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This guide is created for ESL 151 - Reading and Composition V - research paper assignment


General Guidelines for the Final Draft
• Your paper must be between 4 pages minimum and 5 pages maximum (excluding the title page, outline, and works cited), with at least 6 well-formed paragraphs.
• Your paper must be typed or word-processed in size 12 Times New Roman or Arial font and double-spaced throughout.
• Your paper must have one-inch margins on the left, right, top, and bottom of each page.
• Your name and the page number should appear in the upper right-hand corner of each page, one half-inch from the top of the page.

General Paper Structure

  • Start with an introduction of one (or possibly two) paragraphs, without any labeling.
  • Continue from one paragraph to the next without numbering or labeling parts separately. The body paragraphs should move from one to the next, using good transitional vocabulary. You should have one or two body paragraphs for each of your three arguments.
  • A conclusion one or two paragraphs in length ends your paper.


  • When you summarize, paraphrase or quote information directly from someone else’s writing, introduce your source and then note it in MLA style directly following the summary, paraphrase or quotation.
  • Use MLA format for all citations.

Works Cited

  • A Works Cited page should follow your conclusion on a separate page.
  • This page contains a complete list of all of the books, periodicals and on-line references that you have used. 
  • You need a minimum of five (5) sources. Only the ones you use in your paper should appear in your list. You must include at least one (1) book, one (1) newspaper or magazine article, one (1) scholarly article, and two (2) additional sources of your choice (such as another newspaper or magazine article, a book, a scholarly article, or a website). All sources (including open web sources) must be in full text and be credible, reliable, and authoritative. 


Sample Research Papers from Hacker Handbooks:

Daly (MLA)

Levi  (MLA, with title page and outline)

More example from Hacker Handbooks


Developing a Topic

Developing a Topic
text version | more info

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