Mar 14 2007
This project has several components, including a brainstorming activity, project proposal, annotated bibliography, and a calendar plan. These different components will be explained in separate handouts.
When we make our career choices, we often do so because of parental pressure, peer pressure, childhood dreams, chance, or happenstance and thus we do not find out much about the career. When we move into our majors, we are often overwhelmed with new information and courses and thus we don’t have time to think about what we will actually do and need to know on the job. For this research project, we will be finding out more about our career choices.
This research project will be thesis driven. In other words, the project essay is not a simple report on the career. Rather, you must make some kind of argument in your essay. For example, is this a good choice? What are the main qualities a person should have in order to be successful in this field? (i.e. – strong math skills, strong verbal skills, excellent communicator, works well with others, enjoys high stress and long hours, etc.). What types of activities are completed on a daily basis in this field? As you research and collect resources and write your annotated bibliography, you will be in a better position to select the argument your essay will make.
To this end, you will write a thesis driven essay about this career choice to other college students (as well as parents and faculty members). The essay should make some kind of an argument (it should have a strong thesis) about this career choice based on the information and evidence you gathered.
You may want to research the following:
(1) What do people actually do on the job in your career choice? (For example, how does an engineer spend his/her day?)
(2) What are the different job (specialties) options within your career choice? (For example, what are the different things that can be done with a computer science degree?)
(3) What specialized knowledge do you need for the career choice? (Research not only those things learned in school but actually used on the job. For example, accountants learn a lot about numbers and accounting principles but many report that they spend a good deal of their time writing.)
(4) How does the career choice help others?
(5) How satisfied are people with the career choice?
(6) How much do people make?
(7) What are common career developments? How far can people go, do they often shift to related or unrelated fields?
(8) What kinds of writing, and how much, are expected in the career?
(9) Will newer technologies be used in the career? (online writing or research, webpage design, working with audio or video, word processing or spreadsheets, etc.)
(10) What kinds of courses do you have to take as an undergraduate? What kinds of advanced study will be required? (For example, do you have to attend graduate school or a professional school?)
Research Project Sources
(1) The Library: check the many different resources beyond books
(2) The Internet: college career sites, company websites, professional association web sites . . .
(3) People: professors, parents, older siblings or friends of siblings, people on the job
(4) Electronic Databases
Research Project Resources
(1) Books (you will not have time to read whole books but you might find interesting sections and chapters)
(2) Journals, periodicals, magazines (you can find many periodicals that focus on your particular career as well as articles in more general purpose magazines).
(4) Internet (Don’t forget to check out sites in your research area; sites dedicated to your field created by both professionals and students; college sties dedicated to your field – department sites, and much more)
(5) Interviews (The best way to get the low-down about any job is to ask people: professionals, more advanced students, parents and others. However, before doing an interview it is a good idea to write out a set of questions. If you tape an interview, be sure to tell the interviewee you are doing so).
(6) Electronic Databases can have excellent articles online and point you to ones in libraries.
Things to think about
(1) If you are unhappy with your current major or do not have one, pick any major or job that you find interesting.
(2) Remember that talking to people can be one of the best ways to do research but use the library and Internet as well.
(3) You will carefully document all of your work, including the interview. You may use any acceptable documentation style, but it may be best to use the one most often used in the field you choose to study.
(4) Final Research project will be between 6-8 pages long.
