Deadlines and Research Paper Assignment for English 311

deadline2This information should assist you when putting together your research paper.  Remember the deadlines which are approaching!

  • Annotated Bibliography Due Friday, April 5 to Engrade Turn-ins.
  • Research Paper Rough Draft:  Friday, April 12 to Response Group (bring to class).
  • Final Draft, Entire Paper:  Sat., April 19 by midnight to Engrade Turn-In
  • Final Draft of All Essays:  Sat., April 27 by midnight.
  • Final Draft of Blog:  Sat., May 4 by midnight.
  • Everything In and Done by:  May 8

The I-Search Paper

The I-Search assignment requires that you devote time and energy into formally investigating the answer to a question which is particularly interesting to you. This paper is written in the first person (i.e. you use “I”), and it is written in three sections. Each section should be 2-3 pages and stand on its own, and each section must be at least two full pages in length. When you are finished, the paper will be 6-8 pages, not including your Works Cited page.

The first section is your opportunity to introduce your topic, your research question, and give reasons why you have chosen this topic to investigate. This is your opportunity to let the skills you have gained in “show-don’t-tell” shine. Get the reader interested in your topic, discuss how you intend to find answers (your research strategy), and discuss what you think you will find when you are done with your investigation.
a) Introduce your topic and get me interested. (Statement of the problem.)
b) What is my topic? Can I phrase my topic in the form of a question? (If you can’t, it’s too broad!). (Research Question)
c) What can I read, who can I ask, what can I do to find out more information about my topic? (Research Plan)
d) What do I think I will find out at the end of my investigation of the topic? What is my hypothesis? What will I prove? (Thesis Statement)

In the second section, discuss what you did to find out more information on your topic. Discuss your research criteria (why did you use some information and not use other information), and talk about what you found from each source you investigated. Tell the reader where you looked, who you talked to, and what you did.
Make sure you use direct quote or paraphrase from your sources to clarify each point. Use a “quote sandwich (introduce quote, quote, explain quote) each time you quote from a source. Cite each source according to MLA guidelines.
a. What research criteria did you use? How did you decide whether something was relevant to your research or not? What were your particular guidelines?
b. Where did you find information?
c. What information did you find? What did it say? (Cite it!)
d. Did a particular piece of information lead you to a new source? Toward a new understanding? How did each piece of information influence your ideas about the topic as you went along?

The third section is your opportunity to wrap it all up. Synthesize (condense, bring together) all the information you learned in section two. Tell what conclusion you have come to, whether the information answered you original question, and whether or not your hypothesis was accurate. Finally, analyze your investigation and tell what you thought about what you found. Were you satisfied with the search and your outcome? Why or why not? What purpose will this information serve in your life?
a. Now that you have all the facts, what do they mean? How do they relate to your original question?
b. How accurate was your original hypothesis?
c. Now that you are finished with the investigation, how did it go? What were the difficulties and successes you encountered, and how did they effect your eventual outcome?

Please make sure you gather appropriate information for the Works Cited page as you continue your investigation. Please use MLA Style, and, if you wish, a research program like Zotero or Mendeley, or a citation engine like Easybib.


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