ESL 115, Unit 4: Individual Research Paper: Choose a problem in society (e.g., community, state, region) affecting a distinct population
Student Assignment Prompt (20% of final grade)
Purpose: To demonstrate your ability to critically apply information from at least 5 credible
sources (3 of which need to be academic) into a formal APA research paper. Your final draft will
reflect the combination of your research skills (choosing a focused topic, developing a research
question, using library materials for support), source-based writing skills (evaluating,
synthesizing, and documenting sources), and critical thinking skills.
Type of Assignment: This research paper should be written using a problem-solution structure
commonly used in academic and work settings (e.g. part of research literature, project proposals,
and experimental studies). Research, source-based, and critical thinking skills developed in this
unit can all be applied toward other source-based writing assignments in your future field of
Task: Choose a problem in society (e.g., community, state, region) affecting a distinct
population (e.g., women, children, animals, etc.). Find and analyze at least two actionable
solutions offered by organization(s). Based on your analysis, propose ways to improve the
existing solutions and/or propose a new solution. Your analysis and recommendation should all
be based on sources.
Formatting: Microsoft Word document using APA Research Paper formatting, including a title
page, headers, headings, and the reference page. Final papers should be 5-7 pages, Times New
Roman, Size 12, Double-spaced, with 1-inch margins on all sides. (Paper size: 8 1/2 x 11-
inches). The reference page should not include the annotations from the annotated bibliography.
Source Requirements: A minimum of 5 credible sources (not including the organization
website, and at least 3 academic, peer-reviewed). All body paragraphs must demonstrate
synthesis of more than one source.
Plagiarism Disclaimer: Both intentional and unintentional plagiarism will be dealt with harshly.
Deadlines/Timeline: as per syllabus
Submission Instructions: On Compass PLUS in-class in paper.
File Name: 115_ Independent_Research_Paper_netid_FINAL
Individual Research Paper (IRP) Grading Rubric
1st DRAFT/PEER FEEDBACK: Has submitted a first draft (with
intro, body, and conclusion) before the in-class peer review and has
given a quality peer feedback.
2nd DRAFT/INDIVIDUAL CONFERENCE: Has submitted a second
draft that has been revised based on the peer feedback before the
individual conference or justified not making changes in the individual
REVISION/IMPROVEMENT: Has made a progress based on
peer/instructor feedback given throughout the process (outline, 1st, 2nd,
Provides detailed background information about the causes, effects, and
overall nature of the problem in society. Introduced the organization by
stating its name, type, location, and years in existence. Discusses the
organization’s mission and how the organization operates. Information
funnels to the thesis (general to specific).
THESIS STATEMENT: Specifies the purpose of the paper and a
preview of the main ideas discussed in the paper. Should include the a
brief overview of the two solutions and the problem.
(P) Points: There is a strong and clear topic sentence encompassing the
main idea of each paragraph. There is also a matching closing sentence
for every paragraph.
(I) Illustrations: Main point is reinforced with supporting details such as
facts, examples, or statistics synthesized from sources. All sources are
used throughout the paper and every body paragraph uses a minimum of
2 sources. Each paragraph includes 2-4 illustrations. Each paragraph
demonstrates effective source synthesis by using synthesis strategies
learned in class.
(E) Explanations: Ideas, supporting points, quotes, and paraphrases are
explained and analyzed to help describe the connection/relevance of the
illustrations to the main point of the paragraph and paper. Expresses
thoroughness and shows a deep, synthesized understanding of the topic.
CONCLUSION: Begins with a brief summary of the paper. Flows
smoothly into a broader discussion of the importance/relation of the topic
to other facets of society. Ends with a call to action, further research
suggestions, or reference to opener. Does not introduce new, distracting
FORMATTING: Title page, Header, Section headings, Font Times
New Roman, Size 12, Double-Spaced, Margins 1-inch
IN-TEXT CITATIONS: Sources are introduced through a signal
phrase or through direct quoting including the author, year and page
number if required in APA-Style. Demonstrates effective balance of
quoting and paraphrasing (limited direct quotations and paraphrases
REFERENCE LIST: Sources are properly listed and formatted in
PLAGIARISM: All information from sources is properly paraphrased or quoted. All sources are
properly cited. This does not receive a separate mark – only a penalty marking/comment if violated.
CLARITY: Grammar errors and incorrect word choices do not distract
the reader from the important points.
FORMALITY: Academic tone is used and avoids personal pronouns
COHERENCE: The paper is overall coherent: all parts work logically
together. All sentences in each body paragraph are unified to the main
idea, coherently connected to one another, and well-developed.
FINAL GRADE: /100