Category Archives: 1121 Unit 2-Research as Discovery

Inquiry Based Argument & Research

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.

Instructions:

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.

Scaffolding

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.

RGarcia Final 1121 Unit 2 Inquiry Based Research Assignment

Prof. Ruth Garcia

English 1121, semester ????

Unit 2: Inquiry Based Research/Annotated Bibliography (1800-word minimum)

Due: ?/?/2020

Assignment

In class we have read and discussed “The Declaration of Independence,” The U.S Constitution, and current pieces about social issues in occurring today. Inspired by these texts, we have brainstormed issues that are deeply important to you and you have picked one of these and worked over the last couple of weeks to develop a question related to your topic that you want to investigate.

Now, for this assignment you will do research and put together an 1800-word annotated bibliography of four sources that help you answer your research question.

Here is a useful site explaining what an annotated bibliography is and how to do one: https://guides.library.cornell.edu/annotatedbibliography

Your particular annotated bibliography should include the following:

  • Your research question at the top of the page.
  • An opening statement (a paragraph) explaining why this topic is important to you, what you know about it, and what you expect to find.
  • Four sources that are properly formatted in MLA style.
    • Note that your sources do not need to be articles. In fact, I encourage you to find information from a variety of genres. Examples of genres you might include are: newspaper articles, TED talks, personal essays, magazine article, scholarly article, organizations website.
    • You can find more on how to do MLA citations at the link below and throughout the Purdue OWL site: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_formatting_and_style_guide.html
    • You can also use Purdue OWL, Easy Bib, or Citation aNchine to do your citations—you can google for the second two sites and the first is at the link above.
    • Make sure your citations are in alphabetical order by author’s last name.
  • After each MLA style citation, put a summary of the source that tells what the piece is about.
  • Following each summary, you should also include
    • a few sentences that explain the genre, audience, and purpose of the piece.
    • one or two sentences evaluating the usefulness of each source.
    • An important and useful quotation from your source.
  • A concluding statement (about two paragraphs) reflecting on the following: What did you learned about your topic? How did your thinking change? Which discourse community do you think would benefit from your research? Why and how would this discourse community benefit from this information?

Note: Below–after “How will this be graded” I have included a template for your annotated bibliography. This is to show you how to organize and format your annotated bibliography, which is its own genre of writing.

How will this be graded?

  • Your annotated bibliography should be at least 1800 words.
  • Your annotated bibliography should be on time.
  • Your annotated bibliography should have all the components listed above and be formatted in the way indicated by the template below.
  • You should proofread.

The template for this assignment begins on the next page.

Your Name Here

Prof. Garcia

ENG 1121

Date Here

Research Question: Insert your research question here in place of this red text. Then make the text black/automatic when you are done.

Introduction:

In place of this blue text, insert your Opening statement saying what you expected to find before you began your research—this should be about at least a paragraph. Make sure to return the text to black/automatic.

Insert your first source here in place of all this black text and make sure your citation is in MLA style and alphabetized by author’s last name. Notice that the first line of a citation is all the way to the left and other lines of the citation are indented.

In place of this green text, you should insert your summary. In your summary you should make sure to mention the genre, audience, and purpose of the piece. Also, make sure to return your text to black/automatic.

In place of this purple text, you should insert your evaluation of the source and return the text to black/automatic.

In place of this orange text, insert an important or useful quotation from your source and return the text to black/automatic.

Insert your second source here in place of all this black text and make sure your citation is in MLA style and alphabetized by author’s last name. Notice that the first line of a citation is all the way to the left and other lines of the citation are indented.

In place of this green text, you should insert your summary. In your summary you should make sure to mention the genre, audience, and purpose of the piece. Also, make sure to return your text to black/automatic.

In place of this purple text, you should insert your evaluation of the source and return the text to black/automatic.

In place of this orange text, insert an important or useful quotation from your source and return the text to black/automatic.

Insert your third source here in place of all this black text and make sure your citation is in MLA style and alphabetized by author’s last name. Notice that the first line of a citation is all the way to the left and other lines of the citation are indented.

