The Analytical Research Paper is when your essay starts to look and feel more like an academic essay. Until now, you’ve been working on the body paragraphs of your essay. You’ve revised your SSI, and have identified places where you can expand. In the ARP rough draft, you’ll be organizing your ideas more clearly, identifying a main thread in your essay, and composing an effective introduction and conclusion.
We’ve talked about the rhetorical goals of introductions and conclusions. It is important that your introduction reflects the body content. Like a map, it guides us through the paper. The thesis acts as a hypothesis––it invites questioning, and necessitates evidence.
It is quite easy and formulaic to organize your paragraphs. I find that the easiest way is to think of your body paragraphs in terms of their claims. In this model, each paragraph will have a topic sentence that identifies the main claim, and then will proceed to argue this claim using evidence from the primary source and from secondary sources. The paragraph will conclude with a more complicated iteration of the claim and its importance. For example:
“Cats can be great pets for lazy people. They poop in a box and remind you when it’s time to feed them. Joe Schmoe, head of the world’s premier dog club, argues that dogs are actually better pets for lazy people, since they encourage people to be less lazy. However, this argument assumes that laziness is inherently bad, and that lazy people want to not be lazy. This oppressive social norm pressures people into acquiring dogs, often when they are not a good fit. In sum, lazy people who want to stay lazy might be better off with a cat, though often they feel insecure about this choice due to cultural norms.”
Notice how the paragraph works to argue the claim presented in the topic sentence, using cat evidence and evidence from secondary source author Joe Schmoe.
Expectations of the ARP rough draft:
2,000 words, properly formatted per MLA
Includes works cited (does not count toward 2,000 words)
Uses 4-5 secondary sources, at least one peer-reviewed
Includes an introduction and conclusion, following the textbook and handout guidelines
Includes well structured body paragraphs that use clear topic sentences
Has an identifiable thesis that acts as a hypothesis
You will see that the rough draft says 0 points on Carmen. The rough draft informs the final ARP grade. For example, if you fall well short of these expectations in the rough draft, you will lose points on your final draft. However, if you far exceed the expectations, you will have minimal, if any, revision to do for the final draft.