In this small writing assignment for Week 5, I’m asking you to lay the groundwork for the Annotated Bibliography paper, the draft of which will be due on Mar. 1 at the end of Week 6. This is a simple pass/fail exercise.
Write one paragraph each for two potential topic(s) you have selected, addressing all of the following points to some extent:
State why you’re interested in each topic (your personal connection or the motivation behind why you want to write on that topic).
State why your readers/audience might be interested. Describe your audience based on their traits and/or their attitudes toward the subject.
Consider for each topic what the opposing viewpoints might involve. Show that you are trying to see these topics from multiple perspectives and avoid bias.
Consider any limitations you may find during the research process. How do you plan to address those limitations?
For each topic, list one source that you have found through the library’s databases, showing that you have begun doing some library research to investigate the currency and relevancy of your topic.
Keep in mind the scope of your assignment. Your Researched Argument paper this semester will be an 8-10 page argument about this topic. That may seem like a lot, but it’s actually not a lot of time or space to get your ideas across. Be realistic.
ALSO: do not pick topics that trigger your passionate emotions, or about which you already know so much you feel like you have your mind made up. If you already have your mind made up, you will not allow your argument to be shaped by the research you find—and you may not be able to persuade your audience effectively.
At the end of your page, comment on any difficulties you’re having. Ask questions that might help you understand the issues more clearly, dig into the topics more deeply, or find more appropriate sources.
Remember, as you write, that you will argue a viewpoint in your research essays, but as you get started, your job is to show that you understand the different arguments for or against, not to weigh in with your own opinion on related controversies. The research you do throughout the semester should drive your conclusions about your positions. Approach the topic with an open mind!
Check over your spelling and grammar and remember to save your submission. Treat this work as a professional piece of writing.
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