Final Research Paper Requirements


Due August 12



Your final research paper should be 7-9 pages, formatted according to MLA guidelines, and one that argues in favor of a particular position on a topic. You must use at least six outside sources for the paper. This can include direct quotes, summaries, or paraphrases. Remember that using sources requires a Works Cited page. Also, remember that a traditional argument should follow this outline:

Introduction and Background (Get the audience up to speed.)

Summary of the Argument (Tell them what you’re going to tell them.)

Proof (Support for your argument and the bulk of your paper)

Refutation (Counter-arguments and weaknesses)

Conclusion (Make the reader remember what you have to say.)



A well-rounded, logical argument should be based on facts and logical thinking, not faith. If you have strongly held religious beliefs and want to use faith as support for your argument, you should think of another topic. A university education requires that you learn to be a rational thinker and that you are able to support your ideas using logic, critical thinking, and rational means of persuasion.


Again, topics that are religious or ethical in nature are NOT allowed. Religious and/or ethical arguments are a special category of academic writing that will be covered in an upper division philosophy course. If you are having trouble deciding on a topic, please contact your instructor or the UAF Writing Center. “I couldn’t think of a good topic’ is in no way, shape, or form, a viable excise for a late or missing assignment.



An A+ paper will display the following qualities:

  • 7-9 pages, +1 Works Cited page
  • minimum of 6 sources
  • grammar and punctuation should be highly polished with no errors
  • you must have an obvious thesis statement with organized supporting paragraphs that illuminate your thesis
  • your argument must be logical
  • formatting should be flawless

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with Megan Bush