Research Memorandum

To:

ENC 2210 Students

From:

Dr. Ellingham

Subject:

Research Paper

Length:

15 pages (text), typed

Sources:

8 different ones cited in the text

Format:

Title Page, Letter of Transmittal, Table of Contents, List of Illustrations, Summary, Text, Glossary, Works Cited, and Appendix

Style:

MLA parenthetical references

 

The Paper

As I've tried to establish through this term, as college students, you probably have a major field of study or interest. Some of you have geared your prior assignments toward that field. This area would be a logical place to draw your topic from for your research paper. Some of you are already working in your intended field and may be in college to enhance your knowledge or increase your chances of professional advancement through higher education. Because of the work you've done, whether in a job, in school, or both areas, you've gained a certain amount of knowledge and expertise. With that in mind, your topic should reflect that degree of learning. It may also add to it.

Your first task is to select a topic and then to decide how you want to approach it. Briefly, you may take one of two approaches: A Research Report or An Analytical Report. The primary purpose of a research report is to gain and impart knowledge about a particular subject, both for yourself and your audience. You would make heavy use of secondary research. In most cases, you should strive to get the most up-to-date sources available. As with any writing assignment, you need to decide the extent of your study (SCOPE) and, of course, the audience, which will then determine what level this is written on. An analytical report, on the other hand, is designed to identify, analyze, and solve a particular problem that a general writer might not have dealt with. It could be a problem where you work, where you live, or even here at school. It could also be a problem that confronts your chosen profession.

Methodology

The format is stated above and outlined on the grading sheet. Once you've decided on your topic (SUBJECT) and the particular point you want to make (PURPOSE) and for whom this will be written (AUDIENCE), then you need to know the extent of your study (SCOPE). At this point, you can begin doing your research. I want you to give me a PROPOSAL of what you're going to do (see sample with this memo) which is really like the introduction to your paper. Once you've done that, it doesn't mean you can't modify it as you go along. I just need to get a general idea of where you are headed with this and how I can help you. A Preliminary Proposal is needed. Check you syllabus for dates.

Sourcebook

One of the things I am requiring you to do is compile and turn in a SOURCEBOOK with your paper. The sourcebook, which is a folder with pockets, will contain all of the materials that go into making your paper. This will include photocopies of the articles you use for references in your paper (not the entire articles, but the pages you actually get info from, highlighted--like the Abstract and Summary Assignment). Also, I strongly urge you to take and use bibliography cards and note cards which you would include in the sourcebook. Any rough drafts or preliminary work should also be put into the sourcebook. You will, of course, get all of this back. You should also write yourself a preliminary outline though you will only attach a table of contents to your final paper. REMEMBER THE PROCESS OF TRANSACTIONAL WRITING--I STILL BELIEVE THAT PLANNING AND ORGANIZING YOUR PAPER BEFORE YOU START TO WRITE IT, WILL MAKE THE PROCESS MORE SUCCESSFUL.

I want to see the various stages of your paper and offer advice when I can. When you look at the grading sheet, you may see things that don't pertain to your particular paper--don't worry about that; I just don't count those points in the final total. But, remember, even though you may be writing for one particular reader, you must keep in mind the idea of multiple levels of readers. You may need to supplement your paper accordingly. After all, whatever your intended audience, I still have to be able to understand your paper to grade it.

Documentation

As noted above, you must use at least 8 different sources in your paper. Your Works Cited Page will have at least 8 sources cited on it though you may use them as often as you want (or need to) in the paper. I have no set notion as to what types of sources you should use, though from earlier assignments and class discussions, you should know which sources I do not think are appropriate for this class. The most current and the most informative sources are the ones you want to look for. Don't just use direct quotes in your paper. Paraphrases and summaries are equally appropriate and preferred. When in doubt about whether you should say where your information came from, document it; it's better to have many citations than not enough. PLAGIARISM, whether intentional or not, is something to avoid at all costs.

Parenthetical References (MLA Style)

Simply put, this means that instead of either footnotes or endnotes, you will put the reference in parentheses, in the place that you use that information. I will, of course, explain this in class. Briefly, when using information from page 17 of an article written by a man named Johnson in your paper, you would put (Johnson 17) at the end of that information. There is no other number. ONE THING TO NOTE IS THAT WHEN THE MATERIAL YOU'VE USED APPEARS IN THE TEXT, THE END PUNCTUATION GOES AFTER THE PARENTHESES, NOT AFTER THE TEXT--THIS IS NOT TRUE FOR QUOTATION MARKS, HOWEVER. The only exception to this is when you use an extended quote (we do this when the directly-quoted information would take up five or more lines of your paper--indent 10 spaces from the left, and don't use quotation marks): the end punctuation here comes after the text and not after the parentheses.

The rest of the information about your source appears on the Works Cited Page. A further point: the preferred way to introduce quoted material is to state the author's name before you use the information (or source title if there is no author); i.e. "According to Johnson........." (17). As I've talked about in class, if you get your information from the Internet, you need to indicate the path you followed to get that information, so part of your source information on your Works Cited page would be the Internet address, e.g., http://whitehouse.com, or whatever the particular address is.

