Research Paper, WRT 102 Summer 2015
Research a topic of interest to you that is related to the readings, discussions, and assignments we have done together in this class. (The relationship does not need to be direct.) This means, however, no papers about gun control or frog biology. You will present and support an arguable thesis—and place your thesis within the framework of the ongoing conversations that exist about your topic.
Here are a few possible broad areas of investigation. You are NOT required to write on these topics–use your imagination in picking a topic! You’ll need to narrow down the topic to construct an argument and select a research question that you can answer in a thesis.
● The effects of social networking on some/any particular aspect of culture for any/some particular group of people or institution or discipline (ie, global politics, environmentalism)
● Online privacy, security, and trust
● Copyright infringement, sharing, and new media: what are the laws, where did they come from, and are they still adequate in the age of the Internet and new media?
● Commercialism and capitalism in virtual worlds and MMPORGs (i.e., Second Life, World of Warcraft)
● How race, class, and gender affects virtual worlds and/or social networks
● The future of reading in the digital age
● How/what/why video games teach kids (or us)
● How interaction with technology affects the human brain
● Wikipedia: What is it, how does it get written, and what is it good for, if anything?
● Cyborgs and robots and the future of humanity (narrow it down, please!)
● SPECIAL OPTION: Look back at your haunted place essay and think of a research question that you could investigate surrounding this haunted place. This can NOT BE A REPORT (i.e., a gathering of facts about the place)–it MUST be a research question that is answered and ultimately an argument that can be supported with research. You can include facts about the place, but they must contribute to the support of an argument.
These are only a few possible topics—use your imagination and intellect to devise your own. Again—and I cannot stress this enough—these are TOPICS, not arguments. Brainstorm on the topic, make observations, and create a research question which, when answered, will lead to your argument.You are NOT required to use these topics! See the proposal assignment for more details.
Length: 6-8 full-length pages excluding the bibliography; no limit. Your portfolio must no less than 15 full pages of writing. If you do the minimum for all three essays, that’s 4+5+6 just makes it to 15. The Works Cited pages don’t count for length. The cover memo/letter does not count as part of the portfolio’s length.
Sources: The finished paper will need at least five sources, with a minimum of three scholarly or peer-reviewed sources. You may have more.
You may use sources from websites, journals, magazines, films, books, and non-traditional sources in addition to the three scholarly sources.
One of the sources must be from the texts provided in class. At least three sources must come from outside of the class-directed texts.