For your first assignment, you will explore your topic, what other people are saying about your topic, and how you feel about the research process. You won’t, however, need to craft a thesis just yet. This essay will likely be different from what you’re used to. Consider the don’ts of this paper:
You don’t need to support a thesis.
You don’t even need to answer the question(s) that brought you to this research in the first place—but if that’s where you are in your exploration, you may.
Think of this assignment as a captain’s log, a document of your discoveries as you explore your topic. You will write in the first person, discuss your research process, and cite the information that you have found. If you were a space captain on a once-popular television show, you would need to collect information regarding your topic (let’s say, an unknown planet) before you crafted a thesis and declared a course of action. This assignment is a good opportunity for you to collect your thoughts before you wage war or make peace.
You will need to find two academic journal articles and a website that provides an overview of your topic. For this assignment, do not use any other kinds of sources. You need to become comfortable with peer-reviewed academic journal articles. To find these articles, you should:
Visit the Auraria Library website: http://library.auraria.edu/
(Links to an external site.)
Click “Database List”
Under “General Interest,” click “Multi-Subject Databases”
Click “Academic Search Premier Plus”
Scroll down and click the “Full Text” and “Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals” (this is crucial)
Plug your topic into the search fields up top
TELL YOUR STORY
Share your personal experience with this topic and why it interests you. If anything might compromise your ability to process the facts objectively, discuss how you will negotiate this bias. Unlike other assignments this semester, this is a personal essay.
DISCUSS YOUR SOURCES
Identify the authors and their articles by name. Summarize their arguments and/or findings without relying on large quotes. MLA requires writers to cite per sentence, so there should be many citations here. The majority of your three-page essay should be dedicated to discussing your sources.
MLA or APA format (make sure you do not combine them)
A minimum of three pages of content and a maximum of four, not including your Works Cited/References page
Works Cited/References page with a total of three sources (see above)