1. Please begin work on your essay draft, so that you at least have a few pages to work with. This can be just half as long as a full draft (3 pages). (intro is in the file)(if you want to change something you can make the change)2. Workshop Assignment (in the file)3. Annotated Bibliography(in the file)
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ENGL 126 Essay #3: Creative Research Paper (20% of course grade)
For essay #3, a creative research paper, you will be writing a 6-8 page paper on a
topic of your choice. A unique aspect of this project is that you are required to do
field work (interviews, observations, participation), along with library research,
which should make this a more memorable experience for you. All the better if
your research paper departs from the conventional academic format. Along with
credible sources, you may use graphics, video, artwork, etc. to convey your
message. Build a nuanced argument using effective sources and a sensible
organization. It’s vital that you choose a topic that engages and excites you. This
should be an original paper, not a research paper that you wrote for another class.
length: 6-8 pages
Works Cited and Works Consulted (if needed), including citations for interviews,
Youtube, Facebook, etc).
Reading: At least 80 pages of reading (a minimum of 4 sources). You must use a
minimum of 3 library sources. This could include books, articles and newspapers
from the databases, reference sources, etc., at DVC library or another library.
Field Work: In addition to the above, you must use at least 3 items of field work
drawn from at least two of these categories:
*A participatory experience involves doing something yourself, not just watching
it be done. This could include cooking a meal, marching in a protest, volunteering
at an environmental organization, applying for a modeling agency, rotating the
wheels on your car, writing a piece of music, etc.
Other optional sources: workshops and cultural events
Media 1 (film, music, photos, visuals)
Media 2 (film, music, photos, visuals that you create).
We will also work on developing a Critical Question to help focus your research.
Rather than just giving a factual, encyclopedic account, you’ll want to present an
arguable thesis answering a question of significance and interest. Your critical
question should be along the lines of the following questions, but narrowed to fit
your specific topic:
What problem under your topic needs solving or addressing? What’s the problem
with the solutions?
What standards of judging something exist in your area? Where are the disputes?
What ethical or moral issue(s) exist that need exploring?
What do you envision the future would look like for your topic (based on a
careful look at the present and past)?
What do the best thinkers think and argue about? What do the experts disagree
What’s been the influence of a particular person or subject on our culture?
How do you account for an interesting, complicated, inexplicable, or perplexing
aspect of our current society?
Critical Question Litmus
(Write your Critical Question (CQ) on a notecard and run it through these tests
with your peers to see how you might make it better)
1. Yes-No Test: Is CQ a yes/no question? (It shouldn’t be).
2. Been There, Done That Test: Does your CQ feel like it’s been asked, discussed,
and answered many times before (since high school)? ( It shouldn’t.)
3. Is your CQ open-ended, speculative, disputable in a fair way (reasonable, smart,
wise people will legitimately disagree). (It should be)
4. Hey, That’s My Old Research Paper Test: Will the answer to your CQ create a
conventional, familiar research paper (based mostly on information available by
reading) (It shouldn’t).
5. Critical Thinking Test: Will answering your CQ force you to do high level
analysis (the higher levels on Bloom’s taxonomy)? analysis, synthesis, evaluation
6. Creativity Test: Is your topic and CQ well-suited to the spirit of the assignment
(traditional/web reading, interviews, observing, doing yourself, critical thinking)?
7. Know-It-All Test: Do you already know the answer to your CQ before you start
your project? (you shouldn’t)
8. Where does your topic and CQ fall on the passion scale? Does your topic/CQ
fascinate and excite you? Do you actually want to explore the answers to the CQ?
Research Checklist: Make a list of important sources you should check. Think of
creative ways to search, using not only your topic (memory) but also prominent
people in the field (Oliver Sacks), related topics (brain functioning), or even the
Creative Research Proposal:
1. At the start of your proposal, explain what your final Creative Research topic is
(you can’t change the topic. You should choose something you are really
interested in so that you can develop your research over the time period needed).
Then write one (or possibly two or three) Critical Questions on your chosen topic.
2. Write a paragraph explaining what draws you to the topic. What makes you
curious? What do you love about this topic? What might you expect to find out?
What do you know about your topic? What would you like to know? As you plan
your project, consider how your questions will require you to participate in critical
thinking–analysis, synthesis, evaluation.
3. Report on what you have read so far, both traditional and online. You can
include reading that you’ve done in the past.
4. Report on what you plan to do–who you might interview, what you might
observe, what you might do for participation, what you might create.
5. Tip: Start making a works cited right now and develop a system to keep track
of which source you found what information from.
6. Questions or concerns? Include these in your proposal.
Thurs. 3/14 Final research proposal due.
Thurs. 4/11 Research question due and research checklist due.
