Brave Writer

Essay Writing 302: MLA Research Essay is an advanced college-preparatory course in long-form persuasive essay writing. Students follow the essay format as outlined in The MLA Handbook, 9th Edition

Students write a 1500-2000 word persuasive essay with a minimum of five outside sources, including citations and Works Cited. Students work on skills including:


Week One

Students choose a topic of interest that is researchable using credible academic sources. Before beginning research on the topic, they'll formulate a hypothesis to help guide an effective inquiry.

Week Two

The difficult part of a large research project is organizing information! Students will focus on efficient note-taking in the MLA format this week. 

Week Three

Students continue to research credible sources offering multiple perspectives on the topic. Notes will include quotations, paraphrases, and summaries to provide correct citations and avoid plagiarism.

Week Four

This week is devoted to organizing notes and formulating a detailed outline to serve as the springboard for the final paper.

Week Five

After examining sample MLA research essays that work, students write the preliminary draft of their paper.

Week Six

Following a peer review and instructor feedback, students revise and polish their paper to have a portfolio-ready final product.

Common Core and Academic Standards Support

What follows is a word bank and set of skills associated with this class. Use them to craft your own learning narrative for use in year-end evaluations, charter school reports, or any other accountability source.

Word Bank

  • Argument
  • Counterargument
  • Editing
  • Expert sources
  • In-text citations
  • Insight and interpretation
  • MLA style and format
  • Multiple perspectives
  • Note-taking
  • Outlining
  • Persuasive techniques
  • Revision
  • Research
  • Thesis statement
  • Works Cited

Core Skills

  • Analyze student essays to offer constructive feedback
  • Analyze source texts and apply critical thinking
  • Argue with support for a particular thesis
  • Choose a topic geared toward point-driven writing
  • Cite credible evidence to support conclusions
  • Craft a thesis statement and support it with evidence
  • Edit writing for standard English usage
  • Maintain distinct writer’s voice
  • Outline and Organize research information from multiple sources
  • Revise writing for clarity, flow, order, interest, and economy of language
  • Utilize correct citation and format guidelines following MLA style
  • Write detailed, organized, structured original narratives