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ENGWR 300 (Tittle)

ENGWR 300 (Tittle)


Essay #4 - Research


  • Intro. + Thesis Statement + Possible Sources: 4/20 [upload to Canvas]

  • Support Paragraphs: 4/27 [upload to Canvas]

  • Conclusion Paragraph: 5/11 [upload to Canvas]

  • Full Draft Worksheet/Workshop: 5/13 [complete & upload peer worksheet]

  • Video Presentation (topic + research process): 5/19 [upload video + peer reply]


Final Draft Due:                                                              

5/22 [upload final draft to Canvas] 



Write a 5- to-6-page essay using Research as the method of development.  Refer to support documents for information about this type of essay/paper, including assistance with incorporating quotations and paraphrasing sources, along with the appropriate citations, within your own papers.  You will also be required to complete PILOT Library Research Tutorials through our library website. Each tutorial lesson will take approximately 15-30 minutes to complete. You must earn a 75% or higher on the quiz to earn your certificate of completion for each module (emailed to you as a PDF). (See other handouts for details about research methods and updated MLA standards, especially the Sierra College Term Paper Handbook for MLA Format 2016 Updates).

***NOTE:  Essay must be at least 5 FULL pages to avoid 20% automatic deduction of total points and no feedback.  Does not include name label on first page or works-cited page.


For this essay you have the opportunity to conduct research on a thesis which you will propose within your field of study (or the field you intend to choose as your eventual major area of study).  For this class, as you know, a thesis must be an arguable and provocative viewpoint you have about a particular subject or idea within the assignment parameters.  Since this essay asks you to derive your subject matter within your specific area of academic interest, you will need to find a topic that is currently being debated or discussed or argued within that field.  For example, Engineering students from past classes have written about their views on whether technological advances (e.g. computers, Internet) have helped or diminished the capability to perform certain tasks within that field. 

Rhetorical Mode Summary

  • Recall that a researched argument is a method of development in which you provide evidence for your thesis by presenting, interpreting, and analyzing sources, facts, examples, or logical analysis in an orderly sequence. Therefore, your essay will be centered on your own cogent rhetoric (use of language, in the case of an essay, of course), which provides a valid discussion about a viewpoint on a subject, supported by outside sources (primary/secondary. Your job is to argue the significance of that viewpoint, not necessarily as absolutely correct or right, but earning, at the bare minimum, noteworthiness, respect, and consideration from others.

  • Though vested research sources will be the essential evidence of the ‘truth’ of your essay’s thesis, be aware that your essay response, much as it was with your previous essays, will be derived—at root—from your individual perspective. As such, you will need to be wary of any personal assumptions, biases, and prejudices that may become apparent to your readers. Mindfulness of our own assumptions, biases, and prejudices, as well as those of others, will be something to which we will be accustomed by the end of this term.

  • With tone-of-voice, this rhetorical mode essay assignment is required to be third-person.  Your researched argument essay will provide all the appropriate elements of composition, as well as third-person ‘voice.’  The subject of your researched argument, not the writer, should command focus and emphasis for your readers.  First-person ‘voice’ (i.e. “I believe that…;” me, my, myself; OR “We think…;” us, our, ourselves) is not the customary technique used in most college-level essays in most fields of study.  DO NOT use first-person voice for this essay.  Evidence of first-person voice will result in an automatic 20-point deduction.


Submissions for Essay Installments (details)

1)    Topic selection + Research Question/Argument – choose a topic and an argument about an issue or other subject you find provocative and worthy of discussion within your intended field of study and/or career field.  Form this submission as a couple of statements and/or series of questions centering on your topic.  This is very informal and only be concerned with an ‘act of just getting started.’

2)    Introduction Paragraph + Thesis Statement + Possible Sources List – write and upload your working introduction + thesis to the appropriate Canvas discussion module page.  You will also be responsible for developing a list of at least 10 sources you deem useful in support of your essay’s argument (even if you don’t use all 10).  Though only five sources are required in the final draft, these 10 will serve as a bibliography of sorts that will prove useful in familiarizing yourself with the ideas, theories, and arguments surrounding the topic you have chosen.  Upload this list, along with your introduction + thesis statement, to Canvas.  Complete the discussion assignment (original post + peer reply).

3)    Support Paragraphs – write and upload at least four support paragraphs to the appropriate Canvas discussion module page.  Complete the discussion assignment.

4)    Draft + Research Process Presentation – you will also be required to give 5-to-6-minute video presentation based on A) how you arrived at your subject choice and how you derived a working thesis; B) your approach to your research process, including specific methods and resources used.  PowerPoint or Prezi, with a picture-in-picture of you presenting, is optional.

5)    Conclusion Paragraph – write and upload a copy to the appropriate Canvas discussion module page.  Complete the discussion assignment.

6)    Full Draft – Using the 'inbox' or 'conversation' tab/button on Canvas, exchange your full draft via an MS Word doc, including all parts of your essay in rough form, with a peer.  Download the peer-review worksheet from the 'Discussion' #13 Canvas module page. Complete the worksheet, typing in feedback you have for your partner's Essay #2 draft.   When your review is complete, submit the work sheet to Canvas via the 'Submit Assignment' tab/button on the module page for 'Discussion' #13. Also send a copy to the author of the essay draft you reviewed so they may utilize your feedback in revision for final draft.

7)    When finished with final revisions and edits, upload your 5-to-6-page final draft (.doc, .docx or .rtf only) to Canvas using the appropriate module page ‘Submit Assignment’ tab/button.  Use correct formatting (see notes below) and consult MLA documents available. Be sure to include your works-cited page at the end of your essay.  No PDF, please.

More details

You are required to include relevant information about your subject, which has been written or produced in some manner by others, in order to support your own thesis/viewpoint.  This information will be selected by you over the course of your research, covering multiple sources.  A research source refers to works relating to or offering support information for an argument concerning a subject area (e.g. a review or scholarly, peer-reviewed article written about a person, event, and/or publication).

Special Note:  the majority of your research essay must consist of your own ideas (about 80%).  For this essay, then, only present about 20% (one fifth for a five-page essay) of your essay as outside sources.  Approximately twenty percent would equal about one page (aggregately) of a five-page essay.

Other Formatting Requirements

MLA format (double-spacing; 1” margins; Times New Roman 12-pt. font; upper-left corner 1st page:  name, class, my name, assignment, date; upper-right corner of all other pages use a header with last name then page number). Do not use Google Docs, as it will distort formatting when submitting to Canvas.  Use Microsoft Office Word.