– Distinguish between scholarly and non-scholarly sources.
Goals for the Third Paper/Research Projects:
– Distinguish between scholarly and non-scholarly sources.
– Develop our ideas regarding information literacy.
– Summarize and analyze research sources.
– Synthesize your findings in concise academic prose.
– Extend your findings into a well-developed argumentative essay (the analysis).
You will write and research about your intended major and career path. For this paper, feel free to use the first-person pronoun “I” and to openly share your thoughts and concerns regarding your academics and career choices.
The paper must adhere to MLA guidelines and must include all of the “parts” listed below including the Works Cited (one inch margins, 12 pt. font in Times or Times new Roman, double-spaced). You will absolutely lose credit if you fail to meet the word-length requirements. For this paper, you may choose to follow the guidelines I give below, or you can organize using your own structure. If you choose to organize the paper using your own structure, it must still meet the word-length requirements (which is about 2,000 to 3,000 words).
Part I: Introduction (400 to 500 words)
Frankly, thinking about academic majors and career choices can be daunting. There can be so much uncertainty and so many questions. In this paper (especially in your introduction) feel free to express not just your hopes but also your reservations. I want you to first and foremost answer this question: “How will this research project benefit me?” So… ask yourself what you are interested in. Try to choose ideas that you feel invested in.
First, tell your audience about your intended major. If you do not have a declared major yet, pick one that you feel you are leaning towards. Tell the audience why you are personally interested in this major. Then, tell the audience what career choice you are thinking about. Topics may or may not include: the difficulty of the major, access to classes, relationships with professors, schools you might transfer to, career prospects and outlooks, and any news or information that you feel relates to the topic at hand. For example, if your career choice is in criminal justice, you might want to discuss current debates about policing in the US. If you are thinking of becoming an accountant, you might want to discuss a particularity of the business community or evolving tax law. Make the paper yours!
Unlike your other papers, you are free to write an introduction that does not include a thesis. Your introduction can be more personal. For example, you may say “I chose to research x because I am interested in a career in y.”
Part II: Sources (250 words per source minimum)
This next part of the paper will compose of five separate “mini-essays” or paragraphs. You can simply number them and put them in a big list.
Find at least FIVE sources for your paper. Your sources must include each one of the following: a book
an article (from print or web)
a reliable web source
one source that you find unreliable and “less than scholarly” (tell me why)
an additional scholarly sources from any media (book, video, etc.)
First, start by listing the MLA bibliographic information for each article you are working with. You may choose to do this in bold or number your sources.
Then, summarize the findings in the article. You can simply hit return two or three times after you listed the MLA bibliography, then start a paragraph or two. Use at least one direct quote per article. Try to be as objective about the source as possible.
Next, tell your reader about the article’s credibility. What was the source? How scholarly was the article? What are your reservations about it?
Then, in addition to providing a summary of the article and its credibility, offer your observations and reactions. Part III: Analysis (500 -1000 words)
Provide the reader with an extension of your research. In other words: what do YOU think? What did you discover? How will this research paper help you?
Take a position. If you used a more objective lens beforehand, this is your opportunity to extend your own, individual argument.
Again, feel free to take a more personal tone here (“I discovered xyz about my intended career”) but avoid informal language (“back in the day people were mad violent like”). Part IV: Works Cited (a page)
Follow MLA guidelines. Keep in mind the following: Make sure to keep your focus and, as always, be as specific as possible in both your argumentation and in your evidence.
Make sure your research and evidence makes sense and is focused around your topic.
Your evidence should be based (as much as possible) on objective research. Avoid non-objective or unspecific language when possible (i.e. “15% of ozone depleted,” and not “a lot of ozone gone” – cite your sources. When in doubt, cite).
Make sure you are appropriately citing and paraphrasing the information you are using.
Be honest about your feelings of objectivity. Remember, you are tasked with finding at least one “non-scholarly” or unreliable source. What makes something reliable to you and what is unreliable and why?
Evaluation standards for this paper:
Introduction is free from colloquial diction and grammar errors. It summarizes your potential academic and career trajectory, details the specific area of the field you are invested in, and explains why this focal point is important to you and where you think your research will head.
Essay employs compelling evidence and argues persuasively.
Properly paraphrases and cites information from its sources throughout.
Draws on the sources for supporting your argument, but does not confuse other authors’ voices for your own. Failure to accomplish this is plagiarism.
Properly uses grammar, mechanics and scholarly diction throughout.
Incorporates quotes grammatically into your writing using quote-blending every time.
Analysis shows that you have thought about how your research may benefit your major or career or another aspect of your life or the lives of your community members.