Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

General Requirements and Information
For this assignment, you will be learning how to write a college research paper. This assignment is not an essay, which is a completely different thing. An essay does not require scholarly sources.
A college/academic research paper requires you to gather scholarly sources, read and analyze their information, and use what you have learned to present information that adds to the general understanding of the topic.
In writing this kind of academic paper, it will be important for you to be able to bring out the main points of the topic, especially as it relates to the material you have learned or discussed in class. In addition, you should be able to provide some subjective insight about your topic.
The use of theoretical constructs (such as identity, racism, feminism, etc.) as the basis for your analysis is encouraged and will result in a better grade.
Format
Most important when writing a research paper is that you must use a standard documentation format or style, such as APA, MLA, Chicago, etc. (see below), to write your paper.
You are free to use any standard documentation format or style you wish (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) for this paper.
In-Text Citations
You must also always cite your sources using in-text citations, telling your readers where you got your information. You must then list your sources correctly at the end of your paper.
Using correct in-text citations and a correct list of sources not only confirms that you are not committing plagiarism, but more importantly, it tells your readers where to go to find further information. This is the most important aspect of a research paper. You are adding to the body of knowledge on your topic. People will then want to conduct further research on the topic in general and will need what you have discovered to do so, just as you did when researching your topic.
If you do not use in-text citations and a list of sources cited, then what you are saying is that all the information you wrote was yours, and because that’s not true, that’s considered plagiarism. This assignment will help you learn how and why sources are used in a research paper and how to avoid plagiarism.
Quotes and Paraphrasing
Be careful to avoid incorrect or excessive paraphrasing or the use of long quotes. Quotes should consist of only a few words used to support your point.
Musical Examples
In addition to bringing out the main points of your topic, you must also support your writing with examples of musical works. If you’re writing about a particular kind of music, then you must know what it sounds like.
Written Skills
Finally, always check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation. They are important!

Minimum Requirements
Word Count
2,000 minimum word count. You are welcome to write more if you wish. You will find the word counter under Tools on your word processing program.
Scholarly Articles and Books
Your Research Paper must have no less than Three (3) scholarly articles and/or books as references.
Students are often confused as to what constitutes a “scholarly/academic” source. Scholarly/academic sources are always peer-reviewed, which means that a group of scholars has reviewed the work before publication and deemed it credible. Look for publications that state that their articles and books are peer-reviewed.
This is different than a source being “reputable.” Many journalistic sources such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time Magazine, PBS, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, etc., are reputable sources but they are not peer-reviewed, therefore, they are not scholarly/academic sources. You may use them, but only as supplements to your three scholarly/academic sources.
All scholarly/academic sources have authors. If your source doesn’t have an author, then don’t use it.

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See the Selecting a Research Topic page in this Research Paper Assignment module for further details and support in finding scholarly sources.

Musical Examples
You paper must include a discography and/or videography including several musical sources such as audio/video recordings or scores.

Format

The research paper must be in a standard documentation format, ie., your paper must use a citation style such as MLA, APA, Chicago, or Turabian, etc.

You are free to use any standard documentation format or style you wish (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.).
If you are not sure how to document, refer to the Valencia Library website: http://valenciacollege.edu/library/mla-apa-chicago-guides/
Links to an external site.
All sources must be cited in the body of the paper (using in-text citations) as well as listed (using the correct punctuation) as Works Cited at the end of the paper.

Online Resources

In-library research is a vital component of writing a strong research paper. Research via the Internet, used as a supplement to physical research, can be very valuable. That said; bear in mind these two rules:

1.) Always use your best academic judgment when deciding whether to cite information from a website.
You must look for an author (and his/her credentials), a professional affiliation (with a university, organization, or publication), or other criteria which will support the credibility of the website.
Acceptable websites must end in either >.edu<, >.org<, >.gov<, or sometimes >.net<, depending on the site.
No >.com< sites accepted.
Here is more information on how to evaluate a website: http://valenciacollege.edu/library/evaluatingwebsites.cfm
Links to an external site.
.
2.) Textbooks, encyclopedias, and dictionaries are not considered academic scholarly sources.

Rubric/Criteria for Grading Research Papers

Papers will be evaluated for organization, originality, clarity, coherence and effectiveness as well as grammar, punctuation, and usage of standard written English. Papers will be assigned a grade using the following guidelines:

‘C’ papers will present an accurate report in proper format on the assigned topic (using no fewer than three scholarly texts and/or articles as references in the case of the selected topic report).
‘B’ papers will meet the criteria for a ‘C’ paper, as well as show creative originality and include additional scholarly and outside references. Information will be organized, language will be specific, and examples will clarify points.
‘A’ papers will meet the aforementioned criteria but show an above average command of language, offer a unique perspective, and utilize multiple scholarly references. Additional resources may include, but are not limited to scores, sound recordings, and videos.

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