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Homework answers / question archive / In college, you will often have to write formal, third-person, information- and research-driven papers

In college, you will often have to write formal, third-person, information- and research-driven papers

English

In college, you will often have to write formal, third-person, information- and research-driven papers. For an informative report, your goal is to explain to readers or to inform them about some topic, issue, concept, or event. This kind of writing is based on research—you have to make sure you have enough meaningful information to share with your readers.

 

For this unit, you will start with a broad topic based on A Chance in the World. From there, you will have to narrow your topic and begin the research process. The final product will be a paper that helps readers to see why an issue matters and how people are discussing that issue. Further, your essay should help future readers of A Chance in the World to understand Pemberton’s story.

 

Your goal is to synthesize information from multiple texts. Additionally, you want to make sure that you present your information clearly and in an organized manner. To do this, you’ll have to follow several steps in the research process: pick a topic, discuss your topic & narrow it, find and evaluate sources, think about how all your sources work together (synthesis), and, finally, incorporate sources and document them properly in your writing.

 

Research Goals:

  • Using databases and beginning to evaluate Internet sources
  • Recognizing the different roles a source may serve (background, context, statistics, story)

 

Audience: your teacher + peers who are likely unfamiliar with this topic (+ future readers of A Chance in the World

Purpose: to engage readers + to inform them so they have a deeper understanding of your topic/issue

 

Organization:

When you’re putting your ideas together in an essay, you want to remember to consider your readers’ needs and how readers interact with a text. A simple organizational plan includes the following: an engaging introduction that presents the topic and includes a thesis; focused body paragraphs that support or explain your thesis by presenting information from multiple sources; and a meaningful conclusion that helps readers reconsider the ideas in your report.

 

You have three objectives in your introduction

  1. Capture the readers’ attention (your hook)
  2. Introduce your topic – demonstrating why it is an important issue
  3. State your thesis         

 

You have many options for capturing your readers’ attention:

  • Use a quotation or an idea from your research that might interest a reader
  • Tell a brief story (an anecdote)
  • Present an interesting fact
  • For this assignment, we want you to avoid the rhetorical question – try something new!

 

For your body paragraphs, aim to draw from multiple sources in each one--this way, you know you’re drawing connections between your sources and engaged in successful research. A good strategy for this is to find 2-4 sub-topics or themes that are common among your sources. What issues do two or more of your sources address? What common concerns do you see? What facts, research, or findings do some or all of your sources examine? Additionally, it is important to pinpoint where people disagree, where thoughts diverge, where opinions differ. An informative essay like this should include multiple perspectives.

 

Once you’ve made connections, you can start to construct your body paragraphs. Each paragraph should carefully present how two or more authors address or discuss one idea, issue, concern, etc. Note: You may need to include a paragraph that summarizes your sources to help your reader follow along.

 

Also remember – you want to give readers a full picture: background information on the topic, context about issues relevant today, stories that bring the topic to life, and statistics and evidence that demonstrate the severity, intensity, and/or wide-spread nature of the issue.

 

Remember: Transitions should be used within and between paragraphs to connect ideas and help steer your readers. Also, clear signal phrases and signal verbs will help you clarify what ideas come from which sources.

 

The conclusion of the essay should wrap up everything you’ve discussed within the introduction and body of your work. Wrap up—not restate! Don’t summarize your essay or restate your thesis. Find a new way to discuss your ideas—one strategy is to revisit the “hook” at the beginning of your essay and discuss it in a new way.

 

Essay Requirements:

All passing essays must:

  • be at least 2 ½  pages
  • be properly formatted (MLA) with a Works Cited page
  • have an appropriate, original title
  • have an engaging introductory paragraph(s) with a clear thesis statement that states focus of essay (what you’re informing readers about)
  • have multiple body paragraphs that each begin with a topic sentence
  • contain specific examples, explanations, and evidence from your readings to support each topic sentence
    • use a variety of quotations and paraphrases
    • use signal phrases to introduce all quotes and paraphrases
    • draw from 2+ sources in body paragraphs
  • avoid plagiarism by using citations that clearly connect to the Works Cited page
  • have a concluding paragraph that brings the essay to a close
  • have been spell-checked and proofread
    • goals for this unit: edited for repetition, and typos/error, proper comma use

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