A couple of points

Basic paper:

This paper is supposed to be at least two and up to three full pages long. The fourth page should have your references. (These should be in the style and labeled correctly for either MLA (online students) or APA (health science students).)

The paper is a compare and contrast of the two sides of your research topic. In the aliens example, this might be a comparison on what the two sides agree on:

  • There are aliens.
  • The aliens are over the planet earth.
  • They have asked us for a peace treaty.
  • They want our college-age students, at least 10% of them.

Then you would contrast the views.

  • Signing a peace treaty would be good because x, xx, xxx.
  • Signing a peace treaty would be bad because q, qq, qqq.
  • Sending our students off with the aliens would gain us k, kk, kkk.
  • Sending our students off with the aliens would cost us r, rr, rrr.

An introduction and a conclusion are also required. These could introduce the topic. In the case of the aliens, you might use the introduction to discuss how they agree, since they agree on so little and then contrast their positions in the bulk of the paper.

Neutrality

You are supposed to be telling me what two groups of people said about your argument.  I should not be able to tell which you support from your c/c paper.

In other words, saying the other side is “stupid,” or that the arguments “stem from bigotry,” or that “only losers would believe” is not what I am looking for.

Citations

There are two ways to deal with citations.

You can either say,

  • Dr. MacDonald said that no one would ever be able to live on Mars.
  • OR No one will ever be able to live on Mars (MacDonald).

You may mix the two ways in the paper or even in a single paragraph, but DON’T put

  • Dr. MacDonald said that no one would ever be able to live on Mars (MacDonald).

Type of paper

This is a compare and contrast.  So you should compare and contrast (give similarities and differences).  Do not give a lot of history, definitions, or argument in the paper.  That is more what we are going to need in the research paper.

Length

I want a 12-point font to go one and three-quarters up to two and a half pages.

Do not use a 14-point font, except in one case.  If you use a tiny font, like Times, you may use a size 14.

Do not have larger than one inch margins.

If the paper itself is three pages, it is too long.

Font

Please use a footed font (serif), like Cambria, Times New Roman, Palatino…

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