writing Skills: A Research Project, you are asked to compose an essay responding to one of three prompts (please review pages 2 and 3 in your digital study unit). At its base, this is a personal essay, but you must incorporate research that will support your views and opinions. The core of this essay must be based solely on your first-hand personal experience(s) and should be told from the first-person point of view (using the pronoun “I”). Your finished essay, including research, should be between 500 and 1500 words.In short, this essay should be primarily about your personal experience(s), but your ideas and experiences must also be supported by effective, quality research.
STUDY GUIDE PAGE 1
A Research Project
For your second and final writing assignment in this course, you’re being asked to construct a variation of a personal essay, which can also be referred to as a research project. The essay that you produce must be based on a combination of personal experience(s) and research, it must be told primarily from the first-person point of view, and it must meet the given length requirement of 500 to 1,500 words. The essay that you write should be a direct response to one of the three prompts offered. It should offer your ideas and opinions and use research as support. This essay, much like the personal narrative, will be directed toward a general and unfamiliar audience—people who don’t know you personally. Your finished product should be completely original and contain research only as support for your established ideas. You should not rely on the results of your research to create your essay, but to support ideas of your own. This will help to ensure that your finished project is unique, credible, and ethical. WHAT IS A RESEARCH PROJECT? A research project is exactly what its name implies: a project (in this case an essay) that utilizes research for support. In a very basic sense, all essays are personal, in that it’s impossible to avoid a personal opinion, even in the most objective writing; however, the research project must combine personal opinion with research to produce supported arguments and opinions. PAGE 2 While the author doesn’t need to hide his personal opinion, he must be sure to use appropriate and accurate research to support his or her ideas. Unlike the personal narrative, the research project requires more than the thoughts, feelings, ideas, and personal input of the author. The essay that you create should clearly state your ideas and opinions, and show the reasoning behind your opinions, as well as identify the ideas you’ve located to back your opinions through research. These ideas will work together to ultimately show your learned expertise and your authority to write on your chosen topic. Remember that using others’ opinions or ideas in your own words without giving the original author credit isn’t proper, even if you agree with them or feel that they best explain your own thoughts and feelings. When you include information obtained from research, you’re obligated to cite that information, giving full and deserved credit to the original author. Always remember that research should support your opinion and/or viewpoint; you should ensure that your ideas and opinions (not your researched information) are the main focus of your essay.YOUR OPTIONS There are three distinct topic options for this particular assignment. While each of these options has specific requirements and expectations, there is also a great deal of freedom included with each. Because your essay is being created based on your opinions/ideas and research, no two completed essays will be exactly alike. Option 1: Conducting an Interview Choose a leading figure from the last 100 years (living or deceased) whom you would most like to interview. You won’t be performing an actual interview, but will be conducting research and predicting how your subject would answer your interview questions. You’ll be required to research your chosen individual and write a short biography that will, in essence, introduce this person to your audience. PAGE 3 You’ll then pose five interview questions that you would like to ask this particular person. These should be questions that help to demonstrate the person’s beliefs and lifestyle; they shouldn’t be vague or general questions that won’t showcase the unique and special qualities of your chosen subject. Finally, based on what you’ve found out about this individual from your research, you’ll write the answers to those questions as you believe your subject would answer them. Option 2: Personal Take on Current Issues Choose a current issue in local, national, or international news. Write an editorial piece explaining the issue and offering your opinions and any solutions you can think of that may apply. You’ll need to thoroughly research the issue at hand in order to provide a solid explanation of the issue, as well as informed opinions and solutions. You must be sure to provide an appropriate context for the issue you choose; the audience needs to understand why this is a problem that deserves consideration and why you feel your solutions can affect it. Part of your purpose is to convince your audience that your solutions are viable. Option 3: Planning a Career Choose a career that you would like to pursue. You’ll need to thoroughly research your career choice. You should explain the career to your audience. Although an explanation of the career is certainly necessary, you must be sure to keep the focus of the essay on yourself and why you want to enter this particular career field; the focus shouldn’t be solely on the career field itself. Be sure to provide as much detail as possible about your career choice, including what a typical day or week would be like, what kind of salary you can expect, what the future looks like for employees in this field, and whether or not geography will affect job opportunities. Part of your purpose is to convince your audience that you’re making an informed choice, allowing you a chance at success in the job market.