Length: 3 pages minimum
Sources: 3 non-internet sources (books, articles, or database)
Due: Wednesday, Nov. 30
The “I-Search” Paper
For your third essay, you will be doing a version of an essay usually known as the “I-Search.” This type of assignment combines research, analysis, and narrative; you will use first-person as you explain your way through the research process. Remember: not only do you get to use first-person, but for this essay you will interject yourself continually. You are writing about yourself and your personal experience with researching a specific topic. You are investigating and interacting, so this paper is as much about you as it is the sources! What’s going on in your head as you progress?
Part 1, your introduction, will also introduce the reader to any knowledge, experience, or background you already have about your topic, before you start researching. What do you already know about the topic? This can include some of what you have learned from your previous essay on Internet sites, but try to personalize it. What attracted you to the topic? Was there anything about your topic that touches on previous interests you have? Perhaps you’ve seen a movie that mentions your topic, or you remember as a child hearing a story about your topic. Perhaps you didn’t know much about your topic when you signed up for it, but the little you have done on the Internet has deepened your interest.
Part 2 will detail what you want to find out about your topic. List questions you have come up with since you began looking into the topic. These are the questions that you find most interesting, that you are most curious to have answered. What are the perspectives you are looking for, and how do you want to examine them? Are you hoping to come to a firm conclusion about your topic? How difficult of a time do you anticipate having in forming a strong opinion? This section should help focus your search because you are not randomly combing through sources but seeking for specific information. Not only will these questions guide you as you research, but in all likelihood they will determine the types of sources you choose in the first place.
*NOTES* Paragraph form, list questions.
Part 3 is the search itself and will consist of a section on each source. First, how did you find the source? What kind of source is it? Report on what this source has to say about your topic, using summary, paraphrase, and quoting, but also be sure to include your opinion on the source. Do you find it persuasive? Were you skeptical when you first began reading but eventually had your mind changed? Were you excited at first by what looked to be a great source but came to disagree with it? Does your source go any way towards answering your questions? Are you satisfied with the results of these searches?
*NOTES* Longest part of paper. 3 Paragraph’s-one for each source. Want to see thought process on how you searched for the sources, what it has to say, is it reliable?
Part 4 will function as your conclusion and summarize what you have learned. Reflect upon the research process and explain not only the knowledge you have gained but how your perspective may have been changed or confirmed. Think of the process as a journey, a quest for truth. How far have you come? How much further do you need to go? Are you satisfied with the progress you’ve made, both on your topic and as a researcher?
*NOTES* How has this helped you become a better researcher, analyze, and interpret?
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