The Final Paper is a formal out of class paper of at least 1,500 words which requires critical inquiry and where the writer develops and supports a main idea. The paper is not a report of facts or a collection of researched information. Instead, it is an argumentative academic essay that emphasizes critical inquiry and includes the gathering, interpreting, and evaluating of evidence.
Basically, the Final Paper is a long paper that will be filled with your ideas and opinions on a topic of your choice that relates in some way to the course materials and themes. It will include your perspective on the topic. You are encouraged to include your own experiences, memories, and personal knowledge, and you may use “I” to tell about those things.
The Final Paper requires that you take a stand on your topic and develop a thesis that reasonable people may disagree with. The bulk of the paper will be your analysis of the topic: what you think about the topic, why the topic is relevant to the course themes, and why the topic is significant today. As you develop your ideas in the paper, you will be drawing upon your research for facts and information as well as for ideas about your topic. You will be discussing, evaluating and analyzing the evidence found in these sources, drawing the writers into conversation with you as you explore and analyze the topic and its implications for you and for society today.
POSSIBLE TOPICS: You may write about any topic that can lead to a sustained analysis and that relates to some aspect of the course materials.
Current events related to the course
Historical events related to the course
Biographical analysis of major figures from or related to the course
Literature, art, music, or other art forms related to the course
Social movements related to the course
Political topics related to the course
Business topics related to the course
Personal stories related to the course
Cultural practices related to the course
GOAL: 6 to 7 page (approximately 1500 word) argumentative, thesis-driven academic paper based on research and analysis that uses reliable sources and correctly follows MLA 8 Style format and documentation.
The paper must include at least four outside sources that you find through searches in the PCC library databases and, possibly, the internet or the course materials.
Up to two interviews may be included, but only one interview counts as part of the required four sources.
The Works Cited list will have four entries, minimum.
As you begin your research, use the sub-modules and links in the Final Paper Module for help and guidance.
REQUIREMENTS: The successful paper:
makes a strong argument about a topic that reasonable people may disagree about
includes a clear and effective thesis
includes evidence of critical thinking and integration of course materials/content into its argument
is the writer’s original work and is/was not submitted to any other course either now, in the past, or in the future
contains source material adding up to less than 30% of the finished paper
includes effective supporting evidence like examples and specifics from research (texts, websites, etc.)
has well-structured body paragraphs, an effective introduction and conclusion, correctly punctuated sentences and correct mechanics
follows MLA 8 Style