Topic: Your research paper project begins with a fact finding search on some current issue. After you brainstorm about possible subjects and then select one, narrow your topic down to a manageable issue. Investigate possible approaches to your chosen topic and map out your strategy. Your final product will be judged on how well you succeed in producing a well thought-out, clear paper which shows you can interpret and intelligently discuss the issue and how well you can backup your findings with evidence. Introduction: Your introductory material should set up your topic for your audience.

Briefly summarize your findings on the subject - If the sources disagree about the value of or perspective on the subject, point out the areas of disagreement. Your introduction should not meander around the point of your paper. Your thesis should come at the end of your introductory material. State your thesis in the form of a sentence or two. It should not be in the form of a question. Your thesis should be a brief statement, in your own words that points out the major issues about this topic that you discovered in your research.

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If you can't articulate in a sentence or two what your main point is then you probably don't have a good idea of what you will be writing about. Body of Paper: The body of your paper should provide supporting evidence to support your thesis, in a logical, fully developed manner. For each new topic which supports your overall thesis, provide a topic sentence or two which is, in effect, the thesis for that sub-topic. You need to provide transition sentences to move your reader from one paragraph to the next.

A writer of a research paper should synthesize the information gained from sources and weave them into a well ordered discourse, using the sources as evidence to support key points. A paper which is just a string of quotes shows that the author made no attempt to come to grips with the subject and is relying on the sources to speak for her or him.

Conclusion: Your conclusion should make some "wrap up" statements about what you learned about your chosen topic and the possible impact of your findings on people and perhaps society in general. Also, address any issues that may still not be resolved for you