Research Paper Prompt


Your big paper for the semester should be a 7-9 page research paper, formatted according to MLA guidelines, and one that argues in favor of a particular position on a topic. You must use at least six outside sources for the paper. This can include direct quotes, summaries, or paraphrases. Remember that using sources requires a Works Cited page. Also, remember that a traditional argument should follow this outline:

Introduction and Background (Get the audience up to speed.)

Summary of the Argument (Tell them what you’re going to tell them.)

Proof (Support for your argument and the bulk of your paper)

Refutation (Counter-arguments and weaknesses)

Conclusion (Make the reader remember what you have to say.)



Make an observation about one food tradition/policy/norm you do not agree with within a community to which you belong. Then, research the problem and ways to better the situation. Do you dislike the Tilly’s lack of choice? Do you believe the US army should eat local foods when stationed abroad?   Do you think government subsidies should go to small farms instead of large ones?


Again,  topics that are religious or ethical in nature are NOT allowed.  Religious and/or ethical arguments are a special category of academic writing that will be covered in an upper division philosophy course. If you are having trouble deciding on a topic, please contact your instructor or the UAF Writing Center. “I couldn’t think of a good topic’ is in no way, shape, or form, a viable excise for a late or missing assignment.



An A+ paper will display the following qualities:

  • 7-9 pages, +1 Works Cited page
  • minimum of 6 sources
  • grammar and punctuation should be highly polished with no errors
  • you must have an obvious thesis statement with organized supporting paragraphs that illuminate your thesis
  • your argument must be logical
  • formatting should be flawless
  • Check out the rubric

Here is an example research paper from a past semester. FYI, the guidelines were not identical to your paper.