Thurs. 4/25 Two versions of your introduction for essay 3 due
Thurs. 5/2 Annotated Bibliography and half-draft of essay 3 due
Tues. 5/7 Full draft of essay 3 due
Thurs. 5/16 Final paper due (Final paper, Drafts, Scans or screen shots of a page
from each source, Peer Review Sheets, Research Proposal, Research checklist, and
• You must provide SCANS OR SCREENSHOTS of selected pages from all printed
source materials you use for this essay as well as Internet sources. You must also
submit an Annotated Bibliography. These are required parts of this assignment,
and your essay will not be accepted if not accompanied by photocopies/printouts
of selected pages from your sources and an annotated bibliography. In your
Works Cited list, include full information about all of the sources you used or
No Plagiarism! Do not copy your essay or any phrases in your essay from
the web or any other source, unless you use quotations and give proper
bibliographic citations. Also, please write this original paper yourself and
do not reuse a research paper from a previous class.
Running head: INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH
Rohim in the book, Essay Writing: How to Write an Essay states that an introductory is
one, if not the most significant part of an essay. It is made up of three main parts, the
introductory topic sentence, the main points outline, and the thesis statement. Rohim further
cautions individuals when writing the paragraph and suggests that they should follow the
standard recommended guidelines of essay writing (Rohim, 2017). By using the below two
introductory paragraphs, I will depict how an individual can come up with a well-articulated
Introductory paragraph I (IP1)
I am not an avid reader, but that changed when I came across Michael Pollan’s book, The
Omnivore’s Dilemma. At first, I could not help but be intrigued as Pollan’s arguments were
based on his firsthand experiences. It is something which made the book more believable. He
takes the reader on a food adventure, and his journey starts at Iowa. He depicts several things
about corn and more specifically, its history, the processing, and its future. After that, he shed
light on the cattle industry in the United States. Toward the middle of the book, Pollan narrates
his experiences in Polyface farm and from his experiences we have a glimpse of what sustainable
agriculture entails. He also goes ahead still using his experiences to bring out the difference
between sustainable farming and conventional farming. Lastly, in the third segment, Pollan
moves to California and still through his experiences, he highlights what it means to be ethically
and morally a vegetarian. in The cattle industry caught my attention and based on Michael
Pollan’s first-hand experiences; it is evident that the cattle industry is an impending doom if it
has not happened already.
Introductory paragraph 2 (IP2)
Michael Pollan wrote the book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. The book is several pages
long. It is a great book. Pollan writing is based on the things he experienced. He covers several
things. Corn and organic farming are just but examples. He also writes about cattle farming
something which I will focus on.
Redman and Maples state that the first sentence of the introductory paragraph should
hook the reader. They also state that it should be well articulated in a way that it intrigues the
readers’ curiosity and make them yearn to read not only the rest of the introductory paragraph
but also the rest of the essay (Redman & Maples, 2017). Richard Nordquist in the article,
Examples of Great Introductory Paragraphs: Grab Your Reader’s Attention with the First Words
states that a reader can achieve that by appealing to the of the reader emotions (Nordquist, 2019).
It is clear from the above examples that the first sentence of IP1 gets the reader hooked by
appealing to their feelings. It is not something which can be said for IP2.
Secondly, when basing an essay on a book, Rohim recommends the writer to give the
reader a glimpse of what the book is about (Rohim, 2017). IP1 briefly gives a summary of what
the book is about. However, IP2 does not provide an overview. It just states that the book was
great. It is a reason which makes it inferior to the latter.
Thirdly, Richard Nordquist states the last sentence of the introductory paragraph should
be a well-articulated thesis statement. Nordquist further states that the thesis statement should
give a reader an idea of what the essay entails (Nordquist, 2019). IP1 gives one an idea of what
the essay will entails. However, IP2, the thesis statement is not well articulated, and a reader
cannot tell what the essay will entail.
Lastly, there should be cohesiveness and a smooth flow from sentence to another. Rohim
in his book state that there should be a steady flow in the sentences of the first paragraph
(Rohim, 2017). It is clear that there is smooth flow in IP1 and the same cannot be said for the
An individual must be cautious when writing the first paragraph. First, they should make
sure that their topic sentence of the introductory paragraph gets the reader hooked, and one way
they can do that is by appealing to their emotions. Secondly, in cases where the essay is based on
a book like in this case, a writer should give a summary of the book. Lastly, a writer should
ensure that the essay’s thesis statement is well articulated and that there is cohesiveness between
the sentences of the first paragraph.
Nordquist, Richard. (2019). Examples of Great Introductory Paragraphs: Grab Your Reader’s
Attention with the First Words. https://www.thoughtco.com/introductory-paragraphessays-and-reports-1691081
Redman, P., & Maples, W. (2017). Good essay writing: a social sciences guide. Sage.
Rohim, A. (2017). Essay writing how to write an essay. Lee publish.
For essay 3, the creative research paper, you can try to move beyond the typical
academic paper structure, with introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion, to try
to present in a more engaging way, as in Atlantic Magazine’s”The Overprotected
Kid.” Take a few minutes to read through this article (at least section 1), and
below, write about the characteristics of this type of writing and how it might
differ from the essays you’ve done so far for this class:
Source review: Consider sources for your draft of essay #3 (will need 3 library
sources, 1 other written source, and 3 pieces of field work from 2 of the following
categories: interview, observation, and participation). Below, list sources or possible
sources with your commentary. How do you feel about your sources? Do they
provide the kinds of information you are looking for, and are they credible
sources? Comment below:
If you need to find additional sources, use the library.dvc.edu page to look up more
Field Work: To conduct an interview, you must find subjects, do preliminary
homework, prepare thoroughly, conduct the interview, and write up the interview.
