write a research outline

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EDUC 1150

Research Paper Outline (WORTH 20%)

­­­­­­­­­­Academic research and writing are amongst the most challenging and important tasks faced by post-secondary students. The ability to locate quality research and discern and clearly communicate the value of that research to others is a distinguishing feature of the truly educated, critical thinker. While many students think their research and writing abilities are strong, the standards in post-secondary are often very different than those required in high school or the workplace. Moreover, no matter who you are (elementary school student to university professor) and no matter what your current abilities, your writing and analytical skills can always be improved.

The purpose of this assignment is to:

1) explore an issue of relevance to contemporary higher education in depth,

2) learn how to analyze and assess the merits of ideas in scholarly papers and other forms of research (e.g., government or business reports; scholarly books),

3) learn to cite and acknowledge the scholarly sources on which your analyses are grounded appropriately using APA format and,

4) introduce you to standards of post-secondary scholarly work by presenting logical, well-structured analyses in a concise research paper outline format.


This assignment is independent. However, it will be done in conjunction with your group project.

1.Find at least 2 peer-reviewed academic sources that pertain to your specific “group research question”.

2.Prepare a research paper outline and reference list in APA style.Length: 1 -1.5page double-spaced (12 font, Times, Times New Roman, or Arial) plus 1-page reference list.

How to Develop AResearch Paper Outline

For this assignment your task is to find a topic that is:

  • “debatable” (i.e., has at least 2 different views on it); AND
  • “researchable” (i.e., you will be able to find articles on it in one or more academic disciplines).

THUS: A paper outline that discussed the physical, emotional, and mental effects of marijuana would not meet the first criteria as it would be descriptive only, with little to debate. A paper outline that discussed whether hockey players who are found to have used steroid should be removed from the NHL Hall of Fame would not meet the second criteria, as there is no academic literature on this topic.

IN ADDITION: Ensure you avoid ethical (“should”) questions such as “should abortion be legal/illegal? Should stem cell research be legal?,etc” for three reasons:

  1. To be effective in an academic sense, such arguments require the use of sophisticated philosophical concepts and arguments.
  2. There tends to be little scholarly peer-reviewed academic literature on these kinds of topics.
  3. People tend to pick these topics because they hold strong views on them and as a consequence resort to making arguments based on emotion rather than logic. Such arguments are not appropriate in academic contexts.


Using the following format, provide a hard copy of your thesis statement, outline, and reference list. The outline should be in point form OR short sentences EXCEPTyour Introduction and thesis statement (which must be written out in proper sentence format).

  • Title Page(on a separate page)
  • Introduction:
  • Research Statement: (2-3 paragraphs)
  • Provide a thesis statement, which is one sentence that summarizes the argument of your paper. This statement must include both the PRO (thesis statement) and CON (counter point) sides of your research question.
  • An example: For the research question How does social media impact student learning? could write the following research statement:
  • “Some educational experts claim that social media use can improve university students’ grades (your thesis statement-how you plan to argue the question) while others claim that it is related to lower grades” (con-counter-point-a relevant point that does not support your thesis statement, but one that needs to be addressed for a well-rounded argument).
  • Summary of Argument (point form)
  • Supporting source for “pro” side of topic(point-form)
    • Include brief summary of the source
    • Include analysis of the source. Is it sufficient, relevant, representative? Do the conclusions add up? Note: If the source doesn’t answer your research question directly, explain what information it does provide that is relevant to your question.
  • Opposing source for “con” side of topic”. (point-form)
    • Include brief summary of the source
    • Include analysis of the source. Is it sufficient, relevant, representative? Do the conclusions add up? Note: If the source doesn’t answer your research question directly, explain what information it does provide that is relevant to your question.
  • References:(On a separatepage)
  • Reference List in proper APA format (a minimumof 2scholarly sources*)
  • Conclusion. (point form)
    • Briefly sum up your sources and how each contributes to your research question.
    • Draw a conclusion based on your evaluation of the sources and their answers to your research question (i.e., take a stance).
    • Present a thesis statement based on your conclusion (see Resource Links below).

Submission:Hand in a hard copy of your assignment (see Requirements above) at the start of class on the due date and submit electronic links of your articles to moodletitled Contemporary Views: Scholarly Sources.

Resource Links:

KPU Library link for general help in academic writing (thesis statements, citations, writing papers, avoiding plagiarism etc.):


Sources on how to write a thesis statement and research paper components:







Purpose:Understanding the meaning and committing one’s self to the value of academic honesty is essential to becoming an educated person. In class, we will cover KPU’s guidelines on academic honesty. Nonetheless, it is important we dedicate particular attention to plagiarism because it is widely believed many plagiarism cases occur due to students’lack of understanding as to what constitutes this academic offence. To ensure you are not one of those students who unintentionally plagiarizes and is subsequently penalized, it is necessary for you to have a full and complete understanding of the various forms of plagiarism and their implications in terms of academic penalties.

Requirements:At least one week prior to the due date of your Contemporary Views in Education assignment, complete all three parts of the KPU library online “Academic Integrity & Plagiarism Tutorial.”

The tutorial may be found at: http://libguides.kpu.ca/plagiarism

Submission: If you successfully complete all 3 parts of the tutorial, you will be awarded a digital badge that will be displayed on your Moodle profile that your instructor will be able to view.THUS you do not need to submit a hard copy of the badge.

Evaluation:You will receive 5% if you complete the tutorial by the due date listed in the course syllabus.


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