Context | The point of this assignment is to ask students to elaborate on the work of their preliminary research by expanding upon their chosen topic by further researching at least three academic sources, to clarify and explain how your own position and understanding of the topic has changed, and, finally, to compose a paper summarizing that research according to MLA formatting conventions, including in-line citations and a list of works cited.

In this way, the ultimate product of the assignment is a lightly researched position paper – an act of writing where you formulate your own position by negotiating the research of at least three additional academic sources.

Task |In this writing assignment, your task is to:

  1. Continue the work of research by selecting a single topic, from the list of research areas on either Opposing Viewpoints or Issues and Controversies.
  2. Using the MDC Library database Opposing Viewpoints or Issues and Controversies, Select at least three academic sources to use in your paper. This step is designed to minimize the amount of research necessary.
  3. Use the sources to help develop your position about the topic. This is an interpretive exercise and thus is likely to be the most challenging. How has your understanding changed, based on the research reviewed? Why is this research convincing, or not convincing? Why should someone else be convinced by your position? What kinds of evidence are most convincing to you?
  4. Compose a 500-600 word paper (written according to the expectations numbered below) summarizing your research and position according to MLA formatting conventions including in-line citations and a list of works cited/references. For those interested, a presentation given during our final class session can be submitted instead of a fourth paper.
  5. Document your sources using in-line citations and a works cited page following MLA guidelines for documentation.

You will likely find it helpful to review the section of our textbook describing the elements of a research paper (HINT: it’s Chapter 22).

Your task is to complete this assignment while demonstrating sustained improvement across all six course competencies as stated in our course syllabus.

One note: you are required to schedule and complete two writing tutor appointments through the course of our term. Failure to do so will result in half credit on paper grades. Please do not let that happen!

Expectations |I expect your paper to:

  1. Successfully demonstrate familiarity and facility with the task sections outlined above, while maintaining improvement across the six course competencies.
  2. Be between 500 – 600 words long.
  3. Include your name, my name, the course number and meeting dates, a word count at the top of your first page, and an interesting or clever title.
  4. Be double spaced and written in a 12-pt (max) font size.
  5. Be submitted on time, as a digital copy to Blackboard, by 11:59 PM on Thursday, December 16th, 2021.

Evaluation | As this is a major project for the course, this assignment, including all five numbered items in the Task section, is worth 20% of your final grade. Failure to complete all sections may jeopardize your ability to pass this course.