Research Paper

Research Paper

Writing 1000/Lima Fall 2020


Type: Individual

Due:  on Moodle*

Length: 2500 words                                                   

Weight:  30%

Please note: participation (submitting your own work and engaging in critique of others’) in the peer reviews will allow you an extended deadline for this paper. Participation in both sessions is mandatory to receive this extended deadline. Otherwise the stated deadline* applies.


For this research paper, you are invited to write a research paper related to the theme of Conspiracy Theory. The term ‘Conspiracy Theory’ has become part of the American lexicon since the assassination of J.F. Kennedy in 1964, and it has gained popularity ever since, supported by media and more recently by social media (deHaven-Smith, 2013).  Choose a topic of interest to you related to conspiracy theories and then work to develop a rigorously researched paper that either takes a position (argumentative paper) or presents an analysis (e.g. rhetorical analysis) about an issue related to this theme. To do well on this assignment, you must engage actively with scholarly sources, provide proper APA citation and formatting, and be committed to the revision process.

Your research paper will be an extension of your research proposal. There can and will be some overlap there. It should also ideally build on the previous assignments of annotated bibliography and summary. This is encouraged, as you will already have done some research and can benefit from feedback given on those assignments (Annotated Bibliography and Critical Summary). However, you are also welcome to select your own topic related to the theme, as long as you have it approved by me first.


  1. ENGAGE with the research process. Remember research is recursive – given my feedback and what further reading you have done since, revise or refine your thesis, methods, etc.
  2. BEGIN WRITING your paper. Research papers generally work best as a series of drafts.
  3. COMPOSE A RESEARCH PROPOSAL. APA citation counts, here, so get it right! This will check if you are on track.
  4. CONTINUE TO DRAFT YOUR WORK. Write a paragraph on the background information needed and the knowledge deficit present, leading up to your tentative thesis. Then begin your body paragraphs, ensuring one key point per paragraph.  Cite as you go along.  Use observations pulled from your research site and scholarly sources to make your points.  Explain methods as needed.
  5. CONSULT as necessary and REVISE your work. You can have me look over a page of your current draft; you can consult a librarian; you can make an appointment with the Writing Centre; you can receive feedback (but not corrections!) from a colleague; you can ask me questions. The paper should still be your creation alone.
  6. REVIEW your work with peers in class. Share a copy of your draft (5 pages of completed work; one page may be references; title page does not count) on November 23rd. A week later, we will have a second chance for a review on November 30th.  IF YOU CHOOSE NOT TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS STEP, YOUR DUE DATE FOR THE PAPER IS NOVEMBER 25th.
  7. SUBMIT your work on Moodle. Your finished piece will engage and reference a minimum of five appropriate scholarly sources, be correctly formatted in APA style, have an appropriate introduction and conclusion, and have a clear and decisive thesis. You should be prepared to give me digital copies of your sources: if I ask you for these sources, you may send me the entire copy of your source OR you may choose to give me a copy of any page/screen you quote. Thus, if you quote from five different sources, you may send the full 5 articles OR five pages. This is done separately from the actual paper, and only upon my request.  In other words, if needed, you should be prepared to defend the originality of your work.

Research Paper Rubric


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Writing 1000 Student Handbook by amonteirolima is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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