The research paper is a formal argumentative essay. As such, it needs the following elements:
• Introduction The opening paragraph(s) of your essay should introduce the topic and state your thesis. Your thesis should be a clear statement of your opinion on your topic. It should represent your own point of view on the evidence you have collected through your research.
• Body The body of the paper should present both primary and secondary evidence to support your thesis statement. Your goal in this part of the paper is to prove that your thesis statement is a reasonable and accurate interpretation of history. You should also define your terms in this portion of the paper – for example, if you are writing about placer mining, you should define what a placer mine is.
• Conclusion Your conclusion should restate your thesis and summarize the evidence which supports it, and generally wrap up your argument.
• Footnotes All the sources of the information in your paper must be cited using Chicago style footnotes.
• Bibliography A list of all the sources you used in writing the paper.
The text of the paper must be ten to twelve pages in length: double-spaced, 12 point type, with 1 inch top and bottom margins and 1.25 inch left and right margins. The bibliography does not count toward the page length. You are encouraged to include photos, maps, charts, or other visual materials as part of your report, but these materials will not substitute for text. In other words, you cannot submit eight pages of text and two pages of pictures.
In general, try to avoid the first person “I” in the paper. NEVER use “you” in the paper.
For this paper, you will need at least six sources. Three of these should be primary sources and three should be scholarly secondary sources.
Make sure the paper has the following:
• Clear, Strong Thesis
o Does your thesis clearly state your position on the issue?
o Is your thesis arguable?
• Adequate Primary and Secondary Support (Evidence) for Thesis
o Does your paper include primary sources?
o Does your paper include scholarly secondary sources?
o Do you back up all of your assertions with specific, verifiable evidence?
o Is your paper your own original research, written in your own words?
• Historical and Factual Accuracy
o Are there factual errors in your paper?
o Is your chronology of events correct?
• Organization, Clarity, and Tone o Is the organization of the paper clear and logical?
o Is the tone of the paper academic and professional?
o, Do you adequately cite all of the sources of all of your evidence, including both primary and secondary sources?
o, Are your citations properly formatted Chicago Style footnotes?
o Does your paper include a properly formatted bibliography that lists all of your sources?
• Mechanics o Do you use proper grammar, spelling, and syntax?
o Is your paper in the correct format?
o Is your paper neat? For more information on American Prison check on this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Prison
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