Essay 2 should be four to five double-spaced pages in MLA format plus a works cited page, also in MLA format. Address your research paper’s question and explain why this topic is of timely importance in 2020.
Incorporate four to five sources into your paper, and introduce each source/author before quoting from it/them. Use sources that seem reliable and unbiased, sources that a panel of jurors would respect. Your thesis should address the following question: why is the selected research question important right now?
Your topic is exciting and important. You won’t be able to cover everything you want or need to say about it in essay 2. Keep a few pages of your notebook, start a Google Doc, or otherwise keep notes somewhere on what you think of but don’t get to cover yet in essay 2. You’ll likely use those notes in the research paper, which will shift focus from why is this research question important right now to a problem-solving focus:
In this essay, demonstrate your ability to integrate–not drop–quotes. Before using a quote, summary, or paraphrase, introduce the source and the author. Revisit our previous weeks’ links and notes and frame every quotation with a signal phrase. After you incorporate a quote or information, explain it in your own words. I’m especially looking for introduced sources and integrated quotes at this point in the semester. Use those incredible sources to develop your ethos and bolster your logos. Please watch one or both of the top two videos there, which are also pasted on this week’s page.
Remember the basics of ethical source use:
put quotes around borrowed words
cite borrowed words, ideas, and images (Yes, cite even when summarizing or paraphrasing.)
Each time you use a source’s words, ideas, or images, you need an in-text citation unless it is already clear to readers which source you pulled from.
Each source you use needs to have a full corresponding works cited citation.
And some tips to strengthen your writing:
Use reliable sources to illustrate and support your points, but make sure your voice is the strongest in the paper.
Remember not to begin paragraphs with quotes; use topic sentences instead to begin each paragraph.
Try to notice the point of view you’re using in the paper. Generally speaking, 2nd person POV (“you”) is considered too informal for college papers. It works sometimes, but use it sparingly. We aren’t writing to our audience; we write mindful that they exist but not to them.
Save your 1st person point of view uses (“I,” “me,” “we,” etc.) mostly for if or when you address your own personal connection to the research topic, for example if you’re including a personal experience with the topic that you want to use to develop your credibility as author.
Mostly, try to use 3rd person POV–“Americans,” “readers,” “people,” and other such 3rd person words.
Can you write your opinion in 3rd person POV? Yes. Like this:
Version 1, 1st person POV: In my opinion, we should be more mindful of how much money we spend on items we do not need.
Version 2, 3rd person POV: People should be more mindful of how much money they spend on items they do not need.
Paper 2 is half of the research paper, yes, but it should feel like a complete paper–beginning, middle, and end–on its own. I use it as scaffolding for the research paper so that the writing of 8-10 pages for the research paper at the end of the semester (with 8-10 sources to answer another question) isn’t so overwhelming. Plus, it’s helpful for you all to focus on answering that big question: why does this matter right now? in order to select useful topics. This paper (essay 2) should focus on giving us the necessary background information on the topic plus addressing that question on why it matters now.
The entirety of this four page paper paper will go into your 8-10 pages of research paper, but essay 2 most likely won’t be a neat slide-in of pages 1-4. Later in the semester, when you convert essay 2 to be part of your research paper, it’ll likely be pages 1 and 2, and then maybe the final two pages of the research paper (since this essay 2 will have a conclusion, that conclusion might end up working for your entire research paper.) There will be some tweaking for sure. For example, you didn’t do all the fact-finding of your research yet, so you don’t have all the information you need yet. Your thesis will likely need some changes over the next few weeks as you refocus it.
Please aim for four pages of writing, plus an additional page as your works cited page that should correctly cite the 4-5 sources used in your paper. Make sure that these sources offer the support you’ll need to defend your argument. You’ll need some data/statistic-based sources. Please make sure all of the sources qualify as reputable–no citing informal blogs or student papers please. Try to use a minimal number–if any–of popular secondary sources. Instead, READ those sources for background information on the topic and go to the reports they cite. Use more evidence-based sources than not.
For weeks 9 and 10, we write essentially half of our research paper. This essay, essay 2, is a four-page essay that will grow into your eight-page research paper by the end of the semester. Choose your topic after spending a lot of time deliberating:
Is there new research that educated people would respect on both (or all) sides of this topic?
Is the topic as focused–as small in scope–as it needs to be?
Is this something I’m very interested in, something that matters to me?
Do I have a problem-solving argument?
And then if you’re interested in last week’s discussion (on the criminalization of race) here’s a link that may be helpful if you would like to explore solutions to holes in our education on the history of terrorizing Blacks in America. You probably have heard of the film–and maybe the book–Just Mercy. Here’s an interview with the author, Bryan Stevenson.