Overview In this assignment, you will be presenting an argument on a topic of your choice; rather than developing an argument of interpretation, you will be researching a topic related to the themes we’ve been discussing in the course. You will conduct academic research using the library’s research databases. Your argument, then, will be based on information you find in these outside sources; you will present a claim and then support it through the findings of your research. Your essay should be 6-8 pages in length and must engage directly with a minimum of three sources. Academic Research Although you may be most familiar with conducting research using Google or other Internet databases, this is not how students in college undertake academic research. Instead, you will be using the research databases available to you through Truxal Library to find a minimum of five sources (some academic, some popular), with at least three of them written in the last 5 years. Your final essay must engage at least 3 of those sources directly. (The remaining sources that you looked at but did not necessarily cite should still be included on your Bibliography page.) See the assignment sheet on the Annotated Bibliography for specific details on source requirements. Please be aware that unethical use of outside sources in this final essay that violate Academic Integrity will result in an F on this assignment, as well as for the course. Choosing a Topic Before you begin your research, you will need to have a very specific research question you are hoping to explore in your research and then answer in your essay. We will spend some time brainstorming potential topics in class, but it’s important to keep in mind that the more specific and narrow your question, the easier it will be to research. If your topic is too big or expansive, you may end up yielding too many results in your search; in addition, the topic may be too complicated to address adequately in a 6-8 page essay. Instead, try to choose a topic that would be both manageable to research and write about in the assignment’s length. You may also use the following categories of questions to help you determine the type of research question you want to explore. Your research paper will not be able to address all of these debates, but it’s helpful to know which type of question you are asking and exploring in your research. Categories of debates: Definition: These debates center around definitions or the existence of an issue? Does a problem exist? How is it defined? Is the terminology itself actually under debate? Cause/Effect: These debates center around the causes of a problem or the potential effects. What caused X to happen? What will occur if we do Y? Value: These debates center around how we define the value of an issue. Is something good or bad? Moral or immoral? Just or unjust? Is this issue important enough to warrant action? Action: These debates center around what we should do about an issue. What action should take place? Jurisdiction: These debates center around who is responsible. If action should take place, who should be responsible for taking it? Who should have jurisdiction or authority? Writing the Research Essay To achieve your purpose in this assignment, your essay will need to have the following: •A well-developed introduction with a clear argument in the thesis •Support for your argument in well-developed body paragraphs •Sufficient support for your claims •A logical organizational structure that includes all parts of a full argument •Source material that is integrated smoothly and appropriately into your writing •In-text citations for passages that you paraphrase or quote directly from sources •A corresponding Works Cited page

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