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MY RESEARCH/ARGUMENT PAPER CHECKLIST
Before submitting your research/argument paper, check off () the following elements:
 MLA Format – heading (your name, instructor’s name, name of the course, date);
the paper is left-justified; the font is Times Roman, 12-point
 Double-spaced between lines – The entire paper must be double-spaced (Do not
create extra spaces between the title and the body of the paper; do not create extra
spaces between each paragraph
 The Title – Not bold, not underlined, properly capitalized (only the important words,
not the prepositions); centered
 Page numbering – Page number and along with your last name must be placed at the
top right margin; the paper should be at least five pages (not counting the Works
Cited page).
 Indenting – Each new paragraph should be indented 1 inch (5 spaces)
 Point of View – The paper should be in the third person; that is, do not use “I” or
“you” to state your argument.
 Introduction with “Hook,” Background, and Thesis – Use a “hook” to get the
interest of the reader; provide a brief background about the topic and its importance.
The thesis should be placed at the end of the first or second paragraph; the thesis
should be a one-sentence statement, not a question!
 The Body – Organize the body so that each important supporting point is a separate
paragraph. Use transition words to connect the paragraphs.
 Supporting ideas, examples, and facts – Give the reader the information about each
of the supporting points so that there is always a connection to the thesis.
 Quotations – Choose wisely! Make sure the quotation adds to the support and
enhances the argument. Use at least one direct quotation, but your paper should not be
more than 10% quotations.
 In-text Citations (Avoid Plagiarism!) – Give the proper attribution to the source;
follow the examples in the textbook for the correct formatting; do not use the word
A page for the title of the Works Cited page; example. Plagiarism in this paper will
result in a grade of “0” for the Final.
 Conclusion – Give the reader closure. Rephrase the thesis so that the last paragraph
reaffirms the main point of your argument.
 Works Cited – At least five valid sources; vary the type of sources; no Wikipedia;
review the formatting, especially the “hanging” indent of wrap-around lines.
 Proofread – Check for spelling, subject/verb agreement, make good word choices
(avoid words like thing and something), and punctuation. No run-on sentences; no
sentence fragments.