In order to have you explore one topic in depth, you have this assignment to write a five-page research paper on a music topic chosen from a list of acceptable topics which will be provided by your instructor. There will be a sign-up for topics. One research paper is required for the course. This must be a formal academic research paper with at least three sources. It is not a creative writing project nor is it an essay about your personal knowledge, experiences or opinions.
• Personal knowledge, experiences, opinions, and the words “I”, “me”, “my” etc. (referring to yourself) should not appear in the main part of your paper. You may write a short (no more than four lines) summary where you may express a concluding opinion. You may also write a short (again, no more than four lines) introductory paragraph indicating what you will be researching. You can write more, but only four lines of introduction and four lines of summary will count toward page length.
• The paper must be in MLA Format. Be aware that MLA format requires the use of in-text citations in the body of your paper, not only for direct quotes but for any information you gathered from your sources and restated in your own words. Not including in-text citations for both direct quotes AND information you put in your own words is considered plagiarism in MLA format.
• Every source on your “works cited” page must be cited in the body of your paper.
• Direct quotes MUST be in quotation marks and MUST have their own in-text citation.
• If all the information in a paragraph (other than direct quotes) is from the same source, just one in-text citation at the end of the paragraph is fine. Every paragraph should have at least one in-text citation. If you have a direct quote with an in-text citation, you still need to cite the other information in your paragraph. The required citations on direct quotes cannot be considered as the citation for the entire paragraph.
• Use 1” margins and do not use any font larger than 12 point. To be considered for full credit your paper must be at least 5 full pages of writing, NOT INCLUDING the “works cited” page (which will be an extra page). There is no cover page in MLA Format. Your paper should be double spaced.
• The last page of writing for your paper must include writing that covers at least 2/3 of the page to be considered a “full” page. You may write a longer paper if you wish, but please do not exceed seven pages.
• You may include song lyrics, lists, pictures, drawings, diagrams or other graphic work in your paper, but these do not count toward the length requirement.
• You must have at least three sources. Each of your sources must be listed on your “works cited” page. Each source must be correctly cited in the body of your paper using MLA format. You may NOT use your textbook as one of your sources. Wikipedia is not an acceptable source.
• Papers shorter than five full pages, but that have at least four full pages of writing will be worth a maximum of 75 points. (half credit)
• Papers shorter than four full pages will not be accepted for credit.
• Papers that do not have the required minimum of three sources will not be accepted for credit.
• Because you have several weeks to do this assignment, I will not accept papers after the due date.
• Papers that do not have adequate in-text citations as required by MLA format will receive no credit and may be subject to disciplinary action by the Dean of Students for plagiarism
• If you are unsure about how to write in MLA format, please consult with the PPCC Writing Center in the Learning Commons (the Library) for assistance. You can work with them in person or online. They are very helpful. There is also information on the PPCC Library website regarding writing in MLA format.
• Your paper must be in Microsoft WORD (.docx) format. No other formats will be accepted. Please do NOT submit papers in Works, Google Docs, Apple Pages, PDF or various other file formats. Please convert your document to the WORD file format before submitting it. If you do not know how to do this, you can get assistance from the PPCC Computer Lab.
• You will have until 11:59 PM of the due date to submit your paper in the D2L drop-box. It is to your advantage to submit your paper early in the semester in case you have an emergency or experience computer and/or internet issues at the last minute.
The “Originality Checker” (Turn-It-In) will be turned on in D2L to help you with checking your citations but it only checks for direct quotes. After you submit your paper you can check to see your originality score. It will have a percentage listed with a small colored square. (It may sometimes take an hour or more for the score to come through.) This is a good reason to turn your paper in early – so you can check the score. You can resubmit your paper in the D2L drop-box as many times as you like (up until the due date/time) in order to revise your paper or improve your originality score. CAUTION: Do not use any outside plagiarism checker as it will cause your paper to appear as 100% plagiarized when you submit it in the Assignments drop-box in D2L.
• Turn-It-In scores of 20% or higher will receive a 50% point deduction.
• Turn-It-In scores of 30% or higher will result in the paper not being accepted for credit.
o If you see a score that exceed these limits, it means not enough of your paper is in your own words. You can revise your paper and resubmit it as many times as you want, up until the due date/time.
If you turn in your paper at least two weeks before the due date, I will check your paper for citations and MLA formatting issues, and let you know of any corrections you may need. After that point, all papers will be graded after the due date. I encourage you to take advantage of this offer.