ESSAY

*Length: 5 (full) -7 pages (1500-2100 words)

*Format: 12-pt Times New Roman font, double-spaced, 1-inch margins

 

**Course themes:

1) Anti-anthropocentric perspectives on the environment/the world

2) Multispecies worldviews

3) Unconventional ways of thinking about human and nonhuman relations

 

 

For the first draft of your research paper, you will compose a draft of 5 (full)-7 pages by translating your research proposal into a more coherent, detailed, and organized research paper with effective paragraphs, each of which addresses an important idea/point; smooth transitions between sentences and paragraphs; and an arguable/non-general thesis statement (answer to your research question) with thoughtful and convincing supporting analyses. It is essential that you introduce at least one counter-evidence/example against your thesis statement, so do find/use additional sources if needed. Below is a recommended template for how to structure your research paper (Green: Structural suggestions/ Blue: Editing and logistical suggestions)

 

Introduction

Introduce context/background information (What the topic is about?/How and why did you research into it?/What is the research question?/How is it significant in addressing the selected course theme in a bigger picture?/What are the research methods you use to collect sources effectively?/How are the sources you selected most useful for your research topic?)

Present thesis statement [What is your hypothesized answer to the research question? How is it arguable (neither easily agreeable nor disagreeable)?]

—-Transitional sentence(s) to connect Section 1 to Section 2 to explain how you discuss and connect the sources to achieve the thesis statement.—-

 

Source 1/Evidence 1

(DO NOT present the sources in a listing manner. You should incorporate them in the paragraphs and connect them smoothly with transitions)

 

Introduce evidence (present source title and/or author’s name; what the source is about)

Explain/analyze evidence (provide a detailed explanation of how the source fits in your paper/how it functions to support and further your thesis statement)

Connect the analysis of the evidence back to thesis statement

[Repeat step 2 for all 6 sources (or more)]

 

—-Transitional sentence(s) to connect Section 2 to Section 3 to demonstrate how a counterargument is considered and addressed by you before you eventually become certain of the thesis statement.—-

 

  1. Counterargument(If you feel your worksheet/proposal doesn’t include any source to counter-argue your thesis, you will need to find additional sources.)

 

Introduce counter-evidence (present source title and/or author’s name; what the source is about)

Analyze and address counter-evidence (provide a detailed explanation of how the source presents a notable oppositional or alternative perspective on the research topic)

Connect your analysis back to thesis statement (explain how you consider and address such an counter-argument and still eventually prove your own thesis statement to be true)

 

  1. ConclusionTie everything together (present highlights of your research paper and what you think you have accomplished in your use of the sources to achieve your thesis statement)

 

Restate thesis statement

Expand to future possibilities (discuss the significance of this topic in terms of its applicability in a different context and/or a bigger picture to further advance research in the selected course theme).

 

  1. A separate page of Works Cited in MLA Style (Refer to MLA Formatting and Style guide on Purdue OWL website: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_style_introduction.html (Links to an external site.) )

 

You can organize your paper in sections (with meaningful section titles announcing the main idea of the section) but you should NOT divide your paper into 4 parts corresponding to the division titles above (such as Introduction, Source/Evidence, Counterargument and Conclusion).  For this assignment, you will receive a full score as long as you fulfill the requirement of the prompt.

 

 

**MEAL Plan for structuring paragraphs:

 

The MEAL Plan is a method for constructing paragraphs in analytical or expository writing. While the ingredients may occasionally come in a different order, each is necessary for a good paragraph. Thus, you can use this device both for writing and for revision: as you read a draft, ask yourself if it contains each element. A good paragraph should have the following elements:

 

Main idea: what is the key point this paragraph is trying to make? What question is it trying to answer? What is the number one thing you want the reader to think about?

 

Evidence: what evidence do you have that your main idea is valid? If you are asking a question, what are you going to use to answer it? In literary analysis, the evidence is almost always a quote.

 

Analysis: why does the evidence mean what you say it means? Don’t assume that someone else will read a line or passage the same way that you do. Say why it means what you say it means, or how it illustrates the point you are trying to make.

 

Link: how does the evidence and analysis you have just presented prove your initial point or answer your initial question? Why should anyone care? What is it that you want a reader to take away from this paragraph? When writing a longer essay, the last sentence of the paragraph should link that paragraph back either to the overall argument or provide the connection to the point being raised in the next paragraph. When writing a stand-alone paragraph, the last sentence should link back to the main idea and explain why it matters.