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For this research project, you will select a topic related to your major or a career interest and find an issue within that area that is being researched so you can find authoritative sources on the issue. Talk to professors and other students in your major or working professionals in a field you are interested in and find issues that are being researched and studied. Avoid topics based primarily on personal belief, subjective opinion, or questionable sources. If you do not have a major, then choose a topic that is being researched so you will be able to find authoritative evidence. You can refer to the list at the end of this assignment if you would like some ideas for topics.* We will be working on this project for the next seven weeks, and it is important that you select a topic you are interested in and that you stay on schedule with the project.

With this assignment, we will systematically go through the research process. After you select an issue to research, you will do preliminary research to gain an overall understanding of the issue and will develop a research question(s) to guide your efforts as you narrow and focus that issue. You will move to more focused research and will need to find at least eight authoritative sources on the topic, including peer-reviewed journal articles (three), scholarly books, government documents, specialized magazine articles, and/or interviews with experts. You will be writing a researched argument essay, so select a topic that will allow you to make and develop a claim, not just write an informational paper. The following are descriptions of the five assignments you will complete for this project: (1) research log, (2) proposal, (3) annotated bibliography, (4) plan, and (5) researched argument essay.

Research Log (25 points): To help you keep track of your research, you will keep a research log for the six hours of research you conduct during week ten. You can use whatever format you want for the log, but you should include the following information: identify the date, the amount of time spent, the sources you accessed, the information you found, along with any notes, insights, or ideas you may have related to your research. Use a format that works for you and will be a useful way to keep track of the information you find that you can use within your researched argument essay and the bibliographic information you will need for citing sources.

Proposal (25 points). You will write a proposal that identifies your topic for the research project and includes the following:

Describe your topic, providing any necessary background information and explanation so your readers—the professor and other students in the class—will be able to understand your topic.

Identify why you chose the topic, how it relates to your major or another academic discipline, how you have narrowed and focused it, and what your research question(s) is.

Include a list of four sources you have found on your research topic and put them into the documentation style you select (MLA or APA); remember to alphabetize the sources.

Annotated Bibliography (150 points). You will prepare an annotated bibliography that provides a one-paragraph introduction to your research topic and then lists and annotates eight credible and authoritative sources that you could use in your researched argument. At least three of these sources must be peer-reviewed journal articles. Your purpose is to establish that you have done the necessary research and have found authoritative sources that you could use in your researched argument. Your readers include the professor and other students in the class, so you need to write the annotations for such readers (not experts on the selected topic).

For each source listed in your annotated bibliography, include the following:

Complete bibliographic information for each source in MLA or APA documentation style (alphabetize the sources by author’s last name).

A one-paragraph annotation of each source in which you—

Summarize the source’s overall content, including main ideas and conclusions.

Analyze the source’s authoritativeness (authority, accuracy, currency, objectivity, and/or coverage), and acknowledge limitations of the source.

Evaluate the source’s usefulness and relevance to your researched argument topic; indicate how you will use the source or how it contributes to your research.

Plan for Researched Argument (25 points)

You will provide an overall plan for your researched argument, including the following:

Identify what background information and explanation you will need to provide for your readers (describe what you need to provide, not what you will provide).

Present your tentative thesis and identify the type(s) of claim that it is (factual, policy, causal, value).

Provide a tentative outline for your researched argument (in outline or paragraph form).

Identify the major supporting points for your thesis and the evidence you have to support them.

Indicate the opposing ideas to your thesis and describe how you will deal with them.

Researched Argument (300 points)

After you have completed your research and all preliminary assignments, you will write a 2000-word researched argument essay that persuasively presents a thesis that makes a claim about an issue related to your topic. You must support your ideas with evidence cited from at least eight authoritative and credible sources, including at least three peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as scholarly books, government documents, specialized magazine articles, and/or interviews with experts. Make your position stronger by bringing up opposing ideas and either refuting them or minimizing their importance. Provide in-text citations within the essay to cite all paraphrases, quotations, and summaries, using MLA or APA. Provide a list of all sources that you cite within the essay (Works Cited for MLA or References for APA). Your list of sources should include only those sources you actually cite within the essay, and it should not include annotations. You may use additional or different sources than you included in your annotated bibliography, and you do not need to annotate them.

Purpose: Persuasively present a claim on your selected topic.

Audience: Professor of the class and other students in the class who are college-level readers, but may not be familiar with your specific research topic.

Use an essay format with an introduction (introduce topic and present thesis), body (develop and support thesis), and closing (reiterate the thesis and provide a sense of completeness).

Provide a controlling thesis that presents your central claim and support it with authoritative evidence drawn from at least eight sources, including three peer-reviewed journal articles.

Bring up opposing ideas and deal with them persuasively.

Format: Length: 2000 words; typed and double spaced; standard font; numbered pages; standard heading with name, course, and date at top left hand on first page for MLA or title page for APA (title, author, date). Use MLA or APA, providing in-text citations and a list of sources.

*Possible Topics: Select one of the following topics and find an issue within that topic that you could research:

The Pandemic (impact of, reasons for, vaccinations, government response to, masks, etc.)

Obesity (childhood, adult, U.S., world, causes, solutions, government’s role, nutrition, exercise)

Social Media (marketing tool, impact of, socialization, communication, role in society, future)

Education (bullying, standardized testing, bilingual education, use of technology, effectiveness)

Technology (impact on jobs, workplace, individuals, family, environment, schools, role of)

Personal Communication Devices (addiction to, socialization, distracted driving, use in classrooms, texting)

Internet Security (hacking, identity theft, online transactions) and privacy

Video Games (effects of, applications of, addiction to, gender-based issues, positives, negatives)