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Topic: The topic of the research paper must be a problem in the state of Texas. The student is expected to select a topic that is of interest to him or her. However, the student should discuss the appropriateness of the topic with me before beginning the paper. Explore some of the problems you see within your state, city and community.

Rules on Format:

The research paper must be legibly typed in MLA style on a Microsoft Word document with a total length of between 4-6complete pages,not counting the title page and the Works Cited page. The title page should include the researched problem, the student’s name, the course number, and the section number.

The assignment will have a minimum of (5) research sources. This means solid academic sources (NOT Wikipedia, blogs, etc.) must be used and properly cited in your essay. In writing the research paper, the student is expected to use a variety of sources, including books, peer-reviewed journals or a university publisher. Sources used in writing the paper must be documented in the body of the paper and listed on a Works Cited page at the end of the paper. The citations must conform to the Modern Language Association (MLA) style.

MLA Formatting and Style Guide


  • 4-6 complete pages in MLA style
  • Minimum of 5 research sources
  • The paper should be written using correct grammar and punctuation.
  • Typed with a 12 pt. font and double-spaced.
  • The research paper will reflect an effort by each student to research a public issue as it relates to Texas.

The research paper will consist of three sections

  1. The first section, approximately one page in length, should state the problem and should be titled “Issue in Texas.”


  1. The second section, approximately 2-4 pages in length, should describe and analyze, using a variety of scholarly sources, the attempts by government to deal with the problem/issue and should be titled “Governmental Solutions to The Problem.”


  1. The third section, approximately two pages in length, should present the student’s solution to the problem and should be titled “Personal Solution.” Keep in mind that your solution must be logical and supported by the research that was used in your paper.



The research paper will be submitted both in class and uploaded on CANVAS in the assignment section of the course by the due date located in the course syllabus.  Assignments will also be uploaded into the Turnitin software system that determines if a student’s research was original or plagiarized. All databases within Turnitin provide a foundation that allows instructors to review and evaluate papers for originality or plagiarism. Research papers will be matched with the databases and produce an originality report showing if matches occur. To be acceptable, research papers must be below 25% matching and must correctly cite any information from the sources that were used. Failure to comply with this requirement will result to a student receiving an F in the course.


Rubric on Grading

The rubric (how your paper will be graded) is to be based on 4 criteria:

  • Thesis statement of the problem/issue with a solid introduction (15%).
  • Organization of thought so that the paper flows logically (20%).
  • Grammar, spelling, length, use of solid academic research sources and overall meeting requirements of the paper (50%).
  • Solid conclusion [Personal Solution] and summary of your major points (15%).

**Papers that do not follow the directions listed above will not be accepted and students will lose 20% of the their course grade**




Last Updated on March 21, 2020

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