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English 1301 - Peyer, Valerie: "Writing the Self and the World"

Searching as Strategic Exploration

Research Paper Project: “Writing the Self and the World”

Essay Assignment: Write a 4 – 5 page research essay in which you describe and discuss something of cultural significance to you, your family, or your community. The subject / topic of your research paper could be a tradition, a place, an object, a practice, a food, etc. The approach for this research paper is informative. Your goal is to inform and educate your audience about your topic and its cultural significance.

When writing your research essay, you will need to give examples of your own personal experience as evidence; you will need to provide information you have gathered from sources (information from journal articles, newspaper articles, magazine articles, reliable websites); and you will need to quote snippets of conversation you have had with friends and family about your topic.  

Remember: You will need to use sources, personal interviews, and your personal experience to write this essay. The approach for this essay is informative. Your goal for writing this paper is to inform and educate your audience about your topic and its cultural significance.

Due: Week 15 - upload your essay to Assignment link

In preparation for writing this paper, you will need to:

  • Use the SAC Library Databases to find sources related to your topic
  • Use the Google “Power Search” tips we will learn in class to find sources related to your topic
  • Talk with friends and family members to get their insights about your topic

For student examples of research essays that incorporate interviews, personal experience, and sources, refer to the following student essays posted in Canvas:

  • “Golden City Supermarket” by Garber
  • “The Legend of Division Street” by Jin

Below is a list of general topics to begin brainstorming:

  • A family dish, food, etc.
  • A type of music (or a specific musician who represents your culture, your community)
  • A family tradition
  • A church, temple, or religious space
  • A type of celebration
  • A sport
  • An artist, director, actor/actress, writer, etc. (any creative artist representative of your cultural heritage or community)   
  • A place (a specific neighborhood, community center, park, neighborhood hang-out spot, barber shop, neighborhood store, family restaurant, etc.)
  • Other topic ideas: ____________________________________________________________

Essay Details:

  • Length: 1100 -1400 words (about 4 - 5 typed pages)
  • Use MLA documentation style - Include in-text citations and a Works Cited page
  • Use a minimum of 3 secondary sources and at least 1 interview. 1 source must come from the SAC library databases.  
  • Times New Roman, 12-point font, double-spaced, proper headings, title, and pagination
  • Grading – Refer to the grading rubric posted in Canvas to see how the final copy of the essay will be assessed.

Grading: How will my entire Research Paper Project be graded? 

The Research Paper Project includes several parts. Each part will contribute to X amount of points toward the final grade, culminating in the final Research Paper Project grade. Each part will count two-fold: separately as a daily grade and as X points earned towards the final project grade. (See breakdown of points below.)

Refer to the grading rubric posted in Canvas to see how the Final Copy of the essay will be graded.

      We will work on several parts/steps of the Research Paper Project beginning Week 11, and we will spend the remainder of the semester on this project.

      The key to this last research project is planning ahead. Students should seriously begin thinking about ideas for their research project during Week 11. Assignment handouts with instructions for each step will be posted each week.

For now, make note of the following weekly dates for each part:

Week Due                                      Part: I – IV                          Possible Points Earned 

(Upload to Assignment link)                                                    (leading up to the final copy):

Week 12                                   I Research Proposal due………………………………………………………..…15 pts.

Week 13                                   II Rough Outline of ideas due……………...………..…………..………………15  pts.

Week 14                                    III  First 4 Paragraphs of rough draft due…………...………………….……..20 pts.

Week 15                                   IV   Final Copy of Research Essay due ………………………..….……...……. 50 pts.

Total Possible Points for Research Essay Project:                                                                       100 pts.

Off-campus access

Library databases require a login from off-campus!

  • ACES username is required for login
  • ACES password is your password for login

What does the login page look like?


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