Essay 2: Writing a Short Research Essay in MLA Style


After writing your first essay on visual argument, watching videos on MLA formatting in research papers, you should be ready to write a short research essay. Your essay will be 4 ½ – 5 pages in length, plus a works cited page. You should have five scholarly sources that you obtain from the library databases. DO NOT use Google.

You should submit your topic to the link in eCampus. It is often helpful if you state your research topic in the form of a question, as that will help you understand what you are trying to prove. Do not choose an overly complicated topic, as you are only writing 4 ½ – 5 pages plus a works cited page. Keep the subject narrow! I will approve your topic and then you can get started writing. Topics should be approved on Saturday, February 26 . If I have a question about your topic, I will let you know in the comments on eCampus. If you have a 100 on the research question, you may begin your research. If you have a 50, you must resubmit your topic. Be sure you read the notes I leave for you in eCampus.

You should do your research using the databases from the library. These are available online. I suggest using Academic Search CompleteCQ Researcher, and Opposing Viewpoints. Do not use Google to do your research! You should use the scholarly sources that are available in the databases. These databases have information about correct citation of the articles, so you generally do not have to figure out how to cite in MLA format. Be sure, however, to check spacing and format when you put the source on your works cited page. Follow the example of the research paper and works cited page in chapter 22 in Everything’s An Argument.

You should have at least 5 sources for your essay. You must have at least one reference/citation for each source in your essay. Please use what you have learned about MLA formatting and in-text citations. Do not make up your own formatting! Do not mix MLA and APA! You may certainly have more than five sources, but you must have at least five! Remember that the works cited page is double spaced and written in alphabetical order. Your annotated bibliography is due Friday, March 11 at 11:59 PM.

The final copy of your essay is due April 1 at 11:59 PM. Do not forget about the Academic Skills Center/Writing Center for help with your essay. MLA does not require a title page for the essay. The works cited should be the final page of the essay. You do not include the annotations from the annotated bibliography on your works cited page.

If you need to have a conference about anything in your essay, please let me know. I am available for office hours most of the day and evening. I am also available by text and email