In place of this green text, you should insert your summary. In your summary you should make sure to mention the genre, audience, and purpose of the piece. Also, make sure to return your text to black/automatic.

In place of this purple text, you should insert your evaluation of the source and return the text to black/automatic.

In place of this orange text, insert an important or useful quotation from your source and return the text to black/automatic.

Insert your fourth source here in place of all this black text and make sure your citation is in MLA style and alphabetized by author’s last name. Notice that the first line of a citation is all the way to the left and other lines of the citation are indented.

In place of this green text, you should insert your summary. In your summary you should make sure to mention the genre, audience, and purpose of the piece. Also, make sure to return your text to black/automatic.

In place of this purple text, you should insert your evaluation of the source and return the text to black/automatic.

Conclusions:

In place of this blue text, insert your concluding statement saying what you learned about your topic, who you think would benefit from this information, and why and how they would benefit from this information—this should be about a paragraph. Make sure to return the text to black/automatic.

 

FINAL DATES, DEADLINES, INFO AND ETC.

And so, we draw to a close.  It has been so great working with all of you.  I said it before, and I’ll say it again, but I have been truly impressed with your work this semester.  You really came through, especially during the pandemic, which goes beyond anything I have literally ever seen (of course). I’m excited to see those final assignments and portfolios.

I will eventually be sending you a little survey in which I ask you to do your own (brief, 1-2 paragraph) reflection on the semester.  This will help us plan next semester’s PD, which will be entirely online! I also want to let you guys know that, though the PD is done,  I am here as a resource for you whenever you need me.  I’ll be continuing Zoom office hours next semester (and a couple of times in August) and also will be around for one-on-one meetings if you need help, have some cool assignments to share or just want to talk!

Here are the amended dates:

May 29th: Final student portfolios to be uploaded to Google Drive.  I’ve sent you this link.  If you did not get it, email me and I’ll resend.

  • Please use the folder “’20 Current PD Portfolios.”
  • Please make a folder with your own name in this format: (HallCarrie_20)
  • Within THAT folder, make subfolders for each class you are teaching with course and section number. (HallCarrie_1101_351).
  • In that folder, you will have either a file or a folder, as you see fit, for each of your students.  Make sure these are also titled clearly by the students’ names (Blair_Ruben) so they can easily be accessed.

June 5th: All of your final drafts of assignments for 1101 and 1121 will be uploaded to the Open Lab.  This is a HARD DEADLINE– as in this is honestly the last possible day! The “deliverables” include: Syllabus (front matter only, you don’t need the full schedule), Assignment Sheets for Units 1,2, and 3 and the handout for the final portfolio: this would include info on the reflection and what the final portfolio should include.

I will attach a copy a template for the 1101 syllabus if you’d like to use it (it’s optional). The 1121 syllabus template is under “Readings: 2020 Winter Institute”

For each of your final assignments, I know this is annoying, but… you will have to post them separately under their correct category.  This will help the next PD be able to look up examples of each assignment.  So, please use the following  format:

  • Categories: FINAL and the unit you are uploading, such as: 1101 Unit 1-Lit Narrative
  • Subject line: (YOUR NAME) FINAL 1101 UNIT 1 ASSIGNMENT

Please don’t forget the category “final” OR the word “Final” in the subject line.  Believe me, it matters in the long run!  Also, you can select two assignment categories, in case you have an assignment sheet that includes, say, 1101 Units 2 and 3, as some of us do.  It’s fine to combine those two.  Please don’t combine all of your materials onto one sheet, though!

