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This research project will eventually culminate in a formal, fully annotated 1700 word argumentative research paper using proper MLA format and including a separate works cited page. Proper citation of all your sources will be essential, as any paper that includes plagiarism – intentional or unintentional – will not receive credit.
The purpose of this Research Paper is to convince the reader that Bloom’s book Just Babies either shows us that people are mostly good or mostly evil. Since this is a formal argument, the paper should include and full introduction (with the author, book, and your claim included), several reasons for your side supported by quotes from Bloom’s book and other sources, and a section where you give opposing views and counter them with your own arguments (called a “refutation” section). This is then all wrapped up with a conclusion that finishes with a strong closing argument. The paper must also include research that supports, develops, or perhaps even opposes some of the information included in Bloom’s book, depending on your argument. The specific areas of focus and research for the paper are up to you. You may summarize portions of Bloom’s chapter to give context to your own research, but remember this is not a summarizing activity. This paper is an argument that is meant to convince the reader of something. Hopefully, along with what you pull from Bloom’s text, the outside research can shed even greater light on your argument. For example, perhaps Bloom mentions a controversial research study in his book that you’d like to include for evidence. You can look into it more deeply by doing research and finding out exactly what happened and maybe some different perspectives on the study too. Just don’t forget that this is an argument you are trying to win.
Your research should eventually lead you to a minimum of 4 outside sources for your paper (not including Just Babies or any other texts included in our class). Your research should include a variety of types of sources (i.e. interviews, magazines, books, films, websites, newspapers), should be timely and relevant to your subject, and should attempt to include a variety of opinions on the issues you are researching (perhaps some experts agree with Bloom, but others disagree, etc). Also make sure to include sources that are academic in nature (as found through the college’s library databases, versus quoting some random person’s blog that you found online).
It is required that all 4 sources be used and cited at some point in the research essay (versus just listed in the Works Cited), along with Just Babies, of course. All of them must be cited in your Works Cited to receive credit, and any essay that does not include a Works Cited page will not receive ANY credit, as all the sources used would be plagiarized. A word of warning: plagiarism will be taken seriously and will result in a 0 on the entire project. Make sure that all of your source materials are properly quoted and cited, and also make sure that even references and paraphrases of outside materials are also sited properly. Also, do not overuse quotes! This paper should not sound like an encyclopedia, or like some other person wrote it, but rather should have your writing voice (without self-referencing – using “I”) leading readers through your argument, sharing the information and differing opinions you uncovered in your research.