Research Paper Guidelines:
The purpose of this paper is to give students an opportunity examine in depth a topic related to the course material. The specific nature of the topic is left to the student’s discretion, although it should be clearly related to the course subject matter.
As a research paper, this assignment should include several elements. It should consist of an argument in defense of a thesis utilizing evidence. The thesis is the key element in constructing the paper.
The thesis defines what you are intending to argue throughout your paper, and thus governs the structure and the details of the paper. A paper without a strongly stated and easily identifiable thesis will be difficult to write coherently.
By “argument,” I mean the specific assertions made in defense of your thesis. Your argument should demonstrate the validity of your thesis and elaborate on the implications of the thesis. Arguments are not assertions of mere opinion, but a statement about your strong feelings about an issue, but proceed from premises to conclusions in a logical manner (e.g., “All men are mortal, Socrates is a man, therefore Socrates is mortal”).
The evidence in support of your argument should be developed out of your research. Your research can relate to issues of theory, issues of policy, or moral dilemmas related to the course topic. Appropriate resources for doing your research include the DePaul Libraries, including any books or journals found therein. Additionally, there are several very good online journals that are accessible via the DePaul University Library’s web page. Aside from these resources, students are not permitted to use any online resources whatsoever unless they are specifically approved in advance by the professor. Although the internet might be a good resource for the purpose getting ideas and sparking your thinking, it is generally not appropriate for an academic paper. In particular, Wikipedia, while of some use, should never be used as a source in an academic paper.
For purposes of this assignment, students should cite at least five (5) academic articles and five (5) books. All papers should utilize a footnote style of citation (that is, citations should be placed at the bottom of the page using your word processor’s “footnote” function), and should conform to the Turabian style of citation. Bibliographies should also conform to the Turabian style of citation.
Students should refer to the St. Martin’s Handbook for further guidelines on the construction of arguments and the writing of papers. Please see me if you have further questions on the nature of the final paper assignment.