Posted: June 8th, 2015
RESEARCH PAPER INSTRUCTIONS
Write the Research Paper using the topic and proposal you submitted. Your paper must have a thesis statement (this is not a survey of material). Your paper must be thoroughly documented and not contain your opinion. The conclusion section should be based on the research provided in the body of your paper.
Your paper must include the following (according to Turabian format):
• Title page
• Thesis Statement: a sentence or 2 that captures the focus of your research and informs your reader about the purpose of the paper and previews its main ideas.
• Table of Contents: should show a clearly defined outline that will also be visible throughout the paper. Include these “section headings” in the body of your paper (See Turabian, pp. 397–398 for section heading use and formats).
• Introduction: strong paragraph that introduces your topic and clearly reveals what you intend to show to the reader (should include the substance of your thesis statement, purpose, and brief overview of your paper).
• Body: its structured development should mirror your outline. This is where you prove your point while honestly interacting with opposing views and major objections. Make sure to include transitional sentences to insure a flow and sense of unity from paragraph to paragraph.
• Conclusion: it should not be a mere the restatement of your thesis. Instead, your conclusion should be a synthesis of the information presented in the body. It should bring the reader to the full level of understanding of your topic that you have yourself reached.
• Selected Bibliography (including at least 10 sources—not counting the Bible or “required” textbooks).
The format guidelines for this paper are according to the most recent Turabian edition and are as follows:
1. Footnotes are to be used to document research in the body of your paper (no in-text citations or endnotes). This paper should have a minimum of 20–25 footnotes.
2. The body of the paper (Introduction to Conclusion) must be a minimum of 10 full pages in length and should not exceed 12 pages.
3. The completed paper must encompass all 7 sections above and be written in proper Turabian format (see the Turabian manual).
4. Text should be double-spaced and written in 12 pt. Times New Roman font. Use a recent version of Microsoft Word in which to write your paper.
5. Misspellings, grammatical errors, poor syntax, excessive use of the first person, or failure to comply with all structural/content criteria will count against your grade.
Your completed Research Paper must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday of Module/Week 8. See the Research Paper Submission Grading Rubric and note how your paper will be graded.
A Word about Sources
In order to gather sources for a research paper of this magnitude, one might be tempted to go to an Internet search engine like Google, type a keyword related to one’s topic, and collect sources from the first 20 to 30 hits displayed. You must resist such temptation (since we know that temptation is not from God). As a rule, the Internet is not an acceptable resource for research papers (there are very few exceptions). Instead, we recommend that you primarily use the following type of sources* while making sure that you cite all works used in your research paper and that you include only work cited in your bibliography.
• Scholarly journal articles: These are useful for their survey of the critical issues related to the subject and their bibliography, which could give you useful leads on the top scholars and works in the field.
• Primary sources: These must take precedence over secondary sources. A primary source is firsthand account or direct evidence concerning a subject matter under examination while secondary source present an assessment or a interpretation of primary sources (i.e., Augustine’s own work City of God is a primary source about Augustine’s view of the struggle between good and evil; while Augustine of Hippo: A Biography by Peter Brown is a secondary source).
• Scholarly works: These include books, monographs, serial, manuscripts written by experts in the field as opposed to dubious works whose value cannot be ascertained (ask yourself if the critic’s credentials and works suggest that he/she is qualified).
*This list is not intended to be exhaustive. You may use other types of sources including secondary sources, but you must make every effort to reference only those works that document the subject matter faithfully and accurately.
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