For the research assignment, you will ideally build on and investigate the important issue or topic you identified in Unit 1. You will then locate a larger social, cultural, or political conversation within which your subject fits. Maybe your personal story in Unit 1 helped you discover that you are interested in issues related to environmentalism, sex and gender based attitudes, cutting-edge technology or economics.
After your topic is decided, you will select at least three to four sources preferably from academic journals in your chosen field. Use your spare time to research online and at the library. Snell library (https://library.northeastern.edu/
(Links to an external site.)
) has a very good database and gives you access to several journals for free.Your sources can be recent or old but they must have contribute in shaping our understanding of the issue you are writing about. Discovering adequate, informative sources is a significant part of this assignment and in academia, in general, so it is better to get into that practice now.
Your research essay should be organized around a central inquiry or thesis statement. A thesis statement, as you know, should communicate the main claim or question you are exploring in your paper. This claim may be rooted in your opinion, but it is developed, supported, and explained in the essay through examples and evidence from the sources you will research. You will be expected to analyze and critically evaluate your sources to display how they relate to your topic.
Tip: To analyze your source, start by asking the following questions: Why is this source relevant? What is its contribution? What are its main arguments? What is the author(s) interested in? Who is their audience? How does source A differ from source B? Are they presenting contradictory, or similar information? Who do you agree or disagree with, and why? Which source aligns with your claim? Which source challenges your claim? These are some of the possible ways of approaching your sources as you consider including them in your essay.
The task here is to outline a spectrum of ideas of writers before you who have written about the topic you are interested in. Point out connections and differences between what these writers have to say, and how their arguments relate to yours. Use your sources to convince the reader why the issue you are writing about matters.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me.
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