By next week, you will need to commit to a topic for your semester-long research project. You want it to be a topic that you will still be interested in come December. This first step in the process is, therefore, very important.
Drawing on our class discussion, choose 3 “real-world” problems facing our society that may make it hard for you or others to achieve “the American Dream.” It’s best to pursue topics that you feel strongly about–but that you have not already made up your mind about; you want to go into your research with an open mind and genuine curiosity.
Record these problems on your document (the standard format, Times New Roman 12, double-spaced, MLA style).
For the first 2 topics, do some preliminary investigation, finding 2 sources that give you new information (stuff you didn’t know) about each topic. You only need 1 source for your final topic.
A good place to start is our course LibGuide (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (many thanks to Sarah Sanfillipo for building this guide), or use your favorite search engine. Avoid commercial sites and scholarly journal articles (we’ll get to those later). Look for sources that go into some depth, not just websites with general info.
As you search, you want to keep a record of your search terms (include them in the assignment)–because you will need this information for your Proposal. Also, keep a record of author, article title, publication title, and link; again, include this info in the assignment.
For each source, write 2-3 sentences in your own words about what you found most interesting (i.e. what you didn’t already know about the topic).
Here is an example of how your paper should be set up using MLA style (I’ve only completed the assignment for the first topic).
For full credit, you should have 3 problems, a minimum of 5 sources and at least 2 sentences about each source.