You should have some idea of the topic you wish to cover in your synthesis paper and podcast segment (the research topic you have selected for your final Research Paper). Keep researching and narrowing down your topic.
When you are ready, create a detailed outline of the information you want to present to your audience. This should include the three-four sources required for the assignment.
Introduction with a clearly defined thesis
Background information for selected topic
Organized main ideas + topic sentence for each main idea
Cited Evidence from your research sources that support your main ideas (can be direct quotes, paraphrase, or summary)
Conclusion that restates the purpose of research and its significance
Must follow MLA Format
This is a checklist for your detailed outline (the first half of your midterm) as well as the required MLA Works Cited page. You must include a minimum of 3 sources in your outline – 2 of which should be scholarly and peer-reviewed.
✔ Topic (introduce your topic)
✔ Background Information
This should be a compilation of knowledge you have extracted from your research about your topic. Consider the following questions to help you expand your background information:
– Do I sum-up the impact of my research topic in history/society without repeating my thesis?
– Do I define what my topic is?
– Do I tell the reader any other interesting and relevant background information about my topic?
– Have I cited the source for this background information even if it is paraphrased in my own words?
– Consider the following Thesis Formula = topic + limited opinion + justification
The justification is the reasoning why you have the opinion that you do.
Sometimes justification begins with “because…” (but not always!)
Justification and opinion often answer the questions “so what?” or “why?”
Ex: Road rage is very dangerous because it puts the driver, the victim, and the surrounding cars at risk.
Ex: Playing a team sport teaches a person self-discipline, cooperation, and leadership.
– Opinions such as “good” or “is a problem” are vague and boring—the more specific you are, the easier your essay will be to write.
– Does my thesis statement contain the overall argument/topic and respond directly to the prompt?
– Is my thesis easy to comprehend?
– Do I take a stand instead of just stating a fact?
– Does it let my readers know the main idea of my essay/outline?
– Avoid using “I believe…” or “In my opinion….”
III. Main Ideas/Body Paragraphs (You should have a minimum of 2-3 main ideas/body paragraphs)
✔ Topic Sentence 1
– A topic sentence of a paragraph is its main idea and should be at the beginning of your body paragraph — supports your thesis. Refer back to your thesis/main argument if necessary.
– Should always be your own words (no quotes or paraphrases; no examples).
– Like a thesis, a topic sentence should be limited and focused. One main idea at a time!
✔ Minor Points + Evidence
✔ Example/Evidence for minor point
– Be sure to cite correctly
✔ Analysis + Commentary
– 1-2 sentences explaining how or why evidence/examples support your main idea and minor point
– How does this specific evidence prove my main idea?
– Consider how this main idea supporting your overall argument/thesis
✔ Restatement of Thesis
✔ Extend the Conversation (1-2 sentences)
– Leave readers with a concluding statement or question that gets them thinking.
– What can I write that will keep the reader thinking about the topic?
– Does this final thought bring my essay to a satisfying close?
V. Works Cited Page
A “Works Cited” page must be the final page in your submission and must be in MLA Format. Refer to the “MLA Guide” in our Week 8 Module for specific requirements.
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