Paper One: Making Sense of Experience

This paper can be a narrative, a descriptive essay, a lab report, an autobiography, an excerpt from a journal, a short story—any paper that represents an attempt to make sense of one’s own observations.

Paper Two: An Academic Argument

In an academic argument, you must make a claim that a reasonable person could disagree with. Your topic does not have to be a "hot button issue" debated in the public sphere (though it certainly can be); any essay that offers a particular position on something – your position – and then offers evidence for that position qualifies as an argument.

The Parts of an Argument

Paper Three: Analysis, Evaluation, Criticism, and/or Interpretation that Focuses on the Ideas of Others

This paper will usually be a college-level research paper, as the instructions indicate. Importantly, a good paper in this category is not a compilation or summary of other people’s words and ideas; the student-writer should analyze, evaluate, interpret, and/or synthesize information found through research. Source material should support and develop an original, insightful thesis about the topic that the writer has formulated after analyzing the subject.

The most basic requirement for this paper is the use of at least three credible sources. We want to see your ability to use these sources and to put them in conversation with each other and with your own ideas. 

The documentation of source material should be meticulous. Read more about Writing with Sources.

Still have questions? Visit the Writing Center, Seibert 103. Don’t wait until the last week, the WC gets very busy, and you will not get the kind of attention the consultants would like to give you.