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English 1301 - Davis, Caroline: Career Research Essay

Searching as Strategic Exploration


For this assignment, your essay should meet the following Course Learning Objectives:

  • Including support and attribution for quotes or paraphrases used in your writing (CLO 2)
  • Interpreting, identifying, and incorporating audience and purpose in your writing (CLO 3)
  • Incorporating elements of rhetorical style with definition, personal connection, or multimodal writing (CLO 1)
  • Incorporating analysis and critical thinking in your writing (CLO 4)
  • Recognizing grammar and punctuation errors and incorporating revision strategies (CLO 5)


For your final essay, you will write a four-page research essay (1000 words). You must include MLA documentation from at least 2 library database sources and 2 web sources.

The Research Essay

Essay Assignment. In Investigating Career Opportunities, you summarized three occupations, careers, you were interested in. At this point, focus on one career that you might want to pursue. Don’t worry. This is not a permanent decision; in fact, one perfectly reasonable outcome of writing this paper might be that you decide this is not the career for you!


For this essay, you will research and argue the advantages and disadvantages for you of the career you have chosen. Think back to the list of what’s important in a career that you compiled in What’s Important to You in a Career?  That should help you think about what you want to discuss.

Audience and Purpose

Think of your audience as a career advisor. You have an appointment in a week or two, and she has asked you to write an essay explaining what career you currently are thinking about pursuing. She will use your essay to help you with advice and guidance, so it is important that you write as thoroughly as you can about your current thinking. Be sure you use the information you acquired about the career you choose to support your decision.

This essay will require Arguments and Sources

Because your essay is an argument, you will want to follow the conventions for arguments. You may want to review these conventions in What Is an Argument? (18.1), The Features of Effective Arguments (18.3 ), and How to Answer Counterarguments (18.5).

Documentation. In this essay, be sure to provide appropriate citations for any words you quote, paraphrase, or summarize from the texts you read and include a works cited list or list of references at the end of your essay. If you need to review how to provide this documentation, refer to MLA Documentation (Topic 23 ).

Grading Criteria

A Few Tips and Requirements:

  • This essay should be 4-5 pages long. 
  • Use MLA formatting for the document and heading.
  • Incorporate and support your ideas with at least 2 library database sources and 2 web sources
  • You need to use MLA documentation.
    • See 23.1 "Documenting Sources in MLA Style" or pg. 651.
  • Visit the SAC Writing Center to get help with your writing.

Criteria for Success

  1. You should have a thesis that indicates the purpose and focus of your essay. 
  2. After your introduction, make sure your paragraphs include topic sentences.
  3. 2 Library Sources and 2 Web Sources or sources we have used from the textbook.
  4. Include at least 1 quote and /or 1 paraphrase per body paragraph. 
  5. Explain all quotes and use transitions
  6. Revise for grammar and punctuation
  7. Make sure to include MLA citations for your quotes/paraphrases and a Works Cited.
  8. Make sure you visit the Writing Center for help!!!

Due Dates

Outline: 11/12

Draft for Peer Review #1: 11/19

Essay Due: 11/24

Reflection: 11/24


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Image from the Occupational Outlook Handbook

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