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Davidson - Research Paper - ENGL 1102 : Assignment

Scavenger Hunt

Ms. Davidson

English 1102

Research Project Assignment


The research project accounts is an imporant module in this course, so your commitment to accomplish ALL of the requirements of this assignment is essential to your success.  In order to be successful, you must carefully follow each of the following steps.  Don't get behind and please don't get overwhelmed.  Let me know how I can help you.  Also, don't hesitate to contact our embedded librarian who can also help you with this assignment.


STEP 1.          Select a topic (Due 6/24/14 in Discussion Folder of D2L):  Select and sign up for one of the following broad categories of issues and pick a particular problem within that category that you would like to research.  For example, you might pick the family issues area and select a topic of the declining marriage rate.  Good research is problem/question based, so you may think that this is a bad or a good thing, but many in society think this trend is bad (they may be wrong, of course).  Your research might focus on why many in this generation have chosen to postpone or reject traditional marriage and the possible impact this change in the family structure does/may have on society. Ultimately, you will land on one side or the other of this issue.  Try to pick a topic with which you have some personal knowledge, interest, or experience, and do some preliminary research before finalizing your choice.   You must carefully consider your topic, learn a great deal about both sides of your chosen issue, narrow the topic, and choose a position on your topic.  If you don't like any of the proposed categories, select the Miscellaneous Area, but that will put you in a group with members working on all kinds of different topics.  I want you to write about a topic that you are interested in learning more about, so I will work with you as much as possible, but you must email me to discuss your proposed topic; you do NOT have my permission to write about abortion, capital punishment, or a number of other very tired topics.  Claim your topic under the discussion thread for your general area and include a tentative thesis statement in the Discussion Folder of Desire to Learn.  I am going to create groups out of the students signing up in each area.  I don't want two students writing on the same topic, but I think that the groups will be helpful.  Please consider students within your group as your research partners and your peer-reviewers both on a formal basis and on an informal basis as the project progresses.


Step 2.            Conduct Effective ResearchLocate at least six sources that you have vetted and feel will be helpful in analyzing and then supporting your argument.  Be sure to research both sides of the issue—your ethos (reputation/credibility) is at stake.   Most of you are quite comfortable with Google searches and understand the credibility problem inherent in most Internet sources, so most of your secondary research willnot be conducted on the Internet.  Instead, you must rely on sources you locate in Gil and Galileo to help you better understand your topic and support your argument.  You will use ALL of these in the Annotated Bibliography Assignment, but you may not choose to use all of them in your final paper.  Your sources must come from the following types:   

  • Three of these sources must be from peer-reviewed journals
  • One must be a book source
  • One Source Can be a credible internet source
  • The final source can be from film or other sources obtained from Galileo. 

Of the six sources you locate and analyze in the annotated bibliography, you must use five (5) sources in your final research paper. Remember, no more than ONE source may come from the internet. 


Step 3.            Prepare a Draft Annotated Bibliography (Due 7/1/2014 in A bibliography is a list of books, articles, essays, or other sources that you use to support your argument in your research paper.  An annotated bibliography is a bibliography that contains descriptive or evaluative comments in addition to the MLA citation.  For each of your SIX sources, you must include the following information:


  • An MLA citation
  • A description of the type of source (see list above)
  • A defense of the source.  Tell me how you know that this is a credible source (2-3 sentences)
  • A description of how you think the source will be helpful to you (informing you about the opposition, as good support for an important element of your argument, etc).
  • Copy and Paste at least one quotation that you think you might use in your paper.  Of course, these passages should be in quotation marks and should include a parenthetical/intext citation.
  • Your entries for each source should be alphabetical (according to the first word in the MLA citation).


Step 4.   Conference with Ms. Davidson (7/2 or 7/3):  You are required to schedule an online conference via D2L chat, Collaborate, Skype, or in person with me.  During this conference, we will discuss your thinking on your topic, go over your annotated bibliography, evaluate the sources you have found to support your ideas, discuss the outline for your paper, and resolve any concerns you may have before you draft your essay.


Step 5.  Draft Research Paper (Due 7/7 by 11:59 p.m. in  Your research paper should be 5-6 double-spaced pages, plus a Works Cited page.  Your essay will include an introduction that respectfully acknowledges the opposition, per Rogerian strategy, and a carefully articulated, analytical thesis statement.  Since this is your paper and not just an accumulation of experts’ opinions, your thoughts and words will dominate your essay.  Your position will be carefully constructed of your own thinking (with supporting examples and explanation), but will also include the support of outside experts.    The originality report from should be approximately twenty percent.


As always, your well-crafted essay will incorporate aspects of the strategies previously studied in English 1101 (description, exemplification, definition, process analysis, compare-contrast, division-classification, argument, persuasion), will be carefully and beautifully written, and will comply with the requirements of MLA.


The format of your paper should follow the conventions of MLA (See Chapter 33 of Harbrace Essentials and use the Model Essay on Page 324 of Harbrace Essentials as a guide.  Any borrowed ideas or words must be cited both parenthetically (in-text) and on the Works Cited page whether you use the original source’s words or not.  If you do use someone else’s words (and I recommend that you select important words and phrases only), you must use quotation marks in addition to the in-text citation and Works Cited entry..  We will work on MLA citation in class, but this procedure is also explained in your Harbrace text.


Step 6.  Peer-Review or Peer Mark Paper (7/8 by 11:59 p.m. in  Your draft paper will be submitted to prior to the due date.   Any time during the day of 6/19 you will review two of your classmates’ papers.  At 12:01 a.m. on 6/20/2013  you should receive feedback from two of your classmates.  This review process will allow you to check your originality score and help you to see if you need substantial revision before the final paper is due.   I will also be available to review your essay at this critical stage.


Step 7.  Turn in the Final Paper (Due 7/10 by 11:59 p.m. in  You will turn in your final research paper in  Remember, your Works Cited page is the final page of this paper.  The Works Cited page is simply an alphabetical listing of the full citation for each of the sources you used in your paper.  Do not include the annotations on this page.


Step 8.  Turn in Your Final Annotated Bibliography (Due 7/11 by 11:59 p.m. in


Step 9.  Turn in your Reflection Essay (Due 7/11 by 11:59 p.m. in  Compose a one-page reflection paper analyzing your process and efforts for this research assignment.  What worked well?  What didn’t go very well?  What do you want to remember to do differently next time?  This is not a paper about what you learned about your topic; instead, I am interested in your reflection about the research process.



List of Approved Problem Areas:  Select one of the following areas and claim it in the Discussion Folder.  Select a specific problem/topic that you want to research and articulate your starting position on the topic.  This is Step 1 of the research project.


Family Issues:




            Declining Marriage Rates

            Foreign Adoption

            Foster Care

            Single Parenthood

            In-vitro Fertilization


Gender Issues:


            Males as minorities in higher education

            “Sexy” Little Girls

            Women, Violence, and Rap/Hip Hop

            Male Hatred

            See Me


Identity Issues:



            School Uniforms

            See Me


Health Issues:


            Childhood Obesity


            Crack Epidemic

            Stem Cells

            See Me


Environmental Issues:


            Alaskan Pipeline

            Global Warming

            See Me



            Scandals (Sandusky, Lance Armstrong, etc)

            Pay for Performance at College Level

            Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

            See Me

            See Me

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