Keep in mind that your field work must include an observation or participation. An
observation could be a public location, office environment, etc. Participation means
doing something yourself. In a case, like euthanasia, where it is difficult to do an
observation or participation, you could do research and write a story to try to
imagine being in a circumstance. The observation, participation, or story must be
planned with the same care and thoroughness as an interview.
Professor Fischer was kind enough to share selections from some of his student papers.
Read through the sample papers and write here about what these samples have in
common and how they differ. What are diverse ways students have incorporated their
interviews and other field work into their essays? What ideas does this give you
about how you will write your paper? Comment below:
Thesis: In the article, “The Overprotected Kid,” what would you say is the
thesis statement? How about the topic sentences? Are these implied? Write
about this below. Identify your thesis statement for essay 3, which will be
stated or implied. Your thesis statement will be a work in progress which I would
expect to be revised as you work out your ideas. It should be a statement of opinion
that answers the “so what?” question about your paper, and which makes a specific
and somewhat surprising (not extremely obvious) assertion. It’s helpful to have a
good thesis statement to direct your focus as you develop your paper. The thesis
should be substantive. Rather than saying, “it is important to know the history of x
topic to better understand the issue” or “this paper will show the history of x and
analyze the issue y,” begin to actually show us that history and your understanding
of the issue. The introduction is already part of your paper and should begin the
work of setting forth your argument. Comment below on the thesis statement
and topic sentences in “The Overprotected Kid” and in your essay #3 draft:
Organizing the material: Below, compose a provisional outline as you plan out
your draft. Think about how you want to organize your argument, including
defending your main idea, possibly refuting an opposing view, and perhaps
presenting a middle ground between views. If you favor one side of an issue, you
can still acknowledge that opposing views should be considered and may have
some validity. Think strategically about how you will order your materials for
emphasis, such as putting your strongest points last. You will also want to limit the
scope of your material so that you can treat it in sufficient detail in 6-8 pages.
Rather than just covering the extensive material that you find, you need to select
and explain it in a way that will make sense and be persuasive to your reader. Write
your outline below:
Incorporating sources: Students often have trouble incorporating sources as
evidence into their essays. First, you need to make sure that you understand what
the source is saying accurately so that you are using the evidence appropriately.
Second, you need to consider how you are making use of this evidence. Is it
backing up your point? Are you building upon what the author said by agreeing with
it, or are you disagreeing with the author’s opinion in order to strengthen your own?
As with any aspect of writing, you should incorporate sources only when it makes
sense to do so (the author is saying something that will help you make your
argument), not just to fill a requirement.
As stated in the textbook From Critical Thinking to Argument,
one leads into a quotation by giving
[optionally] the name of the author and (no less important)
clues signaling the content of the quotation and the purpose it serves in the present
essay. (4th ed. 244)
Avoid “orphan quotations” which are inserted into the paper on their own and without being
attached to your sentence. Also follow up the quotation and end a paragraph in your own
words. In other words, your quote sandwich should have a quote in the middle, and your
own words as bread on either side. Work on fixing the quotes in your draft and ask me
if you’re not sure.
Come up to office hours if you would like to discuss your draft. Please submit this
completed workshop form.
Write a working title for your essay 3 at the top and list your critical question. The
annotated bibliography is a requirement for your essay #3. Essay #3 will not be
accepted without it. Please write your paragraph summaries of the sources in your
own words; otherwise, copying summaries is also considered plagiarism. This
assignment will go through the plagiarism checker. The paragraph should
summarize main points of the source and also do two of the following:
evaluates the authority of the author
reflects on the intended audience
compares or contrasts this work with another you are using
or explains how this work can help you in writing on your topic.
Negotiating Gender Roles: Annotated Bibliography
Critical question: How have social conditions for American men and women changed in
the past few decades, and what challenges do men and women face with roles that have
changed in some ways, while remaining the same in others?
Graslie, Serri. “The Modern American Man, Charted.” National Public Radio. 17
2014, http://www.npr.org/2014/07/17/326175817/the-modernamericanman- charted. Accessed 30 October 2014.
Serri Graslie is a producer for NPR.org and their afternoon news program, All
Things Considered. This article/radio story was part of a series this summer on men in
America. Graslie looks not just at men, but at how the differences between men and
women have changed over the decades: girls have a higher GPA than boys on average
and attend college in higher percentages, but still get paid less. The work of parenting is
more evenly divided than before, and the gap in life expectancy has been getting smaller.
Graslie draws from a variety of credible sources for the charts she provides. The audience
for National Public Radio tends to be educated and liberal.
Kay, Katty and Claire Shipman. “The Confidence Gap.” The Atlantic May 2014: 56-66.
Katty Kay, anchor for BBC World News America, and Claire Shipman, reporter for
ABC News, have collaborated on a book The Confidence Code. This article gives their
argument that while women and men have similar abilities, women tend to underestimate
themselves, while men tend to overestimate themselves, and there are effects of women’s
lower confidence in how they are recogn …
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