Assignment 3: Problem-Focused Research Paper

Unit 2: Doing Research

Assignment 3: Problem-focused Research Paper


·  In Assignment 3, you will take your research from your annotations (supplementing them, as necessary) and write a research-based, problem-focused, exploratory paper directed at an audience for the issue.

o  The essay you write will be 1800-2100 words for the final draft plus a Works Cited page

o  It is worth 20% of your semester grade.

Purpose and Focus:

The purpose of this essay is to explore deeper the problem you chose and started to research in A2, so you can later propose an informed solution to it in A4. Your focus will be determined by the research you do for your annotations.  After completing your annotations, you may find that you want to continue narrowing your focus and find even more research to support your ideas.

Development for Audience:

The audience for this essay is a specific audience of stakeholders of your choice.  To develop your ideas for the audience, you’ll need to:

·  Work to consider that audience’s needs, values, and knowledge on the issue;

·  Rely on audience appeals: logos, ethos, and pathos.

·  Offer a line of thought that uniquely expands and contributes to that conversation. 

·  Support your main point with reasons and evidence from the research you have gathered. 

·  Paraphrase, quote, and explain the source material appropriately and document sources correctly in MLA style. 

·  Include at least one visual text to supplement your ideas and act as evidence to support a point (this is called a multimodal element and could include a photo, graph, chart, etc.). 

o  NOTE: Don’t consider the visual a “throw-away” component of the assignment that won’t be looked at carefully; instead, recognize that the visual may be the first thing a reader examines.

Genre Conventions and Organization:

Your genre will be an 1800-2100 word MLA-style, research-based exploratory essay, plus a Works Cited page (note: the Works Cited page does not count toward the word count requirement). You may go 10% over the maximum word limit before receiving a penalty on your grade.  Pay attention in class as we go over the features of this genre.

Thoughtfully consider how you will organize your essay based on your purpose and audience.  As you organize your paper, think about how you will order your reasons, where you will respond to the counterargument(s), and what information you will place in your introduction and conclusion.  

Throughout your essay and Works Cited you should use correct MLA citation and formatting conventions.

Style and Mechanics:

Your tone and “voice” should be appropriate for your subject matter, audience, and the academic context in which you are writing.  Your text should be grammatically correct and written in Standard English.  You should continue using the skills acquired in Style and Convention Seminars.  Additionally,

·  Your paper should be typed and double-spaced, using Times New Roman, 12 pt font

·  Have your last name and page number in the upper right-hand corner of each page

·  Have one-inch margins

·  Include a formal MLA heading consisting of your name, my name, the course, and the due date for the assignment

·  Include a Works Cited page at the end with full citations for all sources, along with corresponding in-text citations within the body of the paper.

Turn-In Directions:

You will turn in your final draft in a two-pocket folder, along with your first draft, your peer-review sheet, and your self-assessment letter.