Preliminary Research Paper Topics


The Preliminary Research Paper assignment is preliminary to the research paper that you will write during last third of the semester. It is preliminary because it is in this paper that you will work out any problems that you might have with the following:

            Finding sources and evaluating them for objectivity;

            Incorporating your sources into the text of your paper in the required manner;

Citing your sources correctly (knowing the difference between direct and indirectly quoting as well as how to use summaries and paraphrasing and how to avoid plagiarism;

Learning the difference between investigation and argumentation;

Developing a correct works cited page.


This paper must have sources derived from 1) books, 2) reference books (such as an encyclopedia), 3) newspapers, 4) journals, 5) the internet, and 6) interviews.

This paper must be at least five pages long (double spaced) and no more than ten pages (approximately 1000-1200 words).


The main topic for this paper is the Great Depression in the United States. Sub-topics will be determined through class discussion.


Grading Criteria:


1) the paper is informative, not argumentative;

2) the paper uses the required source material;

3) the paper is the required length;

4) the paper uses the required MLA citation method and works cited page;

5) the sentences containing quotes result in complete, grammatical, sentences;

6) the paper is free from the most common punctuation and grammar mistakes;

7) if the paper is past the due date, one grade reduction; if the paper is more than a week past the due date, two grade reductions.

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