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ENGL 1102
Taylor Haff
Problem: ENGL 1102H/McNamara Research Essay: “I-Search” 3-5 pages, 3-4 reliable sources An I-Search essay is a personal research-based essay about a topic that is important to you. In this case, it will be a topic based on one of the articles listed at the bottom of this document. (You can find links to the articles in our Reading Materials Module.) Each topic is about a social issue that relates in some way, to themes in our reading thus far. This paper is less formal than a traditional research paper; its main goals are to tell the story of your search for information and detail what you learned about the topic. You may use first person because it is about you. Topics Your topic must be about an issue in one of the articles. I advise you to concentrate on a subject you want to know more about; perhaps you know something about it now, or you know very little. Many of these issues are complex and historically thorny; if you have the stomach for the subject matter and the patience to sift through the layers, plow ahead. But I have a feeling that the closer to your interests you stay, the more mileage you’ll get from your writing. Content Remember, this essay is as much about the story of your search as it is about what you discover—so in your writing, take us on your journey. If you try out some advice or conduct an experiment, tell us about it. If you learn something different from what you expected, let us know. If you find only partial answers, let us know (but don’t let this be an excuse for not searching). There is an example of an excellent iSearch essay in our materials. The paper should address three things: What you set out to discover and, if you want, any preconceived notions you had before the research. In the introduction, mention the article you chose and why. You can refer to it throughout if you’d like to. The story of your research (as explained above) What you discovered Sources You must cite a minimum of 3 outside sources in your essay. If you use the article from which you got the topic, make sure to put it in the works cited. This will be in addition to the 3-4 required sources. Sources must come from one or more of the following locations: Print books and print periodicals (magazines, brochures, scholarly journals, newspapers)—publications you can find on a library shelf, on microfilm, or through interlibrary loan The GALILEO article databases One-on-one interviews (which must be documented in the works cited) You can use only one interview. (Consider taping or videoing interviews as you might be able to use them in your final digital project.) An Internet search engine (Yahoo, Google, etc.). Only one of your cited sources may be obtained from a search engine and must be reliable. The following will not be accepted as cited sources: Print or online encyclopedias (this includes Wikipedia) Summaries and overviews (Cliffs Notes, Sparknotes, etc.) Given this small minimum of sources, borrow from outside sources sparingly and wisely. Pick only the best material that truly supports what you have already written or thought. Only use quotations that say it better than you can; otherwise, paraphrase and summarize when you want to borrow from another source. Don’t let outside sources drown your voice. Do not use any quotes over 2 lines. Points will be deducted for serious and repeated errors in internal documentation and/or on the Works Cited page; make sure you follow the correct format. Mechanics * You may not use 2nd person. **Use an informative, interesting, and suggestive title for your essay. (Do not underline or use quotation marks for your own title * 3-4 pages, more than 5 paragraphs * Do not introduce your paper with a definition or with trite phrases such as “In our society today…” or the like. Write something new and interesting. * Use correct form for parenthetical documentation and for the Works Cited page. If you mention the article from which your topic originated, it must be in the works cited but is not one of the 3 required sources. *Edit and proofread carefully.

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