Purpose: this assignment is designed to help you use inquiry to guide research; conduct research to produce multiple view points; and effectively summarize, paraphrase, and synthesize various viewpoints.
1. Choose a topic that is an issue or point of debate, preferably one in your major field of work of study. You may need to conduct preliminary research to learn which ideas are being discussed by researchers.
2. Select four sources that offer varying perspectives on the topic, two of which must be scholarly, peer reviewed journal articles. Remember that most research topics are not binary: there are often multiple points of view regarding solving a problem, explaining causes or effects, comparing or contrasting, etc. and the sources you find should reflect that.
3. When writing the essay, you need to include an introduction that provides brief background about your topic and why it is a point of debate.
4. Summarize each source’s argument by using a mixture of quotes, paraphrasing, and summary. Be sure to identify the author’s main claim or thesis, then briefly describe his/her reasons and evidence.
5. Near the end of the essay, include 1-2 paragraphs synthesizing the ideas of all the sources. Show how the articles exist in conversation with one another. How do they overlap, intersect, agree, and disagree? What new ideas are suggested by combining the sources? What concepts have the sources overlooked?
6. Finally, conclude the essay be summarizing main points and offering a direction for further research. What else would you like to learn that is relevant to your topic?
Note: choose a topic that interests or puzzles you. Avoid cliché topics that you (and others) already have a firm opinion on, such as gun control, abortion, global warming, legalization of marijuana, euthanasia, death penalty, performance enhancing drugs, etc.
· Introduction with an overview of the topic
· Clear summary of each source’s content
· Insightful synthesis of sources
· Effective use of quotes, summary, and paraphrases
· Conclusion that provides direction for further research
· MLA in text citations and Works Cited page
· Grammar, punctuation, formatting
Format: 4-5 pages, double spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, 1’’ margins work cited page and parenthetical citations in MLA format
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