Reflections

This project may be a learning experience for you--learning both how to write a paper of this type and learning about your subject. It also demonstrates to me your mastery of the various types of writing you've been introduced to in both ENC 1101 and 2210. Further things it will demonstrate will be your ability to analyze a problem or subject, do research on it, use that research to help establish your point about it, and organize that all into your paper. Pay attention to the methodology you use to do this paper--use the things we've talked about in class and you've already employed (or should have employed) in earlier papers. Make me a part of this process if you need to. I want you to be successful with this.

 

Sample Student Proposal

To:

Dr. Ellingham, ENC 2210 Professor

From:

Benny Hill, Student in ENC 2210

Date:

23 October 1989

Subject:

Research Report Proposal

_______________________________________________________________________________________

In response to your request for a research report as partial fulfillment of the requirements for ENC 2210, I propose the following report.

Subject

Every year, teachers leave their profession. They either go on sabbatical, take a leave of absence or, in the majority of cases, leave the profession all together. Though there may be many reasons for this, stress, which often contributes to what is called "teacher burnout," seems to be the main reason. As a future teacher, I would like to study this phenomenon, see what causes it, and try to find some ways to combat it.

Audience

My audience will be teachers, both present and future, who may fall victim to this problem.

Purpose

To show those people the causes of job-related stress so they will be able to identify them, take precautions against them, and deal with them either as or before they come along.

Scope

I propose to examine the history of the phenomenon known as "teacher burnout" by defining it, determining how extensive a problem it is, classifying and describing those who fall victim to it, identifying its signs and causes, and trying to come up with methods of dealing with it.

Methodology

I propose to use primary research by talking to teachers about the problem. I will use interviews and also may construct a questionnaire for both teachers and administrators. I will also use secondary research to learn more about the problem. This will consist of educational journals and any appropriate books.

Problems or Questions

I can't decide what levels to look at. Would it be too long or difficult to do all teaching levels? Is the problem the same at all levels? Since I plan on being an elementary school teacher, should I stick with that level? How do I meet teachers and administrators? What questions should I ask in an interview or on a questionnaire? Any suggestions you can offer will be greatly appreciated.

Another sample proposal

To:

Dr. Ellingham, ENC 2210 Professor

From:

Dean Hinterberger, ENC 2210 Student

Date:

31 October 1997

Subject:

ENC 2210 Research Paper

_______________________________________________________________________________________

In response to your request for a research report as partial fulfillment of the requirements for ENC 2210, I propose the following report.

Subject

There are basically two types of diabetes, diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus. Because of the severity of its effects, this paper will examine diabetes mellitus. "Diabetes mellitus is a pancreatic disease affecting carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism. In severe diabetes mellitus, the concentration in the blood of a sugar, glucose, is markedly elevated and large amounts of glucose are excreted in the urine" (Grolierís). This disease affects more than 10 million people in the United States alone. It causes some 300,000 deaths in this country each year (Grolierís).

Audience, Purpose

This paper is written for anyone who might be affected by diabetes mellitus, as a patient or parent of a victim of the disease, or someone who has a family history of it. The purpose is to make the reader aware of the symptoms of the disease in order to be able to recognize them in themselves and in others, especially small children.

Scope

This paper will examine the causes, symptoms, effects, and treatments of diabetes mellitus.

Methodology

Secondary sources will be used for the majority of the information in this paper. Appropriate medical journals, as well as other journals and books, will be examined. A search of the Internet will also be conducted. One interview will be conducted with a parent whose seven year old son has had juvenile diabetes for the past three years and needs constant monitoring, as well as twice daily insulin shots.

Questions/Problems

The only question I have right now is how do I keep from getting too technical?

 

Your proposal is not necessarily the final report. It may be refined after I see it or after you've done more research. That's all right. It's a working document. Feel free to show it to me at any time. You can also email it to me, and I will be able to get it back to you more quickly.

 

Here's the grading sheet that I will use to grade your research paper. Obviously, I don't need this to arrive at a grade, but it's designed to give you an idea of how I do evaluate your paper. It's also a way to gauge your progress on the paper.

ENC 2210 - Dr. Ellingham-Grading Criteria: Research Paper

Section/Item

Possible Points

Earned Points

Prefatory Materials

 

 

Title Page (Cover Sheet)

2

 

Letter of Transmittal

3

 

Table of Contents (TOC)

3

 

List of Illustrations*

2

 

Informative Abstract (Summary)

3

 

Text

 

 

INTRODUCTION (Subject,

 

 

Audience, Purpose, Methodology, Working

 

 

Definitions, Scope)

10

 

BODY/COLLECTED DATA

 

 

Listing of TOC in Body

2

 

Body follows page numbering of TOC

2

 

Information sufficient for reader's needs

30

 

Information divided adequately

10

 

Information adapted to reader's needs

15

 

Sufficient and proper documentation

20

 

CONCLUSION

10
 

Concluding Matters

 

 

Glossary*

2

 

Works Cited Page

2

 

Appendix*

2

 

Illustrations*

10

 

Process/ Mechanics

 

 

Source Book (Completeness)

5

 

Style (Clear, concise)

5

 

Organization

5

 

Grammar

15

 

Editing/Proofreading

5

 

Turned in on time

10

 

 

 

 

Possible and Total Points

173

 

 

The total points listed above may not apply to you. Some of the elements above are optional. I have marked them with an asterisk *. If you choose to not include those elements, even if I think you should have, I will deduct those points from the total. Your grade is then determined from dividing the points you actually earn by the total possible points (based on your paper). The percentage equals your grade. So, 90 to 100% is an A, 80 to 89% is a B, and so on.