Evaluation Criteria for Project 5
Check-off for Project Requirements
____ Brainstorming about 3 possible different careers you might research
____ Proposal of what you intend to research (posted on Class Discussion Board)
____ Meets Formatting Requirements (margins, last name and page number upper right corner, first page with
information and title)
____ Uses Consistent and Appropriate in-text Citation Style (MLA or APA)
____ Effective Use of Grammar
____ Uses Signal Phrases to introduce quotes
____ 6-8 pages
Uses Invention and Planning Strategies
____ Practices at least two Invention strategies THAT HELP DETERMINE FOCUS OF PAPER
____ Calendar of what you will do when (research, reading, writing, revising)
Annotated Bibliography & Works Cited
____ 10 resources in all (3 reliable Internet sources, 4 journal articles or chapters in books, 1 interview, 2
or more of above or another kind of publication such as a career guide or career materials)
____ Works Cited (includes only the resources you CITE by referring to them, paraphrasing them, or
quoting them in your paper)
____ Uses Consistent and Appropriate Documentation Style (MLA or APA)
Develops an Effective Introduction and Thesis
____ Introduction sets context for paper and leads effectively to thesis
____ Thesis is complete (includes both “what” and “how” or “why” components)
____ Thesis is explicit and detailed
____ Thesis acts as a “guide” or “roadmap” to reader
Remember to reread the Assignment handout (online) which discussed the audience and purpose of this paper: “you will write a research paper that explains the significance of your career choice to other college students (as well as parents and faculty members). The essay should make a point (have a strong thesis) about what you have found.
Effectively Integrates Supporting Sources
____ With Competence
Develops a Well Organized and Coherent Argument
____ With Competence
Develops Clear and Well Supported Paragraphs
____ With Competence
Final Grade Project 5 _____
Kinds of Introductions
1) Introduction Inquisitive: Asks a question (or several questions) that gain the interest of your readers and will be answered by your thesis.
2) Introduction Paradoxical: Begins by setting up a seemingly unsolvable problem, yet your thesis will solve the problem.
3) Introduction Corrective: This is the most common introduction used in academic writing. It sets up what people believe now about a topic only to show that people are mistaken about or have misunderstood the topic. Most people believe “X” to be true, but I will show that “Y” is true.
4) Introduction Preparatory: Begins by giving readers background information or definitions that they will need to understand the thesis.
5) Introduction Narrative: Begins with a story or anecdote to gain the reader’s interest and lead into the thesis.
Organization of Points
A) Order of importance:
1) most important to least.
2) least important to most.
B) Logical Order: follows a logical pattern.
C) Sequential Order: Follows known and specific sequence.
D) Rhetorical Order: Follows a pattern (if you have four arguments) of moving from the fourth strongest argument to the third strongest to the second strongest to the strongest.
E) Chronological order: follows sequence in time.
Pattern of Organization
Introduction/Body/Conclusion Pattern (see page 25 of SF Writer)
Introduction: Thesis Body: Argument 1 Examples/Support Body: Argument 2 Examples/Support Conclusion
Elements of the Research Paper
i. Context – what do readers already know about topic
ii. Thesis – what is your point/argument
- Narration – background information about topic
- Confirmation – proof (subpoints) of point
- Refutation – possible holes in paper or arguments against paper
- Conclusion – significance of thesis for readers
“Does the conclusion tie up loose ends, leaving the reader satisfied that I have covered the subject and provided a sense of closure?” (SF Writer 38).
“A good closing paragraph will round off your essay and give readers a sense that the piece of writing has achieved its purpose.
- Summarize the main points you have made
- Make a recommendation
- Link the closing paragraph to the opening paragraph
- Point out directions for future research or unresolved questions” (SF Writer 316-318)
- Introduction: After you have a working thesis, think about setting up context. What did you think before you conducted research on your topic? What do readers (primarily other students, but also professors and parents) already know about your topic? What is your common ground with readers? Remember that often Introductions can be put in the form of examples, questions, anecdotes and such. See SF Writer (315-316) for more ideas about Introductions.
- Narration: What background information does your reader need to understand your points – definitions, key terms, concepts, and such. What is a civil engineer – would everyone know this?
- Confirmation: What information will you use to support your point? What did you learn about your career?
- Refutation: What problems do you see with your ideas? What are some arguments that could be made against the points you make? How could you refute the arguments?
