For your research paper, you are going to simply use one of the handouts I have posted as your source. DO NOT use any other source! We have not read all of the readings that are mentioned below, so you may want to read an additional essay or two if it sounds like an interesting topic. Write a 2-4 page essay. Be sure to cite the work as support, a minimum of three times. You must also have a works cited page included with your rough and final drafts. Check out the MLA powerpoint for info and examples of how to cite sources within the paper as well as how to create a works cited page.



  • The author of “Indian Education,” Sherman Alexi, writes about inequality within America. Examine how Native Americans, o rother minorities, are discriminated against.
  • In Staple’s essay, “Just Walk on By,” he says that he realized he had “the ability to alter public space in ugly ways.” In regard to this essay and your own experience, examine how race or ethnicity can cause people to react in fear.


  • In relation to Birnbaum’s essay, “The Catbird Seat,” and your own experiences, examine whether some handicapped people take advantage of their disability for privileges others do not have.


  • In Stephen King’s essay, “Why We Crave Horror Movies,” he says horror movies “deliberately appeals to all that is worst in us.” In regard to this essay and your own experience, examine how and why horror movies are appealing.


  • In Ellen Laird’s essay, “I’m Your Teacher, Not Your Internet Service Provider,” argue whether online courses undermine effective learning and teaching.


  • The author of “On Dumpster Diving,” Lars Eighner, shows how people are wasteful. Examine your own wastefulness and relate it to Eighner’s experience.




Writing advice:


  • Always have an Intro, Body, and Conclusion.
  • In the Intro, have a thesis statement – a statement that is the focus of the paper.
  • Also in the Intro, be sure to always mention the title of the work as well as the writer’s name.
  • The body paragraphs should all tie back to help proving the thesis.
  • Within the body, try to use quotes from the work as support. Use the text.
  • Do not announce! – do not tell me what you will be doing or what you have done – just do it. (This means that you should never say something like, “I am going to prove how the narrator in ‘Everyday Use’ is a round and dynamic character.” Simply state that “The narrator in ‘Everyday Use’ is a round and dynamic character.”) Also – do not say “In conclusion…” I can see that I am toward the end of the paper and that it is coming to an end.
  • Avoid saying “I feel,” “I believe,” “I think,” or “In my opinion” in your writing.
  • Avoid using the word “you” in writing. It is too informal. Use words like “one,” “someone,” “a person,” “the reader,” et cetera. Be more formal in your writing.
  • Learn the difference between words: “to/too/two,” “lose/loose,” “where/were,” “there/their/they’re,” et cetera.