How to Write a Research Paper on the Environment
Paper Masters will discuss the nuts and bolts of this essay—how it is built, how it works—in class. Right now you should begin locating a topic and finding interesting, eye-opening articles you might want to use in a paper. Contrasting articles, or those that disagree, are necessary for this paper. Look for those now and during break.
Format for Environment Issue Research Paper:
- Write your essay inquiring into the environmentalism-related issue which interests you most.
- This will begin in the form of a question. For example: Are alternative fuels really better than fossil fuels?
- Does recycling actually benefit the environment?
- Why are US miles per gallon (mpg) standard so much lower than most foreign standards?
- Try not to go too large. Such as: Are humans responsible for global warming, might be too big. What is nature, certainly is too big.
- Please note: An issue is any point or subject on which there is some large debate.
- For this assignment you must thoroughly investigate all sides of the debate, evaluate the sources you plan on using, synthesize them with your own thoughts, and, in the end, arrive at a claim or argument of your own based on what you have learned.
You should organize your paper in the following way:
Part 1: Introduction. Isolate the issue that interests you most about __________ and express your initial opinion about or answer to this question.
Part 2: The exploration itself. The point of Part 2 is to open the question and keep it open, testing your opinions and exploring the issue through research that introduces you to a range of facts and expert opinions. You are not trying to support your initial opinions here, rather you are testing them. In Part 2 you will write about readings you’ve discovered that both confirm AND contradict your thinking, and you will evaluate these different arguments with an open mind.
You will use your critical reading skills to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments you encounter.
Part 3: Conclusion. This is a statement of your thinking after the process of inquiry, an explanation of the truth you have found as a result of your conversations and readings. Think of exploration as a process of arriving at a claim. Ideally, in the conclusion of your essay, you will state a claim whose truth you have tested and earned.
Works Cited. Using MLA format, provide complete and accurate bibliographic information for each of your sources.
Remember, you are joining a conversation. You bring your own ideas to the table, but in order to arrive at an informed opinion, you must listen to (research) the things other people are saying and put them together with your own thoughts. You are changing your perspective, moving toward an opinion that is more informed, and therefore more valuable, to yourself and to others with whom you might share it. You are expanding your outlook, entering a larger world.
Keep in Mind for the Environment Issue Research Paper:
- Your paper must be formatted according to MLA guidelines, which include a proper header, title and page numbers. Your paper must be stapled before you turn it in, with your workshop draft.
- You must use at least 4 sources. Of these 4 sources, at least 3 must be print-based (in other words, no more than 1 online source).
- Your paper must be reasonably free of grammatical and mechanical errors
- The Writing Center is a resource for you and you should use it. The tutors in the center will be familiar with this assignment and what it asks you to do and are there to help you.