Writing Project 3: Writing with Research
Word Count: 1,500 Grade Value: 25%
In Writing Project #3, you will formulate a question about a social issue that concerns you in our society. It can be one we have discussed this semester, but it doesn’t have to be. You will answer that question in your essay with the help of two secondary sources. Your question—and the answer to that question—will reflect your stance (a “claim”) on the issue you’re addressing in your essay. You will formulate and argue the claim using source material that provides fact-based evidence, and you will illustrate your claim about the issue by using your own personal experience.
Goals of the Assignment
- To help you become more familiar with writing processes, including prewriting, drafting, getting feedback, revising, editing, designing, reflecting, and assessing
- To help you develop skills/techniques for research writing (for example: locating and evaluation sources, using academic databases, integrating source material, establishing and developing a controlling idea using evidence)
- To provide an opportunity to write using an academic style (MLA)
- To give you practice in producing a text appropriate for a particular audience and purpose
Think about the social issue under discussion—which groups of readers might be interested in it, or which groups does the issue potentially impact? Then pick one from that list to focus on. For example, if you chose to argue that juvenile offenders should not be tried in the adult system, you could address prosecutors who try criminal cases or if you argue that it should be illegal to try juveniles as adults, you might address lawmakers who ultimately decide the laws. Make each decision about content and tone with your audience in mind. You must write in a respectful, non-confrontational tone, one that tries to engage in a thoughtful dialogue about an issue, not one that demeans other perspectives or is flippant.
Format and Design
For this assignment, the formatting of the text should follow MLA Style. Information on MLA can be accessed in Chapter 52 of The Norton Field Guide. See the sample essay starting on page 540.
We’ll work through the following stages for creating your textual response:
- Reading multiple research essays and discussing their key features
- Completing prewriting and planning activities for your own draft
- Developing an annotated bibliography that summarizes and evaluates your sources
- Creating an outline to guide your organization
- Creating a first draft of your project
- Getting and giving feedback on drafts
- Revising your project
- Designing the look of your project on the page/screen (MLA)
- Editing your project for clarity in terms of grammar, mechanics, etc.
- Reflecting on and assessing your work
Expectations for Sources
· Your own ideas and experiences related to a social issue.· Two outside sources: one credible Internet or print source and one source from the Library online databases. (Note: you can choose to use two Library database sources.)