English 1050 Project 4:  Research Essay


This project is the capstone of this course. You will need to use everything you learned this semester in order to complete this project. Unlike the research report, where you were tasked with just presenting information on a topic assigned to you, your task here will be to craft a strong, original argument on a topic of your choice. You might want to think of this research essay project as being a combination of the persuasive writing of Project 2 and the research report of Project 3. In other words, you will be trying to persuade your readers to agree with your debatable position on your topic, and you will need to use extensive scholarly research to do so.

For this project, you will be writing a research essay in which you sustain a lengthy argument on a topic of your choice. You will need to articulate a clear, strong, and original thesis. You will then need to support that thesis persuasively using your research and analysis. You will need to cite to scholarly sources, such as material in the library reference section, peer-reviewed journal articles, and books written by experts on your topic. You will also need to consider your audience, counterarguments, the elements of the research essay genre, and the appropriate mixture of logos, pathos, and ethos. You will need to write effectively by considering paragraph organization, sentence dynamics, word choice, and grammar.

During the final exam period, we will reflect and summarize everything we have covered over the course of the semester. We will also consider how various concepts, such the concept of “genre,” will help you be successful writing in many formats not covered during the semester. At that time, you will be required to write an in-class essay on a topic I will reveal during the final exam period. That in-class essay will comprise part of your Project 4 grade.

Assignment Specifics

  • Thesis and Rough Outline:
    • Write a one sentence thesis statement.
    • Below your thesis, write a rough outline for your research essay.
    • Your general argument should be apparent from your outline.
  • Research Essay:
    • Write a five to eight page research-based argument.
    • Build the paper around a strong, original thesis statement that includes a well-defined topic and a clearly articulated angle.
    • Use your sources to develop and defend your own argument; do not merely allow your sources to speak for you.
    • Acknowledge and respond to alternative viewpoints.
    • At all times, practice ethical citation. Tie every borrowed quotation and idea to its original source. Your sources cannot be web pages.
    • Use the tools found in your Easy Writer to cite thoroughly and accurately.
    • While your essay will not discuss all the readings from class, think about what those readings revealed about how to write a research essay.
  • In-Class Essay:
    • During the final exam period, you will need to write an in-class essay, the nature of which will be revealed at that time.

Due Dates

  • Thesis and rough outline: Due November 20th.
    • Submit through Elearning as a pdf using the Project 4: Thesis and Outline Dropbox
  • Research Essay Rough Draft: Due December 6th.
    • Submit through Elearning as a pdf using the Project 4: Rough Draft Dropbox.
  • In-Class Essay: assigned and completed during the final exam period.
  • Research Essay Final Draft: Due December 18th.
    • Submit your final draft through Elearning as a pdf using the Project 4: Final Draft Dropbox.


  • Thesis statement and rough outline: 5%
  • Research Essay Rough Draft: 15%
  • In-Class Essay: 10%
  • Research Essay Final Draft: 70%.

Only your final draft will be graded rigorously. For your thesis statement, rough outline, rough draft, and in-class essay, I will assign grades using the check system. See the class syllabus for more details.

This project will comprise 30% of your final grade for the class.

Late Work

  • Your thesis statement, rough outline, rough draft, and final draft cannot be late. Failing to meet a deadline will result in a zero for that portion of your grade.
  • You must attend the final exam period to complete the in-class essay. Failing to do so will result in a zero for that portion of your grade.
  • Technological difficulties are not an excuse.


Given that the final draft of your research essay is turned in at the end of the semester, it is not possible to revise it for a better grade. You are encouraged to meet with me prior to turning in your final version.


English 1050 Project 4 Assignment

English 1050 Project 4 Goals

English 1050 Project 4 Rubric