Once you have done some research about your chosen conspiracy theory, and compos
Once you have done some research about your chosen conspiracy theory, and composed an annotated bibliography, the next step will be for you to write a research paper in which you analyze your conspiracy theory. Unlike our previous two essays, which were more free-form in nature, this paper will take the form of a more traditional academic composition, with an introduction, thesis, and MLA formatting. In the past, when I have given this assignment, I have allowed students to pick whether or not they believe their conspiracy theory to be true, and then argue in favor of their preferred side. While I think that freedom of thought is very important, the rise of dangerous and destabilizing conspiratorial thinking over the past year has made me reconsider the requirements of this assignment. I no longer want to potentially encourage the belief in conspiracy theories so, for this assignment, I would like you to focus your paper on trying to debunk/disprove the conspiracy theory that you have chosen to research and write about. Again, I'm sorry to do it this way, but, while conspiracy theories are important to learn about, they have also gotten out of control, and it is time we started reigning-in this sort of thinking. Anyway, this assignment should be at least four pages in length, will be worth 50 points, and will be due on Thursday, August 4th, as that is, technically, our last day of class. Below is a detailed breakdown of the elements that I want you to include in your paper, and their point value: Your paper should begin with an introductory paragraph (5 points) that establishes context, explaining enough about the theory so that your audience understands your topic. That paragraph should end with a thesis statement (5 points), a 1-2 sentence statement in which you clearly identify your argument and your main reasons for that argument: ex. "I think that the Moon Landing conspiracy theory is wrong because..." After your intro paragraph, your first body paragraphs should be devoted to explaining the history and reasoning behind the conspiracy theory that you have chosen (5 points). It's important to clearly describe your subject-matter before you begin your analysis of it. After you have provided a clear description of your chosen theory, I would like you to spend your next few body paragraphs providing reasoning and evidence for why you believe your chosen conspiracy theory to be false (10 points). As part of this analysis, I would like you to identify at least two argumentative fallacies that are present in your chosen theory, and give me examples of them (5 points). Towards the end of your paper, I would like you to include a counterargument, in which you explore the possibility that this theory may be correct (5 points). If you find some aspects of the theory compelling, this is where you can discuss that. If you find the theory totally unbelievable, then you do not have to spend much time on this section. Finally, I would like you to end your paper with a conclusion paragraph that does not summarize but instead adds something to your analysis/discussion of your subject matter (5 points). Remember, a good conclusion should not be boring and repetitive but should leave your reader with something profound to chew on. I would like you to format this paper in the MLA Formatting style, meaning that anytime you present information from one of your sources (regardless of whether you are quoting or paraphrasing) you need to accompany it with an in-text citation (5 points). You also need to end your paper with a Works Cited page, in which you list all of the sources that you cited in your paper in correct MLA format (5 points).

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