So far this semester, you’ve identified a topic and spent time considering that topic from different perspectives. Now that you’ve looked at how others discuss your topic, you’ll ask a question that you are personally invested in answering and use multiple sources to help answer your question. For example, if I’m exploring mental health and athletes, I might ask, how does gender impact stigmas around mental health? Or, what impact do athletes sharing their mental health struggles have on public perceptions of mental health stigmas? As I read and engage with a variety of sources, the answer to my research question will form the basis of my essay.
Format: 6-8 pages (or approximately 1500-2000) words, thesis-driven essay, appropriate APA or MLA format, 1” margins, double space, 12 pt. font.
Pre-Writing: Over the course of several weeks, we’ll spend time further defining your research topic and developing questions that you are personally invested in. Together we’ll talk about how to develop appropriate research questions, find sources to learn more about that topic (both scholarly and popular), evaluate those sources, and use those sources to come to a new insight about your topic and answer to your research question.
Source Requirements: To get a full picture of a subject you need to consult a variety of perspectives that go beyond one particular angle. Because each topic and research question will call for a different number and type of sources, what is listed below is merely the minimum. You will need to go beyond these requirements to find additional sources in each category to help you learn more about your topic:
- 3 scholarly articles that you’ve closely read, annotated, and are essential to understanding your topic. I will approve these articles and we’ll spend time talking about how the source adds to the conversation around your topic. These sources must provide an interesting, exciting look at your topic.
a. One of your sources can come from the synthesis essay.
- Online Comment found in response to a Tweet, Facebook thread, review, comment thread, or blog, or other online space.
- 2 Popular Sources from either a long-form magazine article (like The Atlantic or the New Yorker or another source provided for the synthesis essay); a newspaper article (from the New York Times or the Huffington Post); a book written for a non-academic audience; a video, movie, or television show.
a. One of the popular sources can come from the synthesis essay.
Assignment cover letter (and meeting with our Writing Fellow): All major essays for the course will go through the drafting and revising process and will be reviewed by your peers and by me. Along with the assignment, you will write a detailed revision letter for this assignment. Please address your letter to me and discuss your meeting with the Comp
Fellow and how you considered suggestions from the review sessions in revising your assignment. The cover letter must be submitted with the assignment on the assignment’s due date; it may not be submitted independently from the assignment.
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