Project Two: Research Project (55%)
A brief proposal (2 pages minimum) regarding your tentative project on a
social issue. You will be giving us a window into your research project that includes your specific research questions and goals.
Annotated Bibliography (15%):
An assignment in which you gather at least eight sources related to your research project and summarize and analyze each source in an attempt to determine how the source might be of use to you in your research project.
Research Essay (30%):
A researched essay (8-10 pages minimum) in which you a will provide a focused and detailed argument in response to your research questions with regards to a particular social issue.
Project #2: Research Portfolio Professional Custom Writing Services from the Experts!
Research, argumentation, and synthesis are the cornerstone skills that students need to learn in order to thrive in college. For this assignment, you will use your skills to summarize, analyze, and synthesize sources to form an argument. This assignment asks you to write a 7-10 page essay that investigates a particular social problem of your choice. Personally, I would cater my choice towards my career goals or choose an issue that I want to know more about. Currently, I want to learn more about high-stakes testing in public schools and funding per student in Mississippi school districts, so I would research those things and come up with a research question: How does a lack of funding for infrastructure affect high-stakes testing scores for Mississippi school districts?
Proposal due: 10/06/18
Research Essay Draft due: 10/20/18
Final Draft and Annotated Bibliography due: 11/17/18
Proposal: The proposal is a tentative plan. It should be 1-2 pages long and include a statement of the particular problem you intend to investigate, and your specific research question. You should also indicate why you wish to pursue this topic, how you expect to gather information, and who your target audience is. What you write in the proposal is not set in stone—your plans may change as you move through the writing and research process. However, if you completely “switch gears,” you need to discuss your new topic with me for final approval. For instance, if your proposal discusses environmental racism in Flint, Michigan, but your final research paper is about gender bias in politics, then I need a heads up.
Annotated Bibliography: The goal of your annotated bibliography is to collect sources relating to your research topic and to think through the ways these sources will be of use to you in your research paper.
This is a working bibliography; you may list as many sources as you find interesting, but you must annotate at least 8 written sources. Remember, you may not use all the sources listed here in your final paper, but a comprehensive working bibliography helps you make connections between sources, helps you see the “larger picture”—the various perspectives which different authorities have on a subject.
Your research should represent a number of perspectives on your issue. Aim for a balance of sources from a variety of political perspectives and opinions; if most of your sources are from liberal magazines/journals, for example, you’re not getting a valuable balance of sources. You don’t have time to read long books, though you may use up to two book chapters as sources. Aim for a balance of academic and popular sources. No more than three of your sources should be from the Internet, and when choosing Internet sources, carefully analyze their credibility and authority before including them.
List each source alphabetically in proper MLA works cited format. Follow each citation with an annotation. An annotation should include:
1. a summary of the content and the author’s main point or claim, and
2. a brief analysis of the work and discussion of how the source may or may not be useful to you.
James, Rene. “The Signifying Practices of Rap Music.” Journal of Popular Culture 22 (1982):
Rap music has a long history, dating back to the early 1900s and “scat” jazz. After listing several different kinds of rap music and their political ties, James argues that rap has been mainstreamed and “whitened” for the mass public because rap “signifies” a lifestyle which contradicts many status quo (white) values. His main claim is that rap music is more than just entertainment for bored, black, urban youth; instead, rap poses significant political challenges and has the potential to cause many social changes.
I will use James’ history of rap in my introduction. I like the list of types of rap he gives us, but the article is over three decades old, and a lot of things have changed in rap since then. E.g., Eminem presents a totally different ethical issue for rap than any of the groups James talks about. Maybe I’ll add a few new kinds of rap to his list to show how rap is even more commercialized now. I also really liked his explanation about how rap is more than just entertainment. It can have real social consequences. I agree with this, and I think it might work as a good argument in my conclusion.
Research Essay: Again, this assignment asks you to reevaluate and research elements of our community that might benefit from research and public attention. Your project should:
• develop a persuasive focus and then support that focus by offering specific examples and details along with relevant research;
• attempt to persuade a specific audience, who may or may not be aware of the issues, to accept (if not agree with) your perspectives; and
• synthesize a minimum of six sources to offer an in-depth discussion of the community issue which you are evaluating.
Getting Started: Your focus will be persuasive by making a claim about and evaluating the social/community problem you have chosen. Your focus should offer a subject plus a point of significance about the subject. Remember, neither a statement of fact (homelessness + is a big problem in America) nor a statement of taste (homeless people + are great people) constitute a persuasive focus. Your thesis is your claim plus the evidence you will explain in your body paragraphs.
Rhetorical Considerations: The audience that you tailor your essay to will be left up for you to decide, but put investment in convincing your audience of your point. It would not make sense for your audience to be people who agree wholeheartedly with you. To write a convincing essay, you will need to explore your chosen issue in some depth. You should develop your essay carefully by choosing supporting information through research and by offering specific examples and details.
Putting it Together: While it will still be necessary to establish a clear focus statement towards the beginning of your essay, keep in mind that research writing is a journey that begins with questions. Your inquiries and research should lead you to a strong organization that helps persuade others of your claim. Follow MLA documentation style for format, parenthetical citations, and your works cited page, and keep in mind the following conventions:
1. use at least six to seven outside sources. No source may be more than 10 years old without permission. If you are using a website, interview, or video, you must get my approval ahead of time. Citations will not be permitted from encyclopedias other than professional encyclopedias;
2. document (give the source of your information, including the exact page if there is a stable page number) all words or statements that are not common knowledge. A citation must give the answer every time a reader might ask, “Where did you learn that?”
3. in addition to quotations, some of your text will be summarized and paraphrased. Summarized and paraphrased information MUST BE CITED.
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