The Effects of Divorce on Step-Children

Research Paper Description
Due Date

This assignment is due in the dropbox by 11:59 PM on Sunday, April 11th.

The third assignment for this class is to write a research paper on some particular topic within interpersonal communication of interest to you. This paper is a continuation of the Thesis Proposal in several important ways. First, you should clarify and refine your thesis statement following the feedback youve received. Second, you should elaborate (i.e., provide more detail) on the importance of your topic. Third, you should fully develop all the points you included in your outline in sufficient detail. In other words, the Thesis Proposal was the skeleton of you actual paper.

Goals for the Assignment

1) To develop expertise in a sub-topic of interpersonal communication. Writing a research paper on a topic of your choosing allows you to gain expertise in that topic. This course is an introduction to the field of interpersonal communication, so conducting research on a topic of your choice will allow you to delve into a subject area of particular interest to you, which we were unable to focus on during the semester.

2) To strengthen critical thinking and writing skills. Writing a research paper is an opportunity to develop and strengthen your research and writing skills. This project will require you to synthesize quite a bit of research on your topic. You may need to bring together different bodies of literature and articulate how they logically tie together to create a coherent argument and support your thesis statement. Critical thinking and writing skills will be important no matter what career you choose to go into.

3) Incorporate feedback from your previous assignments (i.e., annotated bibliography and thesis proposal). Writing is a process that gets better with time and with feedback. It is important to learn to incorporate suggestions from expert readers (i.e., your grader), and also to give yourself enough time to clarify your ideas and improve your writing on your own. The more you think about and work on your research ideas, the better they will get.

Suggested Structure

1) Begin with the broad significance of your chosen topic (1-2 paragraphs)

2) Clearly state your thesis statement, making sure it logically flows from the paragraphs detailing the importance of your topic. Your thesis should be stated no later than at the end of your first page!

3) Provide a brief preview/outline of how you will tackle the thesis statement (recommended)

4) State and develop your supporting arguments, one at a time. Be wise about the order in which you present your arguments!

5) State and refute counter-arguments (if there are obvious counter-arguments to your thesis statement). If you choose to refute counter-arguments, it is important that you do so after youve laid out your own arguments.

6) Summarize your main points (recommended)

7) Provide a strong conclusion that wraps up the argument in a forceful way and underlines its significance.


Length: a minimum of 8 pages and a maximum of 10 pages. Your paper will not be read past the 10th page!
Double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins
At least 8 scholarly references cited in APA style in the References section at the end of the paper. You should also include in-text citations throughout the paper. The references section should only include references cited in the text!
Grading Details

The first draft is worth 100 points and 10 percent of your overall course grade. The paper will be evaluated based on the following criteria, which are each worth 25 points:

Relevance to interpersonal communication
Be sure to underline your thesis statement.
Stated relevance and importance of the topic (you need to explicitly state why your topic is relevant to interpersonal communication and why it’s important)
Strength of arguments
Relevance of scholarly research presented in support of the thesis
Credibility of scholarly research
Detailed and coherent presentation of scholarly research
Comprehensiveness of scholarly research (e.g., are you missing something very obvious?)
Persuasiveness and logic of arguments
Structure of paper
Use of section headings and subheadings to organize the paper
Logical organization of ideas
Use of transitions (e.g., between sections and paragraphs)
Clear introduction, body, and conclusion
APA Style (both in-text citations, headings, and reference list)
Extra points for writing with flair!

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