Chose only one of the questions below to discuss as the topic of your research paper:
USA. “Describe what you feel will be one or two key economic and social issues to be debated at the 2016 Presidential elections in the United States – based on your work in this class. What direction do you feel should be taken in the country in order to solve the specific problems mentioned?”
Nigeria. Read your textbook’s chapter on Nigeria in West Africa. Answer the question: “How have the frequent shifts from civilian to military rule and back again exacerbated Nigeria’s social and economic problems? What direction do you feel Nigeria should take in the future? Explain.”
Mexico. Read your textbook’s chapter on Mexico in Central America. Answer the question: “How and why did forces undermining the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) emerge, culminating in the victory of Vicente Fox of PAN (the National Action Party). In political terms, where do you feel Mexico should go in the future?”
Develop a Thesis
Write a tentative thesis based on your chosen question above. Your thesis lets the reader know what political issue you will tackle in the United States, Nigeria, or Mexico. The last part of your thesis should include a “seed” of thought to indicate where you stand on the question. For an example of a thesis, please see Guidelines for Writing
The Body paragraph should be 5 pages in length.
Research your textbook plus at least three to four other sources from your college’s online library or your local community library. Gather 4-6 or more quotations or citations, using APA style. After you gather your research documentation, revise your thesis as needed to fit the facts
(Paper focuses on one main idea.)
Thesis is clearly stated for the intended audience.
Thesis is pretty clear for the intended audience, but needs sharpening.
Thesis is stated, but the thinking is fuzzy, resulting in a disorganized paper.
Thesis is not stated though one might guess what it is from other sentences in the paper.
Thesis is not stated, and it is difficult to find any meaning in the sentences. Or many meanings are stuck in at random.
Organized Outline that Leads to Unity and Coherence
Paper is organized around a unified outline that develops the thesis. (See sample below.)
Opening “grabs attention” and leads into thesis.
Thesis contains the seeds of all of the key points in the paper.
Ideas and examples develop out of thesis bringing coherence (ideas follow a logical order and are connected to each other).
Transitions clearly show relationship between ideas and thesis
Conclusion echoes or summarizes the thesis and leaves the intended reader satisfied.
Same as A, but thesis needs sharpening and hence does not guide the outline as clearly. Opening leads into thesis but is abstract. Most of the ideas and examples in the outline develop and support the thesis. One idea needs tightening. Transitions connect most ideas with the thesis.
Most ideas and examples follow in a logical order and are connected to each other bringing some unity and coherence. The conclusion summarizes main points, but needs polish.
Paper is disorganized because though there is an outline, it mixes up ideas and thoughts. Unity and coherence are lost. Paper tries to open with a thesis, but it is fuzzy and hence does not direct the development of thought. Transitions connect some ideas to the thesis. At least one example is inserted, but is sketchy. There are occasional lapses in logical order and connection of ideas. Short conclusion that does not really tie things together.
Writing is choppy and rough. No outline and hence no identifiable logical order or connection between ideas, though by connecting sentences together, the writer seems to be trying to do so. No conclusion – the writing just drifts along and then stops.
Same as D, but no effort is made by the writer to even write in meaningful individual sentences. Also sentences don’t connect with one another. Or the entire effort revolves around one vague idea or anecdote.
Concrete vs. Abstract
Writing is developed to “show,” that is, to be concrete and scenic with narrative rather than just “tell” with abstract exposition. Concrete examples, quotations, anecdotes, descriptions, etc. are fully developed in effective proportion to support the ideas of the thesis and outline.
Same as A, but examples are not as vivid, and some of the points remain at the telling or abstract level. Some good examples of “show,” but the writing overall is not consistent.
Writing is fairly clear and follows thesis and outline, but tends to remain stuck at the abstract level. All “tell” and no “show.”
Same as C, but the writing combines abstract ideas that may mean something in themselves but clash with other ideas on the paper and end up in confusion.
One idea maybe be present-or one example, but nothing is developed.
Writing uses Standard Edited American English. Language and diction are appropriate to audience.
Follows rules for grammar, spelling and usage. Writing has a polished and elegant style.
Same as A, but with a few minor lapses. Follows rules for grammar, spelling and usage with a few typographical errors. Writing style tends to be a little rough in spots.
Same as B, but more lapses in grammar, spelling and usage that do not interfere with understanding.
Writing seeks to follow Standard American English for the most part, but language is often inappropriate for audience. Errors in grammar, spelling and usage interfere with understanding.
Writing fails to show any skill in following Standard Edited American English.
Major errors in grammar, spelling and usage make understanding very difficult.
Supporting details are well researched and accurate. A variety of sources are incorporated (minimum of 4). Sources are credible and are cited correctly using APA style. Includes references cited page at the end.
Same as A, but with fewer supporting details and sources (minimum of 3)
Sources are mostly credible and cited correctly
using APA citation style with some minor errors.
Same as B, but research shows only 1 source. Attempt to follow APA citation style fails with numerous errors.
Major errors in supporting detail. Sources are not credible with major errors in citation or no citation.