Kieran Reichert FINAL 1121 Unit 2

Unit 2 – Research as Discovery

Formal Requirements:

  • 1250-1800 words (paper + annotated bib). Typed, double-spaced, 12-pt Times New Roman font, 1-inch margins.
  • You may NOT use the second person (you) in your analysis.
  • Must have quotes, paraphrases, and summaries with citations from relevant research sources.


Essay 3 will be a written Proposal, a Research Paper, as well as an Annotated Bibliography. Before you begin detailed research, you need to come up with a real-world, arguable research problem approved by your instructor, so writing this proposal will help you plan your project and articulate your potential arguments. The real-world, arguable problem for Paper 3 must come from your current or planned City Tech major or a potential career after graduation. The paper must include:

Introduction: Write an intro for the Research Proposal emphasizing your reasons for writing about your chosen topic and the importance of the issue to your future career.

  1. Hook: Remember to use a little pathos to hook the reader. Snag your reader’s interest with vivid, concrete language, with human interest. Be subtle but be interesting.
  2. Development: Discuss the problem in your future career with reference to discourse communities and include some audience analysis (Consider: Who is your audience/opposition? Walk in their shoes for a while and try to determine why they think like they do, and what are the best, most compelling arguments for their position. What about your argument for change, for a new perspective, scares them the most? Now that you have become them, have understood their fears and resistance, what would be the most persuasive ways to overcome their fears and resistance?) Transition to your thesis statement at the end of this paragraph and see if you don’t have a great suspended, or climactic paragraph.
  3. Thesis Statement (one sentence): A thesis statement is one sentence, and always an opinion. In this case it’s an arguable position on a controversial topic. You may end up taking a fairly moderate position on the topic, but your thesis is still specific. (Example: While many think political parties serve to organize the administration of government, mainstream parties in America have polarized the nation by building mistrust among lawmakers and stifling other potential voices in our democratic republic.)


Background/History of the subject: Trace a brief history of your controversy and bring the reader up to date on where the issue stands today. Do this section in chronological order, briefly hitting major landmarks from the beginning of the controversy until its current state. You should do basic research online (on the web and/or through the library website) to get this information. Direct quotations for basic history aren’t necessary, but any paraphrase or summary of sources MUST BE CITED using the MLA format.


Proofs: Based on your preliminary research, discuss what you want to prove {2 thesis points (not including the counterargument in your refutation)} as your paragraph topics. Use complete topic sentences to label each proof and include any quotes/paraphrases/summaries from your sources that you will cite as evidence. MLA CITATIONS REQUIRED. Explain how this evidence will support your proposed thesis and what kinds of other evidence you will need to fully develop the argument.

  1. Topic sentence about thesis point #1.
  2. Evidence, ideally paraphrased, MLA cited in parentheses.
  3. Explanation how this evidence addresses your point and relates to the further research needed.
  4. Evidence, ideally paraphrased, MLA cited in parentheses.
  5. Explanation how this evidence addresses your point and relates to the further research needed.
  6. Topic sentence about thesis point #2.
  7. Evidence, ideally paraphrased, MLA cited in parentheses.
  8. Explanation how this evidence addresses your point and relates to the further research needed.
  9. Evidence, ideally paraphrased, MLA cited in parentheses.
  10. Explanation how this evidence addresses your point and relates to the further research needed.

Refutation: While some elements of refutation should be covered in your Proofs, this paragraph will focus on naming and then refuting (disproving) any counterargument unaddressed or you have yet to overcome. The opposing view should already appear as part of your thesis, but the refutation should give the specific attack(s) that the opposing view would make against your thesis claim. Based on preliminary research, discuss these possible counterarguments and any evidence you have for refutation. CITE EVIDENCE.

Conclusion: Sum up what you’ve already proven about your topic and what still needs to be proved. Bear in mind that a conclusion is future-oriented, gives the reader a directive about the future, about why this topic is important and deserves further research. If possible, employ subtle yet effective pathos here, and vivid, concrete language.


Day One: Library Visit. With Librarian, introduce notion of a research question. Give students many examples and encourage them to get into google/search engine wormholes within the constraints of the assignment and using library resources.

HW: Bring in working thesis and two sources.

Day Two: Thesis workshop. As a class, go over the features of an effective thesis statement, and put them in groups of 3-4 to comment on each other’s theses.

HW: Refine question and do more research. Reflect on one way you’d change how you approach the thesis-building process.

Day Three: Background paragraph & Refutation paragraph. Read samples and practice using preliminary research.

HW: Draft proposal, including outlined body paragraphs

Dav Four: Mini Peer Review for proposals.

HW: “Difficulty paper”

Day Five: Incorporating evidence and evaluating sources. Read sample annotated bibliographies and practice as a group in class.

HW: Evaluate three sources.

Day Six: Peer Review of Draft of Proposal + Anno Bib & Plan for Revision

HW: Put it all together and write out your body paragraphs. Final Draft due next class.

Day Seven: Turn in and reflect on process overall in class.

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