INTRODUCTION Make sure you really understand what a thesis statement is. Here a
INTRODUCTION Make sure you really understand what a thesis statement is. Here are some tips on developing a thesis: Try to grab the reader's attention with an engaging introduction. It's our first impression of your paper and writing. SOURCES Look for 3 or more strong, scholarly sources. These can be books, articles, and online materials from scholarly, reliable sources. Don't use Wikipedia, a general encyclopedia, like Encyclopedia Britannica, or general dictionaries as sources. (Wikipedia can be a good starting place, though, since sources are listed and you can check those for more authoritative sources.) While you still need to check every other source to make sure it's scholarly and reliable, you can find a list of forbidden sources at Content → Final Paper → Forbidden Sources. Aim for high level scholarship, things from experts in the field. If you had to bet $50 on the information being accurate, would you fully trust the source you chose? Need help finding better sources? Contact one of these LSC-UP librarians: Elaine Patton: Betty Rugh: TOPIC Make sure your topic is sufficiently narrow. If your topic is about something that has a 300-page book written on it, you can't really do it justice in 2-3 double-spaced pages. Your topic must: Be about music in some way Not reiterate material I've lectured on in the class Be research-based. This is not an opinion, analytical, or argumentative paper; it's an expository/explanatory paper. Not be about music therapy (see the syllabus for an explanation) WRITING Follow what you learned in ENGL 1301/1302. This needs to be written at the same level as any other college paper, with good grammar, punctuation, spelling, syntax, etc. Be sure to proofread! If you need help with your writing, visit the LSC-UP Writing Lab in the library (8th floor of building 12). Writing lab info | Writing lab hours | Writing Lab by Appointment CITATIONS Follow current MLA guidelines, including providing the complete URL to anything you cite from the web as part of its citation in your Works Cited. Make sure the URL is a stable URL or DOI (not a URL dependent on your particular session). Cite anything that's not your own thinking. Since this is a research paper, you should be citing almost everything. You don't need to cite common knowledge. A good rule of thumb is if you find the same information undocumented in at least five credible sources, it's safe to use. (Learn more here: When in doubt, cite it! Enclose any direct quotes (using the language from another source) in quotation marks and add an internal citation immediately after it and a corresponding Works Cited entry. Direct quotes should make up no more than 20% of your paper's text. Paraphrased material should not have quotation marks around it, but it still requires an internal citation immediately after it and a corresponding Works Cited entry. Not citing with an internal citation and a listing in your Works Cited and/or including a direct quote without quotation marks around it, an internal citation immediately after it, and a corresponding Works Cited entry is tantamount to plagiarism and will usually result in an automatic F. You can learn more about the formatting of internal citations here: Use Your Resources The LSC-UP librarians can help you find strong, scholarly sources. The LSC-UP writing tutors can help you refine your topic and revise a final draft of your paper prior to submission. These are great resources, freely available to all students, so be sure to use them. Also, feel free to use me as a resource. I try to respond to all emails within 24 hours, so send me your questions as early as possible. Before submitting your final paper, submit it to "Originality Check - NOT GRADED" Dropbox to see you Turn-It-In report. If Turn-It-In finds problems, review them and correct them before final submission. I will review everyone's Turn-It-In reports for the papers submitted to the "Final Paper Submission" Dropbox, so you want to be sure that your paper is free of citation errors and plagiarism before you submit it there. How to Get an F Most students who end up with an F on their papers make one or more of the errors listed here: Write something that's not a research paper Write about music therapy (see the syllabus for an explanation) Pick too large a topic and then cover it too shallowly (if there's a whole book written on your topic, yon can't do it justice in 2-3 pages) Put in direct quotes without enclosing them in quotation marks and putting an internal citation directly afterwards and a corresponding Works Cited entry Omit internal citations (required even if it's paraphrased) Omit sources from your works cited or omit your works cited entirely Plagiarize or otherwise violate academic integrity principles Write poorly (if you need help, visit the LSC-UP Writing Tutors) Use forbidden or unreliable/poor sources IMPORTANT: Correct Citation The most common cause of an F on the paper is incorrect citations. If you use someone else's language, you must enclose the full quote in quotation marks and follow it immediately with an internal citation (parenthetical with the author's name and, if relevant, page number) and a corresponding entry in the Works Cited. Leaving any of the three of these off is grounds for an automatic 0% If you use someone else's information or ideas but you state it in your own words, you no longer need the quotation marks, but you still need the internal citation and a corresponding entry in the Works Cited. Leaving either of these off is grounds for an automatic 0%. NO LATE SUBMISSIONS Submit your paper as early as you can to avoid last-minute delays. If you miss the deadline to submit your paper, you will get a 0% on your paper regardless of the reason. The paper is worth 20% of your course grade, so you don't want to lose these points! Submit your paper early to avoid missing the deadline.

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