Research Paper


Final Draft Order

A. final paper *

B. synthesis question

C. rough draft*

D. outline*

E. any other drafts

F. Peer review

*including works cited

Originality Report
Picture from - memeargen memeargen

Feedback: (post any drafts here for feedback from the class and/or Ms. Cohen)

Hi Luis-- I wasn't sure if you uploaded your synthesis question for storage/personal reasons or if you wanted feedback. I gave you some feedback in case it was the latter:

--make sure citations are MLA
--check for typos, capitalization, spelling, quoting correctly
--need more sources and more reliable sources
--also, consider how you will narrow this topic down. The sources should be specific enough to create original, thoughtful arguments about. I like your idea on looking at learning styles. Consider how you can explore that further.

For Everyone

There is an underlying theme in almost every synthesis question, and that is "how is this topic an act of rhetoric"? Some are not as closely about that as others, but the synthesis question basically looks at some specific subject/content area: museums, schools, NASA, the environment, etc. and asks the questions we normally ask in rhetoric: what are the key ideas for this topic? How should I frame them? (invention) How should I present them? (arrangement and style) How should I tailor my message for a particular audience? (audience) Who has authority on this topic and why? (speaker) Does it matter what media we deal with for this topic? (medium)

A successful research paper is SPECIFIC; it narrows the topic down to something that has not been considered in exactly that way before. Think about what David Foster Wallace does in "Consider the Lobster". He went to the same festival as thousands of other people, but what he wrote about was unique; he considered the aesthetics of the festival, the ethical implications, and the ways in which he should evaluate the overall experience.

- cohenli cohenli

Post any websites to help with research, or ideas or what you've done.

  • For anyone who's having trouble distinguishing between primary & secondary sources, this website should help:

  • Evaluating Sources helpful websites:

  • some peer-reviewed scholarly journals

Research Paper in (MLA) Format

Heres a discussion from ms cohens wiki:

From Ms. Cohen's E-mail:From N:Hey Ms. Cohen! I'm really having trouble coming up with arguments for my source for the research paper. I chose "Federer as a Religious Experience". I understand the main topic and such, however the only argument I can think of is to qualify Wallace's claim using another sport and player. What do you think?

Ms. Cohen:>>Hi N, I'm glad you're working on it. I would recommend first that you do a brief outline of Wallace's arguments.

>>Map out his "APC" (where he makes an assertion, gives proof, and then writes commentary), find his main thesis and his sub arguments, and then try to classify them (what type of argument, what mode of development, etc). Also compare what he says in the footnotes to his points in the main text. We will actually be reading another Foster Wallace essay, "Consider the Lobster", and that may also help.

From N:Okay, thanks a lot!

From N:Hey Ms Cohen. I've been through 3 possible ideas for my research paper based on Federer As Religious Experience. I've decided to do it using multiple athletes of various sports and defining what it take to be "the best". What do you think?

Ms. Cohen:>>I think this is a bit broad and doesn't take advantage of some of the big ideas David Foster Wallace is exploring in the essay. Consider how what he's saying could apply to the world outside of sports. This might give you a better insight into his main points.

I also recommend that you explore some of the responses to this particularly essay, many of which you can find online.
1. Letters to the editor (of New York Times) about the article
2. Commentary/analysis/posts readers wrote after reading the article
3. Any current college courses that use the essay (and look at the questions, discussions, etc.)
4. Reader comments/feedback about the essay
For example:

If you are still interested in the sport aspect of the piece, consider looking at other writing about tennis:

syllabus from "The Rhetoric of Sports and Gaming":

This is turning into a discussion that other students might find use in. Would you mind posting the discussion somewhere on your wiki? Or if you give me permission, I will put it on "Cohen Handouts"

Hope that helps; good luck researching.

Ms. C

From N:Yes, you may post it to Cohen Handouts.