Project 2: Research and Inquiry

 Draft Due: April 6th      Project Due: April 15th

 **NOTE** All work is due at the beginning of class.

 **Please Do NOT** wait until the last minute to ask me questions. Come and visit me during office hours or email me during the week with questions.

 The Assignment

We are beginning an inquiry and research process! We will be asking questions that will drive and inspire your research. 

What impact do you want to have on your community? What changes do you want to make in the world to benefit your community? What is a problem in the world you think needs to be fixed? 

For Project 2, your task is to research a current problem or issue in your chosen discourse community. The discourse community can be the one you wrote about in Module 1, or a different one (such as a social group, a neighborhood, a particular group at City Tech, etc.). The problem/issue should be something that really matters to you and that you want to spend a significant time working on. (Remember if you switch discourse communities not to choose something too broad– not all of New York, for example– but maybe a particular neighborhood in the Bronx, or a group of gamers.) 

As a class, we will work to help you research the problem thoroughly so that you have a good idea of what is at the heart of the issue– where the problem really stems from.  Only after you have done that research can you decide who might be able to impact change on that problem. This will be your audience

Your main outcome in this project will be to write an article that will make an impact on an issue of importance to your discourse community. You will write in a genre of article that you think will best reach the audience who most needs to know about this issue. The idea is to select the most effective genre of article that you believe will impact your audience and encourage them to begin making changes toward solving this problem. You will decide what publication would best suit your audience and you will write, as best as you can, in the style of that publication. 

It’s important to remember here that you are just looking for the beginnings of solutions — because my guess is that you’ll be picking difficult problems. If, for example, it was easy to come up with a solution to the problem of domestic violence, or racism in the education system, someone would’ve found that solution by now. This doesn’t mean we don’t keep looking with fresh eyes! But don’t try to oversimplify — it’s okay to just begin the conversation. 

Article should be at least 1400 Words. 

The Assignment STEPS

 STEP 1: Brainstorm a Topic 

Find a current problem/issue you’re interested in or passionate about. It is crucial that you choose something that matters to you and your community, as you will be spending weeks on this assignment. Brainstorm a few ideas rather than just going with the first topic that pops into your head. We’ll work together on this in class. 

STEP 2: Gather Research

 Find at least 4 sources on your topic.  These sources must vary in genre and some should be primary sources. Your sources must come from at least 3 different genres (For example: interview, scientific article, popular article, podcast, scholarly article, op-ed, advertisement, biography, blog, TED Talk, song, etc.). 

STEP 3: Analyze and Present Your Research

  • Write a brief description of each of your four sources (what is the main idea/ key points)? What is the genre? Why did the author choose this genre?
  • Is the source credible? How do you know? Use the 5Ws and 1H Chart. Is there bias in the piece? 
  • Rhetorical Situation: Who is the intended audience? Explain. What is the author’s purpose? Explain. How does the author reach the audience (ethos, pathos, logos). 
  • Prepare a short oral presentation on one of the research pieces you found and share it with the class. The focus should be on the Rhetorical Situation (audience, purpose), how the author presents the information, and a brief summary of the piece. Explain why you chose the piece and what the information teaches you about your topic.

STEP 4: Mentor Article and Publication

Together, we will each look for a mentor article, which is basically a published article (about something else) that you can use as an effective model for writing your own article. That is, you will be looking for an article in the publication of your choice that you admire. You do not have to copy the style of writing, but you can turn to it for tips on style, word choice, tone, structure, and so on. 

STEP 5: Write Your Article

You have completed the research, chosen a mentor author and article and now it is time to write your article in the genre/ style you have selected! Make sure to keep your audience and purpose in mind. 

STEP 5: Peer Review/ Article Due

Engage in online peer review sessions. Following the comments you received, you will revise and edit your article! 


The assignment must be typed in 12-point Times New Roman Font. It must be double- spaced and have one-inch margins. You must include word counts at the top of the assignment. Total word count should be at least 1600 words (combine source descriptions and article).

  Grading Criteria


  • Genre & Audience Awareness. Have you written in a genre that will effectively reach your intended audience? 



  • Appropriateness for the publication.  You will pick a specific publication that you feel will reach your audience (and not just the New York Times — but if you choose the NYT, a particular section!) Does your article seem like a good fit for that publication? Have you paid attention to your mentor article to find the features of this style of writing?



  • Completion of research. This is basically your annotated bibliography.  Did you dig deep in your research and find relevant and credible sources? Does your research reflect a thorough understanding of the problem you are trying to impact?



  • Use of research. So, you did the research.  How were you able to integrate it into your own article and argument? 



  • Is it convincing? The goal was to convince your audience to begin making a particular change to benefit your community.  Does your article convince them to do so? 

Learning Objectives

  1. Read and listen critically and analytically in a variety of genres and rhetorical situations: Identify and evaluate exigencies, purposes, claims, supporting evidence, and underlying assumptions in a variety of texts, genres, and media.
  1. Adapt to and compose in a variety of genres: Adapt writing conventions in ways that are suitable to different exigencies and purposes in a variety of contexts, including academic, workplace, and civic audiences. When appropriate, repurpose prior work to new genres, audiences, and media by adjusting delivery, design, tone, organization, and language.
  1. Use research as a process of inquiry and engagement with multiple perspectives: Learn to focus on a topic and develop research questions that lead to propositions and claims that can be supported with well-reasoned arguments. Persuasively communicate and repurpose research projects across a variety of contexts, purposes, audiences, and media. Demonstrate research skills through attribution and citation gathering, evaluating, and synthesizing both primary and secondary sources. Learn how to use appropriate citation styles depending on disciplinary and situational requirements (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.).
  1. Use reflection and other metacognitive processes to revise prior assumptions about reading and writing and transfer acquired knowledge into new writing situations. Students write reflections of their own reading and writing process from the beginning and throughout the semester with the intention to transfer their acquired knowledge about genre and composing practices into new writing situations.
  1. Demonstrate the social and ethical responsibilities and consequences of writing: Recognize that first-year writing includes academic, workplace, and civic contexts, all of which require careful deliberation concerning the ethical and social ramifications concerning fairness, inclusivity, and respect for diversity. Write and revise for academic and broader, public audiences accordingly.