- Conclusion: Why is the thesis significant to your readers? Return to this point in the conclusion, but the research should also add to the reader’s knowledge and have significance for them.
** Remember, this is not a five paragraph “vase” to be filled up. Rather, the above ideas are ways to facilitate your thinking/writing/revising (heuristics)-and your research paper may need to be organized differently. For example, given how you set up the issues/your thesis, the background information may be broken up and appear at several different places in the essay. Also, often modern writers don’t have refutations, but use the ideas to bolster their arguments.
** Email me, visit office hours, or set up appointment if you have questions
Signal Phrases / Introducing Quotes
This sample sheet provides examples of different types of signal phrases as well as the MLA parenthetical documentation (in-text citation) necessitated by the different signal phrases. Note that because this is based on only one quotation, this illustrates a variety of ways quotes and paraphrases can be introduced. The parenthetical documentation is different if you are using APA format.
This is a quote from author Janet Murray’s Hamlet on the Holodeck
“As these utopian and dystopian fictions remind us, we rely on works of fiction, in any medium, to help us understand the world and what it means to be human. Eventually all successful storytelling technologies become ‘transparent.’: we lose consciousness of the medium and see neither print nor film but only the power of the story itself. If digital art reaches the same level of expressiveness as these older media, we will no longer concern ourselves with how we are receiving the information. We will only think about what truth it has told us about our lives” (26).
1. According to Janet Murray, “Quote from above” (26).
2. Janet Murray claims that all different types of narratives help us understand the human condition: “Quote from above” (26).
3. Janet Murray states that “Quote from above” (26).
4. It the future, digital art is going to become “transparent” to viewers, which is what has already happened with film. For example, Murray argues that “Quote from above” (26).
5. “Quote from above,” says author Janet Murray (26).
6. In Hamlet on the Holodeck, Janet Murray argues that people forget about the medium of a story and focus on only the story itself (26).
7. When people feel that a piece of fiction has told them something important and meaningful about their lives, they forget about the particular medium and focus on the story (Murray 26).
NOTE: Each quote and type of signal phrase requires its own parenthetical notation of the page number. Also, if the author’s last name is not mentioned in the signal phrase itself, it must then be included before the page number in the parentheses.
Why do you think the author’s last name and the page number must always be included either within the signal phrase or in the parenthetical citation? HINT: how is the Works Cited or Bibliography organized?
Learning to skillfully and effectively incorporate research/resources into writing is usually a bit difficult at first. But it is an important convention of academic writing, so I encourage you to use this handout and review the signal phrases in your papers carefully.
Project 5: Annotated Bibliography
An annotated bibliography is a formatted list of sources with short 100-150 word abstracts of each source. You will create an annotated bibliography of at least ten sources that must include the following:
- 3 reliable Internet Sources (professional organization, school website, job information resource, etc. – make sure to critique the site and determine if it is reliable)
- 4 journal articles or chapters/sections in books
- 1 Interview (you may want to conduct interviews for your extra resources as well)
- 2 or more extra of above or another kind of publication (career guide or career materials)
Websites for researching Internet Sources
- WetFeet.com: Helping you make smarter career decisions
- The Princeton Review: Career Research & Planning
An example entry of an Annotated Bibliography (print academic journal article)
Smith, Anne. “English Education Teachers in K-12 ” Journal of Advanced Composition. 16.1 (2001): 1-19.
In this article, Smith argues that future teachers who want to teach English in K-12 classrooms must be much more experienced with technology. Her main point is that teachers entering classrooms now sometimes are not very experienced with newer technologies like sending email attachments, making webpages, and creating digital images. Because writing in the future will expand to include more digital writing and visual images, Smith wants to see more technology incorporated into English Education teacher training programs. This article is going to be an important part of my project and I am going to quote it several times. I am going to use Smith’s article as a major piece of evidence for my argument that students who intend to go into English Education had better select a program that provides intense training in newer technologies and how to use them in the classroom effectively.