ADP Research Paper Guidelines
Limited Residency Undergraduate Program (ADP) Required Research Paper Guidelines
The Required Research Paper in the Limited Residency Undergraduate Program is one of several ways that faculty measure student development in the areas of reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. Fulfillment of this requirement begins in the Explorations in Interdisciplinary Study (EIS) course as faculty introduce and guide students through the creation of a 5-7 page formal research paper. Students may continue to work on the research paper drafted in the EIS course until they have achieved a final version for review as the ADP Required Research Paper. Alternatively, students may submit a research paper written for any mentored course once they feel that it meets the standards for approval.
Overview of Expectations
The research paper is a thesis-governed essay of at least 10 but not more than 15 double-spaced pages, not including the title page or references section. Students choose the focus of their papers based on their personal and academic interests. Papers will be approved when they:
○ Meet the minimum criteria set out in the ADP Research Paper Evaluation Rubric (below) as determined by the the ADP Writing Coordinator;
○ Demonstrate that the student has read widely enough to include a minimum of five (5) scholarly sources (typically books or peer-reviewed articles) in the references section, which do not include Wikipedia or authorless websites
○ Are original in the sense that the paper represents the student’s own work with the ideas and quotations of others properly credited in the text and references;
○ Acknowledge alternate viewpoints in addition to presenting the student’s point of view;
○ Adhere to one of these documentation styles: APA, MLA, or CMS. Students who choose to use other documentation styles must provide links or copies of the style guide they select;
○Adhere to ADP formatting guidelines (below);
○ Are fair-minded and respectful of readers whose cultural heritage, gender, or world-view might differ from that of the writer.
Writing the Required Research Paper
Writing an effective formal research paper requires students to go beyond their curiosity about a particular topic into the realm of selecting, analyzing, and evaluating the views of professionals on a given issue. By means of the research paper, students create a new constellation of claims, evidence, and conclusions captured, momentarily, against the backdrop of their developing worldview and united by a focused thesis statement. The audience for the research paper may include working professionals, potential clients, colleagues, or other adult learners but it must include a supportive but discriminating academic readers such as ADP core faculty.
Part of the challenge in constructing a research paper is to observe how professional discourse—the written conversation among specialists carried out by means of journals, books, and their cyber equivalents—takes place. As part of the research process, students should take note of the style and tone of the research literature and attempt to achieve a similar level of clarity in their writing. Early in the project, students should identify which professional style guide applies to their research area and, if possible, purchase it. Three commonly used style guides are: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition (referred to as APA); MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 6th edition (MLA); A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 6th edition (referred to as CMS). Links to websites that present an overview of each of these style guides are available on the Online Writing Help pages of the PC Learning Commons website.
The production of a research paper that meets ADP expectations will require each student to engage deliberately in each stage of the writing process, i.e. the planning, drafting, revising, and editing phases that recur as the paper takes shape. No student should expect to produce a successful research paper without allowing adequate time for the thoughtful exploration of the topic in light of the scholarly literature and multiple revisions of the paper based on feedback from academic readers. Because crafting a research paper is a complex and demanding task, students should proactively seek out feedback from peers, writing consultants, mentors, or core faculty as a part of the writing process. Ultimately, the student is responsible for successfully meeting the Required Research Paper requirement by following the instructions, asking for assistance as needed, meeting the evaluation criteria, and conforming to the relevant deadlines. Neither faculty nor mentors are expected or encouraged to edit students’ research papers.
ADP Formatting and Submission Guidelines
Each research paper should be submitted as an editable file (i.e. as a Word file) to the Writing Coordinator for review at least three (3) months prior to graduation. Each submission should conform to the following:
- Include as a separate attachment a signed and completed ADP Required Research Paper Approval form, available at Forms.
- A title page that indicates the paper’s title, the full name of the author, the course for which it was written, and the date it was submitted
- Continuous, automated pagination beginning with the title page through the reference page(s), preferably in the top right corner of each page (except the title page)
- One-inch margins around all text on every page (title page excepted)
- 12 pt. font throughout
- Double-spaced text except for block quotes, captions, and entries in the references sectio and no more than one double space between any two lines of text
- Indentation of 2-5 spaces at the start of each new paragraph
Although students may integrate properly formatted figures, tables, photos, or other graphics in the body of the paper, these elements may not substitute for the required 10 pages of prose expected of each student. Students should consult with core faculty before submitting papers with extensive graphics or appendices, particularly if these materials are not original to the student.
LRUP (ADP) Required Research Paper Rubric:
The purpose of the rubric scale is to give an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the paper. It is not used to calculate a grade or holistic score. Final approval rests with the ADP Writing Coordinator. As the guide to the student during the revision process, the numbers indicate: 3 for any criterion means the paper meets or exceeds expectations in that area; 2 means minor revisions are needed; 1 means major revisions are needed.
An explicit thesis statement unifies the paper’s argument.
Key claims are supported by appropriate evidence, observation, experience, examples, etc.
Ideas are developed logically within and across paragraphs.
The argument allows for multiple perspectives and interpretations based on a common set of facts.
Source material is appropriate, integrated into the text, and properly documented.
Word choice and sentence structure support the argument.
The tone is appropriate and respects a diverse readership.
Grammar, punctuation, and spelling are typically correct.
Formatting is consistent with recommended guidelines.
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