An introduction that briefly outlines the issue along with the major arguments that define it (context and text) and makes a claim about what how importance of understanding the issue and/or proposes a course of action (thesis). This section should contain only one or two citations just for the sake of establishment of the issue and its importance. (200-300 words.)
A brief causal history that establishes what factors either contributed or directly led to the issue becoming such (Causal Analysis). The purpose of this section is to place the issue in an historical context and demonstrate how the formation of the issue was the result of a series of factors that need to be addressed in varying degree. Most of the citations in this section will be mostly informative, mostly claims of fact. Think of this section as a summary of the issues emergence within a causal context, or how it came to be an issue. Any argumentative content in this section will relate to causal relationships. (250-300 words.)
A literature review/methodology/rhetorical analysis that establishes how the paper or research project addressed the issue. Use of research methodologies, critiques of major arguments, or designation of prior work that circumscribes the particular focus of the final projects thesis should be presented here. The degree and quantity of each of these concerns depends on the nature of projects thesis, i.e.if the thesis proposes a legislative change, then rhetorical analysis of arguments and data from established scientific research will be the only tools needed for this section; if, however, your own thesis is a claim of fact (scientific and/or social scientific), based on observations and previous studies, then a methodology that outlines methods of inquiry, experimentation, data collection and interpretation will be necessary. This section provides the groundwork upon which the actual disputation, or argument, of the thesis can built. (350-400 words)
Presentation of argument/counterargument of the thesis should occupy the major portion of the research paper. This section should fully address the specific stance that project took. It might include the full proposal of a legislative argument, or it might present the initial findings from primary research. Whichever it may be, this section serves the locus, or center, of the research project that fulfills the argument the thesis proposed in the introduction. It must clearly outline what its claims mean and how they are specific to the thesis. It must also address possible objections to its claims and demonstrate in what contexts such objections might be valid. It must also draw on sources that help create a logical argument backed by solid evidence and reasoning. (350-400 words)
A conclusion that summarizes not only the issue but also the major points made throughout the paper. It must re-affirm the issues importance and include the reader in any call to action. It must also give the reader further thought, opening the particular context of the thesis back to the general subject from which it is derived, i.e.re-establish how the thesis fits into the big picture. This section should not include presentation of new sources. (250-300 words)
The final project should have at least 10-12 sources to be considered minimally researched. Most of the sources can be drawn from general periodicals found in the databases or other venues. At least three sources have to be scholarly in nature. At least two sources have to be longer than 10 pages long. One source must be multi-media.