toward a solution, for this problem? Write about specific examples.
  • Consider including evidence such as facts/stats, expert opinions/quotations/testimonies, current news stories, case studies/anecdotes/testimonies, personal experience, historical events, and more.
  • Introduce a counterclaim (what those who oppose your ideas might say) and respectfully address that claim.
  • o The counterclaim is an opportunity to showcase your respectful, credible ethos. Scholars should be able to discuss opposing ideas with a respectful tone. This section is a handshake, not a punch.

  • Include at least one paragraph that contains a personal story that helps support your argument. Consider explaining why you’re personally affected by this topic. This component can take place in the intro, the body, or both. The personal stories, however, should be limited to two total paragraphs.
  • Utilize ethos, logos, pathos, and other rhetorical strategies to help convince the reader of your message.
  • Write a conclusion that answers the question: “So what?” Why should others care about this topic? What should we do now that we know this information?
  • In the prewriting process, identify a specific audience and purpose. To whom are you writing, and what specifically do you want them to do as a result of reading the paper?
  • 6+ sources (4+ must be academic, peer-reviewed sources found in the library’s databases). No blogs, opinion pieces by non-experts, entertainment news sources (“Top 5 Reasons”…). Each source should pass the CRAAP test.
  • Avoid plagiarism by summarizing the source in your own words, quoting only the most effective parts, and citing all information that comes from the sources. Remember to create boundaries (signal phrases and in-text citations) when you’re synthesizing source material and your own ideas.
  • Include correct MLA header, Works Cited page, and in-text citations.
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