Download (PDF, 127KB)

Here is an example of my final portfolio assignment sheet– I gave this to you a MILLION YEARS AGO in the winter, before “the troubles”.  I don’t expect you to be a graphics dork like myself. I also think the reflection Christine and I wrote this semester was much (MUCH) better than this one. However, I include this because it shows what I had my students include in their portfolios:

Download (PDF, 3.41MB)

Another example of the research assignment

Hey you guys, here is an assignment I’ve used for Unit 2 in 1121. There are things I might change here to deepen the research, but it might give you some ideas. This could also easily be split into units 2 and 3– that is, in Unit 2, people do more in-depth research than I’ve outlined here.  They develop reports (with infographics, proposals for action, etc.)  In Unit 3, they could then enact some part of that report– write a speech to the city council, a website, a grant proposal, etc…

Community Problems – and working toward community solutions

We have spent some time in this course identifying problems in contemporary America—especially in New York City. In this unit, you will be working in groups of four or five to:

  1. Find out as much as you can about those problems
  2. Figure out who might be able to impact change on those problems (this will be your audience.) As a group, you may decide that you need to reach more than one audience.
  3. Develop a document (or documents) that you think will best reach that audience. This might be a brochure, a speech, a video, a magazine article, or anything else that you believe will impact your audience and encourage them to begin making change toward solving this problem.

It’s up to you to decide if you want to do a big final group project, or if you want to do smaller individual final projects. You should make this decision based on, not only your own needs, but also the problem and audience you’ve chosen. In other words– who do you need to reach and how can you best reach them?

GETTING SPECIFIC

I say “begin making change”  because the problems we have identified are not simple to solve. If they were, they would’ve been solved by now. Too often, student papers are oversimplified: “Racism would end if people just saw each other for who they are” or something like that. What I want you to look for here are CONCRETE steps that ACTUAL individuals can take, even if they are only steps in the right direction. For example, if we are looking at racial profiling among the police in the Bronx, we might want to address a community group to insist on specific practices for hiring a more diverse police force, or a police force that lives in a borough they serve. We might also want to address the police commissioner to ask for police cameras or training for the police.

Whatever the case, your first step is to research the problem. You might think you know off the top of your head what the solution to your problem is, but you will need to back this up with evidence.

STEPS

Step 1: Have a group meeting. Brainstorm together what you KNOW about this problem and what you WANT to know about this problem. Go ahead and do some quick Internet research on your phones. What did you LEARN from this research? What do you STILL need to know?

We’re going to go to the library after this meeting, so you’ll need to be prepared with some questions. What do you need to get a full scope of this problem? How are you going to delegate the research? There are four of you, so you should each have your own separate task. This is important– you don’t want everyone looking up the same thing. That way, you can come together and share the info. You may also want to interview some people in the community! You’re going to have a few days to do this research.

After the library research, everyone should write up a memo for the group. What have you found?

Step 2: In your next meeting, look at your research. Do you need to find out more? Also, WHO do you think you need to reach in order to start working toward a solution to this problem? What do you think will be the best genre to reach them?

Step 3: It’s time to define your own project. That is, what are the documents (or what is the document) that you guys are going to make in order to reach this audience or audiences? What I’m looking for here is a document that is enough work for all four of you—so if you are, for example, making a 20 page informational brochure to present to the City Council, that is certainly enough for all of you. However if you are doing a poster, that’s probably a 1-2 person job. In this case, some of you might do a poster, and some others of you may do, for example, a video essay to accompany that poster.

Your finished project should: explain the problem to your audience in a genre appropriate to that audience, using diction appropriate to that audience. It should look like a finished document (a decent-looking brochure, a well thought-out video essay.) I know you’re not all graphic designers, but you do need to present this document, and every document you write (for all your classes) with care. Also– even if everyone is doing separate parts of the final project, they should all fit together!

How will this be graded?

  1. The thoroughness of your research. In other words, how well do you understand the problem you are trying to impact? I will assess this through your research memos (DUE DATE)
  2. Your work on audience: have you identified an appropriate audience/ appropriate audiences? Have you identified a genre and tone that will reach that audience?
  3. The care you put into your project. Does it seem finished? Is it thorough? I can’t give you a word count here, but this is your biggest project all semester, guys. If you turn in a brochure with 100 words on it, you won’t pass. This is because you can not make a compelling argument in 100 words. You need to have ENOUGH INFORMATION there to make that argument.