Rejection of the “sponge” mentality

In this final research paper, one of your primary tasks is a rejection of the “sponge” mentality; you will be evaluated NOT on your ability to gather and regurgitate information (an essay that does only this – no matter how clearly and accurately – will not pass), but rather on your ability to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information, rendering, then, a cohesive and original argument that is wholly yours. Your goal here is to practice Strong Sense Critical Thinking and to put together a logically powerful argument that is credible, unbiased, and well-supported, with precise language responsible use of evidence. To that end, I recommend choosing an ISSUE that is a question to which you do not yet have an answer. Your essay must cite a minimum of 7 sources. At least 2 must come from scholarly periodicals. You are expected to critically evaluate ALL sources. You will not pass this assignment if you simply find 5 strong sources and clearly summarize their main ideas through a combination of summary, paraphrase, and quotation. Finding, reading, and understanding your sources (writing an excellent paper will require sifting through more than 10 sources) is what you must do before you begin. You will be evaluated on how well you use those sources (consider the difference between summarize and use). You will be evaluated on (1) the persuasiveness and logical strength of your Argument, (2) the thoroughness and thoughtfulness of your Research, and (3) the beauty, grace, and organization of your Writing. Note: The final paper must 7 pages with 1-inch margins The final paper must be double-spaced in 12pt in Times New Roman, Arial, or Times

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