Select a topic of personal interest to you, define a controversy within that topic, and examine that controversy at length



Select a topic of personal interest to you, define a controversy within that topic, and examine that controversy at length

The final result will be a 1500 – 2000 word (approx. 5 – 7 page) persuasive research paper that argues convincingly for one side of that controversy. 

You must utilize at least 3 sources that will help you portray your argument.  These sources must be incorporated correctly, used appropriately, and cited thoroughly using MLA standards.  Sources should represent both the side that agrees with you and those that disagree with your own thesis.  Your final draft will need to incorporate at least one chart, table, or graph, as well as at least one pictorial component (photo, drawing, etc).  These materials must be cited as well. 


  • 1500 – 2000 words
  • At least 3 scholarly sources
  • at least 1 of your sources must be in opposition to your thesis
  • Links to an external site.popular sources are optional and can be used in addition to the required scholarly sources
  • Links to an external site. 1 chart, table, or graph
  • 1 pictorial component
  • typed double-spaced
  • font size no larger than 12 points
  • 1-inch margins.



Re-type (or cut and paste) and answer ALL of the following questions:

Topic of research paper:

What question or problem will this essay seek to resolve?

Why is this topic significant?  (Number of reasons may vary.)




Thesis statement:

Outline of research paper:

Introductory paragraph ending in thesis statement:

Annotated MLA bibliography (Number of sources may vary, but must not be fewer than three.):




See “Citing Your Sources” (Reading Module 4) for a definition of annotation. 

NOTE:  See Research Proposal Explanation in the Files section for a helpful breakdown of how to complete a proposal.   Do not follow the topic in this sample proposal.  It was created for a different class.  For this class, it is solely meant to serve as an example of how to complete each section. 

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