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For your final project, you will use every skill you’ve learned in this class to research a current controversy within the broad area of Forestry. You will develop a research question to guide you in writing an argumentative essay that outlines current research on the chosen controversy, states your viewpoint and justifies your position.
AUDIENCE: Members of the scholarly community (fellow undergraduate students, your instructor, your TA)
GOAL: Build a cohesive and compelling argument to persuade your audience to accept your view on the current controversy
LENGTH: Four-five pages double-spaced (1000-1200 words), including an Abstract limited to 125-150 words (page limit does not include References Cited)
FORMAT & STYLE: Your research essay should include a descriptive title and be written in the first person with APA formatting. It should contain headings and subheadings like Abstract, Introduction, Additional sub-headings of your choice (descriptive and related to your topic), a conclusion and References.
SOURCES: Your research should draw on a minimum of three scholarly articles. You may also use credible non-scholarly sources that are relevant to your subject and help build your argument.
Ratings. Total Points: 25
Your introduction clearly describes the topic & focus of your paper, summarizes the state of knowledge and explains your paper’s main argument (thesis) and why it matters. Your intro is 1-2 paragraphs in length.
●In the body of your paper you effectively summarize and respond to the findings from your research in order to support your argument/thesis
●Your claims are backed up with evidence
●Your discussion is clear, logical, persuasive and easy to follow/understand
●Your discussion contributes to the conversation on this topic by demonstrating critical thought (ex. considering challenges to your pre-existing beliefs, questioning, prioritizing, evaluating, integrating, and/or identifying limitations) and insight (ex. your own interesting perspective/understanding of the topic/issue)
●Your discussion is organized approximately as follows: 1 paragraph for each of the three peer-reviewed papers used as your primary sources of evidence in which you summarize and briefly respond to the findings from those paper (=3 paragraphs) and 1-2 paragraphs in which you integrate and synthesize the findings from your three primary sources to provide insights and support for your argument/thesis
Your conclusion summarizes how your paper has joined, contributed and modified the larger conversation or the research you’ve read. It leaves the reader with a reminder of why the research or contribution matters. You identify future directions for work on this topic (i.e. ideas for research that could help fill knowledge gaps, suggestions for practical applications of your findings, any questions you still have).
Your abstract is around 150 words (and not more than 200 words). It summarizes the issue/topic you will focus on (1-2 sentences), summarizes your main argument and conclusions (2-4 sentences), and indicates why this issue/topic matters (1 sentence). Your abstract is clear, concise and provides an effective summary of your paper.
Your research paper is written in a clear and legible 11-12 point font with adequate margins and white space to enhance its readability. Your paper is well organized and contains headings and subheadings like Abstract, additional sub-headings of your choice in the body of your paper (descriptive and related to your topic), References. You correctly and consistently use APA formatting for both in-text citations and your reference list.
Grammar & Style
You have adopted a style that is appropriate and effective for your audience. Your sentences are clear and concise and your paragraphs are unified and logical. You use transitions and signal phrases effectively.
Your paper includes a clear, specific, interesting and informative title, and (bonus!) a play on words.
Total Points: 25