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The Research Paper: Module 8

Step 8 Directions

Submit Final Paper


1.    This is a research paper therefore all information must be cited in APA format.  EVERY source on your reference page MUST be cited within the paper in an in-text citation. 

2.    Avoid plagiarism at all costs.  You must cite multiple times within the same paragraph, even if you are citing only one source.  Citing once at the end of the paragraph is not acceptable.

3.    If it is not your original thought or general knowledge then it must be cited. Do not make statements such as “PTSD is a major mental illness” or “women report sexual harassment in the military” without citing a source for that information.  (You were not the first to think of this; and your opinion adds no credibility in a scholarly research paper.) 

4.    Do not use “I”, “We”, “me”, “my”, “this researcher” or “you” statements.  (You are not the expert, you are reporting on the published work of other experts.)

5.    Edit copiously to ensure proper grammar, spelling, word choice, tone of voice & organization of ideas.  It should take you twice as long to edit your initial draft as it took you to write it.  Errors in grammar, spelling, word choice; evidence of bias and lack of organization should be avoided.  These errors distract your reader and detract from your credibility as a writer.

6.    You must use at least 5 peer reviewed journal articles from military, medical or psychological journals.  

7.    You may not use websites as sources for this paper, with the exception of .gov or .mil websites.  These websites provide general information and must be used sparingly, with no more than five cited ideas/sentences from each these websites.  These sources will be in addition to the minimum of 5 journal articles.

8.    You may not use books as sources for this paper, with the exception of our textbook.  (I do not have enough time to locate and read your source books to determine if they are appropriate sources for this paper.  I WILL attempt to locate and read journal articles.)

9.    You may not cite your instructor or any other instructor, or their slides or class notes. 

10. You may not include personal anecdotes or personal experience or personal opinion.

11. For this paper, you may not use direct quotations.  At all.  Reword the information and cite the source of the information.

12. You must have headings for each section of your paper. Each section of the paper should relate in logical sequence to the next section of the paper.  This organization will help you create a persuasive argument for your thesis.

13. Each paragraph must begin with an underlined topic sentence.  (This is not an APA requirement, this is a Mrs. Lancaster requirement.)  The act of underlining should help you to focus on the topic sentence as the major point of each paragraph.  All other sentences in that paragraph should relate to and support the topic sentence. 

14. Papers submitted for other classes may NOT be submitted for this class.  This will result in a failing grade.

15. The finished paper will be approximately 5-10 pages in length (not including title page and references).  My preference would be to see 5 perfect pages, presenting credible research in a logical sequence, creating a persuasive defense of your thesis.


Final Draft Grading Rubric


+50 points for turning in 5-10 pages of text, on time, reviewing research on the integration of race, gender or sexual orientation in the US Military. (Minimum five pages, not including the title page and reference listing!)

  • Did you locate and USE appropriate sources?  
  • Are ALL research sources cited both within the text and in the reference listing?
  • Did you include a discussion of the SLU core value of respect as it relates to your topic of military integration?


+20 points for having less than five spelling/grammar/word choice errors.

  • Spend twice as much time editing as you do writing.  Find and correct all errors in spelling and grammar and word choice. Having a peer editor review your paper is very helpful here.


+30 points for an excellent attempt at APA formatting.

  • Did you follow APA guidelines for organization and format: use of 12 point font, double spacing, appropriate margins, precise title and running head…
  • Did you include plentiful, appropriate and correctly formatted citations?  More than one citation per paragraph?   
  • Did you include an APA formatted Reference List and Title Page?


+50 points for writing style, structure and clarity.

  • Does your paper include an introduction to the problem, a clear thesis explaining your paper’s contribution to the topic, and a conclusion drawn from the research presented? 
  • Did you follow APA guidelines for Editorial Style, and Expression of Ideas conforming to APA guidelines (presenting both sides of the issue, avoiding bias and judgment, using concise and precise language)?
  • Did you share RESEARCH or OPINION?  Did you provide a non-evaluative summary of the professional published literature on your topic?  
  • Did you edit thoroughly and repeatedly, choosing the best words, and composing excellent sentences and paragraphs?  Did you edit to eliminate run-on sentences and run-on paragraphs?
  • Did you organize your ideas so that one sentence leads to the next, one paragraph flows to the next? Can the reader easily follow your train of thought?


Available Points: 150 


500 total points are available for the Research Project:

Module 1, Step 1 (topic choice) 20 points
Module 2, Step 2 (bibliography) 50 points
Module 3, Step 3 (annotated bibliography) 80 points
Module 4, Step 4 (thesis & outline) 60 points
Module 5, Step 5 (initial draft) 80 points
Module 7, Step 7 (complete a peer review) 60 points
Module 8, Step 6 (final draft submission) 150 points

Steps 6 & 7 (as explained in course syllabus) have changed places  so that students could benefit from the peer review feedback step before turning in the final paper for grading.