Analytical Research Papers

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Analytical Research Paper and Proposal
Self- Assessment Checklist for Writers

Your analytical research paper for this class will be evaluated based on the following criteria. Before you turn in your paper, let it rest a day or two and then reread it with these criteria in mind. You may also want to exchange your paper another person in the class.

Research Proposal Guidelines

Students must submit a brief (200-300 word) description of the topic they’ll be examining in their Research Paper. This assignment must include the following:
1. An overall description of the subject of the paper
2. A thesis statement
3. A summary of the essay’s main points.
Proposals for research topics must be turned in for approval by the instructor by the date shown on the schedule. They will not be graded formally; they will receive comments only (based on the rubric below) rather than being graded for content and will receive full credit if turned in on time.



OK/Good if Developed

Needs Work

Topic: Appropriate for research paper




1. interesting or original approach to the topic;




2. focuses on author(s) and issues in the course;




3. limited enough to be completed in the time available









1. Arguable and not a statement of fact or generalities




2. Limited enough so that research paper will be fully developed




3. Unified so that research paper will not stray from the topic





Scholarly sources Identifies at least two scholarly sources.




Main arguments or points




Research Paper Checklist

Criteria for Evaluation


1. Development and Analysis

  1. Does the paper include sufficient analysis, enough for an 6-8 page paper?
  2. Does it significantly expand the reader’s understanding of the text or concept? Is the analysis of high quality, making in-depth, original, and interesting points about the work?
  3. Does the analysis look closely at the language and themes of the text?
  4. Are assertions backed up by references to the text, including specific quotations?
  5. Are the quotations analyzed sufficiently?
  6. Does the paper consist of summaries of the plot?
  7. Does the paper simply repeat obvious information or generalizations?
  8. If quotations are used, are they just summed up with statements such as “This is how the author thought about X issue” instead of being analyzed?
  9. Are there any parts of the paper that seem irrelevant or tangential to the argument?




2. Structure


  1. Does the introduction introduce the title and author of the works being discussed? Does it explain the scope of the paper (what the paper will discuss)?
  2. Does the paper have a clear thesis stated in the introduction?
  3. Does the thesis meet the three criteria for a thesis?
    1. To be limited enough for the the assignment.
    2. To be arguable and not be merely a statement of fact or a generalization.
    3. To be unified sufficiently around a central idea.
  4. Does the introduction contain non-thesis statements such as "In this paper I will discuss X story"?
  5. Is the development of the thesis and the progression of the argument apparent throughout the paper?
  6. Does the conclusion indicate what was accomplished or proven in the paper?


  1. Can the reader readily understand what each individual paragraph contributes to the argument?
  2. Does the paper use topic sentences, transitions, and other features to create coherence and structure?
  3. Are the paragraphs unified? Does each paragraph develop a single point (or set of points related to one idea)?
  4. Are the paragraphs coherent? Do the sentences within them "hang together" so that the analysis is smoothly developed?
  5. Are the paragraphs complete or fully developed? Do they contain appropriate levels of analysis and supporting evidence (such as quotations)?

3. Style

  1. Is the quality of writing at the site clear and fluent?
  2. Are the sentences grammatically correct, even if some are choppy or wordy?
  3. Are there instances of awkward phrasing, vagueness, wordiness, incorrect word use, or other problems?
  4. Do major errors such as comma splices, fragments, and fused sentences appear in the text?
  5. Are the sentences free from errors in parallelism, agreement, pronoun reference, tense shifts, and so on?
  6. Does the paper include an appropriate level of formality?
  7. Does it substitute statements of reaction (I think/I feel/I liked/I was disappointed in) for actual analysis?

4. Sources

  1. Are the sources used legitimate scholarly sources, such as peer-reviewed journals or books?
  2. Does the paper cite at least two scholarly sources (not Wikipedia or online pages but articles published in journals or books)?
  3. Do the sources contribute to the author’s argument, and does the author make it clear how they support it?

5. Mechanics

  1. Are the mechanical features of writing (capitalization, punctuation, and so on) correct?
  2. Are quotations introduced correctly, with appropriate signal phrases?
  3. Are there any “dropped quotations”?
  4. Are titles punctuated correctly?

6. Format

  1. Is a Works Cited page included?
  2. Does the Works Cited page use the correct MLA format?
  3. Are sources cited correctly using MLA style?
  4. Does the paper include page numbers, a title, and an appropriate header (name, date, and so on)?
  5. Are the pages numbered?




Sample analytical research paper requires a writer to do a thorough investigation in order to analyze a problem, not just describe it. In general, the analytical paper begins with a research question. The main goal of the paper is not to persuade its readers that the author is right but to give an overview of primary and secondary sources on the selected issue. A thesis statement is a significant part of an analytical research paper. It should reflect the fresh ideas and developments and avoid the restatements of the well-known information. As for the most important features of the analytical research paper, they are objectiveness, reliability, censoriousness, and accurateness.

The present day situation of the flora and fauna on our planet is turbulent and tragic because many of animals and plants belong to the endangered species. Due to the negligence and irresponsibility of humans, many of species are at the vanishing point. One of such animals is Siberian tiger who lives in the woods of Eastern Russia, China, and North Korea. Its population had decreased to the critical point in 1940, and there are only about 500 Amur tigers in the world nowadays. As Siberian, or Amur, tigers are rare species, it is necessary to analyze the essential reasons for their obsolescence.

The main reason for their extinction is the destruction of their habitat places. Deforestation prevents their ability to hunt and live in the familiar area. People cut the trees to sell and make the profit as well as consume the same prey. Because of these challenges, tigers are forced to move to other areas where they are not able to survive successfully.

One more important threat for the tigers’ disappearance is the loss of food sources. The typical ration of the Siberian tiger consists of deer, bears, fish, and rabbits. When these items disappear, tigers have nothing to eat, and therefore, they hunt for domestic animals. People are afraid of tigers and extirpation of their domestic animals so they kill tigers which try to steal their cattle.

Moreover, the hide and meat of the Siberian tiger are considered to be the real treasure which has a high price. That is why people hunt for them despite of the fact that it is forbidden. Their meat is a delicacy, while bones, teeth, and whiskers are the ingredients for traditional Chinese medicine. Consequently, poaching is the serious problem regarding the disappearance of Siberian tigers.

To summarize, one has to mention that people are responsible for the extermination of Siberian tigers because their illegal and inhumane actions cause this unpleasant situation. First of all, people destroy the habitat of the tigers, and tigers cannot hunt and live in their comfort zone. Secondly, the greed for gain makes people hunt for tigers in order to sell their hide, meat, and other parts of the body. Finally, the distinction of typical animals which the tigers consume make them come to people’s homes and hunt for their livestock, therefore, peasants kill tigers in order to save their own cattle.


  • Charbonneau, L. (2014). The magnificent Siberian: A novel. New York: D.I. Fine.
  • Ellis, R. (2005). Tiger bone & rhino horn: The destruction of wildlife for traditional Chinese medicine. Washington: Island Press.
  • Goldish, M. (2010). Siberian tiger. New York, N.Y.: Bearport Pub.
  • Lyn Dybas, C. (2010). The Once and Future Tiger. Bioscience, 60(11), 872-877.
  • Tian, Y., Wu, J., Wang, T., & Ge, J. (2014). Climate change and landscape fragmentation jeopardize the population viability of the Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica). Landscape Ecology, 29(4), 621-637.

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