Research Paper

Academic Research Essay: Assignment Overview

For ENGL 201 you will complete a 12-15 page (including Works Cited) Academic Research Essay in MLA format. The starting point for this research paper will be one of five academic/professional articles that we will read and discuss in class. Your researched argument will critique, expand, and/or update the article—or some aspect of the article.

Articles to use as a starting point, identified by author (all articles can be found in From Inquiry to Academic Writing, Third Edition):

  • Turkel
  • McGonigal
  • Adamson
  • Gillam and Wooden
  • Hooks
  • Kilbourne

Use one of these readings as an introduction to your own research project, joining a conversation about the ideas raised in one of these academic or professional articles. The paper will be planned, researched, composed, and submitted over the course of the quarter with a complete final draft submitted at the end of the quarter that includes revised versions of each component combined into one cohesive piece of writing.

Part 1: Literature Review: You will submit a review of the literature surrounding your chosen article, summarizing your research and noting common trends and ideas.

Part 2: Rhetorical Analysis: You will rhetorically analyze your chosen scholarly article using this critique to help generate a thesis for your final, complete essay.

Part 3: Argument: You will put together a unique argument, supported by academic evidence, combining the previous two assignments with new original argumentative content. The final, complete essay should:

  1. Offer an arguable thesis based upon a rhetorical analysis of the chosen article.
  2. Provide a concise summary of the chosen article.
  3. Include a literature review section that provides an overview of your research.
  4. Provide a rhetorical analysis of the chosen article.
  5. Use research and evidence to support your argument.
  6. Consider and respond to the opposition of your argument.
  7. Raise questions for further study on this topic.
  8. Be at 12-15 pages long (including Works Cited).
  9. Include 6-10 scholarly or credible sources.


Academic Research Essay

Your Title Goes Here

Write your Introduction here. Begin the first paragraph flush left. Indent consecutive paragraphs.

The purpose of an introduction is to give the audience an idea of what this paper is going

to be about. It serves as a road map so the audience will know the process of your argument.

Insert your 3-5 page Literature Review here. Begin the first paragraph flush left. Indent consecutive

The purpose of the literature review is to give an overview of what scholarly information has

been published on your topic.
Insert your 5-7 page Rhetorical Analysis here. Begin the first paragraph flush left. Indent consecutive paragraphs.

The purpose of the rhetorical analysis is to show the audience how the author of your chosen article uses rhetoric (argues) their claims.
Insert your argument here. (The Argument + Literature Review + Rhetorical analysis + Works Cited should be 12-15 pages long.) Begin the first paragraph flush left. Indent consecutive paragraphs.

The purpose of your argument is to make a claim about your topic that you have researched and support it with scholarly sources. You may need to do additional research under the (3) three

Sample 1

data base subject topics you have chosen in order to better support your argument beyond your original Literature Review.
Insert your conclusion here. Begin the first paragraph flush left. Indent consecutive paragraphs. (Scroll down for Works Cited information).

Sample 2

Works Cited
Place your works cited on this page. Remember to consult your handbook or Purdue Owl or

another citing source for MLA.
Remember to place the works cited in alphabetical order by the last name. There should be 6+ sources on this page.


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