UNIT 2: Research Report
So, in order to explain Unit 2, I have to talk about Units 2 + 3 together first, because you’re going to have to use some foresight in the research decisions you make; there will be planning, trial, error, planning again. It’s all part of the process.
In Unit 3, you’ll be writing a document in a new genre, one you haven’t written in before, about the place you’ve decided to research in unit 2. For example, you might write a manifesto, or a comic book. Maybe you want to write a speech addressing a problem you outlined or discovered in your research for Unit 2.
You don’t need to know exactly what you’re going to be doing in Unit 3 yet. HOWEVER, you’ll be doing some things in Unit 2 that you’ll need for Unit 3:
- Researching a question you are truly curious about. You will use some of your research from Unit 2 when you write Unit 3.
- Researching a variety of different genres, which will inform what you write in Unit 3.
So, Unit 2 will be an investigation into and report on a specific question about a topic that interests you. You will conduct research into various genres (4 sources), gather and evaluate the information in those sources, and present a report on your findings. For this assignment, you will not need a thesis statement; rather, I am asking you think investigate, analyze, and report what you have learned from your investigation. You may arrive at an answer to you initial question, or you may find you’re asking the wrong questions and will need to rethink your approach.
- Ask and develop specific question. This should be something you care about, something you’ve always wondered about – something that will keep you engaged, as you’ll be continuing this line of inquiry in Unit 3 as well.
- Have your question approved by me (REQUIRED). If you change your question, your new question must be approved. Due 10/23 (You cannot change your question past 10/25).
- Research, gather information on, and analyze 4 sources consisting of at least 3 different genres.
- Read and annotate sources with your question in mind. Do a SOAPSTONE worksheet for each source. Take notes on the relationship between the source and your question. Consider throughout: what did I learn from this source? About my own process of thought? About my reading process? My writing process?
- Write your report. The best way to go about this is to write the report for each source, then write the intro and conclusion. Remember that format and appearance count, so give yourself time to proofread and make it look good!
Your analysis of each source must be at least 300 words – this is both content analysis AND rhetorical analysis, which we have discussed and will continue to discuss during this unit. In other words, you must analyze not only what the source says, but also who its intended audience is, what its history is, its purpose, etc. Remember, try to make this as interesting to your readers as possible. This gives you some leeway in choosing how you want to format your report, but make sure you consider what is best for your audience.
The entire report, consisting of source analysis, introduction, and conclusion, should be at least 1800 words.
- Is your document readable and informative? Does it teach us about what you’ve learned, as it relates to question? Does it teach us, not only about the content of the sources you’ve chosen, but also the rhetorical situation surrounding those sources? In other words, is it a “good” source? Good for whom? Why?
- Did you do good research here? On eof the main goals of the assignment is to learn something new about your topic AND to help you learn to find information on your own, to be applied to future situations. If you simply choose the first three options on Google, that’s not doing enough, and your topic will most likely not be as nuanced as it could be.
- Did you find sources in at least three different genres? Do the genres you chose “gel” with the content – that is, do the genres you chose make sense for the goals of both Units 2 and 3?
- Your report must look good, and must be organized in a way that makes sense to the reader you have in mind (and to me!).
- Is your language appropriate to the audience you have in mind? No matter how you chose to write it, the type of language you use (how it is written) must be consistent and must be appropriate to your audience. You should be able to explain with a good line of reasoning why you chose the language you chose.
- Cite your sources.
UNIT 3: Writing in a New Genre
In this unit, you will be using your research from Unit 2 to compose a document/artefact in a new genre. You might want to write a declaration, a manifesto, a rulebook, a magazine article (from a particular publication), a comic book, a children’s book, short story, a video essay etc. The possibilities are virtually endless. The caviats are:
- You must have a rhetorical understanding of the genre you choose
- You must make use of the research you did in Unit 2
You cannot simply write an “article”. You’ll need to be specific, and the genre must contain words. It would help you to have a specific example of the genre in which you choose to write. You will have written about this genre, in some form, so use the knowledge you already have, and the knowledge you will gain from further research, to craft the best version of a document in the genre you’ve chosen. If you are choosing to do something say in video or song, you must transcribe the words. The final word count for this will be 1500 words at least.
Some ways you might want to get started:
Question your intent. Think, “What do I have to say? Why do I care about this topic? What is the best genre for me to communicate what I have to say?”
Choose a genre you like and that you think best fits your intent. If you decide for instance that you want to talk about bodegas, or your bodega specifically, perhaps an exposé is best.
The point here is, the topic and genre should gel.
- Consider again how your research and genre analysis in Unit 2 has addressed/influenced your line of questioning. What do you want to say? Why is your topic important to you and to the community at large? Which genre is best suited to communicating your message?
- Once you’ve narrowed your focus/have chosen your genre, outline your argument. How will your support your general claim? What kind of sources would strengthen your argument?
- Conduct further research, if necessary, to support your claims/vision.
- Begin writing. Bring in research and the methodological knowledge you’ve gained from our investigation into genre and rhetoric. Look to your source/mentor text for ideas about structure.
- Incorporate reflection and feedback in order to improve the final product.
Proposal due: 11/25
Rough draft due: 12/04
Final draft due: 12/09
- Genre Awareness. You must show an understanding of the “rules” of the genre you are working in. Part of the Unit 3 assignment is a “genre report” (similar to those you did in Unit 2). Is this thoughtful, and well-reasoned? Do you follow these guidelines in your final project?
- Audience Awareness. Does your project do a good job at anticipating and accommodating the group to which it is addressed? Does your project make the diction, argument, genre, and design choices appropriate to your chosen audience?
- Care. How carefully have you constructed a “finished work” in the genre of your choosing? For instance, a great deal of care was put into how a documentary organizes information and image to convey a particular message to an audience. This criterion will vary depending on your genre, but you must in all cases turn in a finished, organized project that is consistent and free of typos and formatting errors. You should be able to explain why everything is where it is.
- Effectiveness of Message. Do you communicate a clear message to your intended audience? Your audience should walk away either having learned something that could change how they think about your topic, or else with productive questions about your topic. It should inspire nuanced engagement and curiosity in your audience.