I created my Exploratory Survey on the Status of the Research Paper Assignment in First-year Writing/Composition Courses to learn whether the traditional research paper remained as common an assignment in 2009 as it had been in the past. My survey updates results from two previous surveys on the status of this assignment. Ambrose N. Manning's survey, conducted in 1961, found that 83% of colleges and universities in the United States included the traditional research paper assignment in first-year writing/composition curricula. James E. Ford and Dennis R. Perry's 1982 survey concluded that 78.11% of the colleges and universities that required first-year writing/composition courses included the assignment, a decline of 5%. My survey results indicate that in 2009, at survey respondents' schools, only 6% of research assignments in first-year writing/composition courses are traditional research paper assignments, a decline of 72% since 1982, while 94% are alternative ones. This shift appears to reflect trends in scholarship as well as changes in assessment practices, structure of first-year writing/composition programs, and technologies for writing, researching, and teaching.