Q: What is a research/stakeholder paper?
A: A research/stakeholder paper is an essay that researches multiple sides of an issue. You start with a central question or tentative idea, conduct research to learn more about the question or idea, and finally, you explain what you learned from your research.
I believe ______to be true.
I researched ______, considering multiple angles and the differing perspectives on the issue.
After my research, I now think ______.
Some insight should be gained by the end of your paper. You don’t need to do a complete 180 degree turn on your stance, but you do need to have something new you learned.
Do not pick a research topic that you’ve already made up your mind on. You won’t challenge your point of view or learn anything. It’s easy to find and manipulate research to prove whichever side you’re arguing for. That is not the goal of this assignment. This should be a genuine inquiry into a topic—one that you don’t know the answer to.
Example of a bad conclusion/thesis: My research confirmed what I previously thought about the ineffectiveness of D.A.R.E. programs in schools.
Example of a better conclusion/thesis: Though most of the research supports my suspicions of the D.A.R.E. program specifically, I have learned that there are other alternative drug education programs that do show positive results.
Fair Warning: there are certain topics that are difficult to write anything new about. Unless you manage to find a unique/rarely discussed angle, it will be hard for you to do well on papers with overused topics (e.g. student athletes, abortion, marijuana, drinking age, gun control, immigration, etc.)
Or, if you pick a tired topic, find some way to make it new. For example, do not write a paper on why abortion is right or wrong, but instead on what factors contribute to someone getting an abortion, i.e. education, socioeconomic status, religion, race, area of the country, etc.
Bad Hypothesis: In my paper I will be discussing why abortion is wrong.
Better Hypothesis: I believe the groups that identify with pro-choice ideals are typically white and affluent. I would like to research which racial and socioeconomic groups tend to favor abortion, or to see if there is a correlation at all between these groups and abortion views.
Other Examples of the Hypothesis: