Research Project: Citizenship

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Research Project: Citizenship

  1. Annotated Bibliography

steps in the assignment:
 

  1. Select a topic from the list below.

No other topic is allowed, unless you persuade me that you have an extraordinary idea that falls within the general type of the listed topics. This is not likely.
 

  1. Begin to read materials about the topic to deepen your understanding and insight. As you read, attempt to grasp the depth and scope of the issue, including understanding its history, if relevant.

 

  1. Formulate an approach to solving/resolving/mitigating the concern raised in the topic. The idea doesn’t have to be completely original—you may be inspired by something you read or hear in a podcast or see on a television documentary.

Note that the requirement isn’t that you find a final, complete, fail proof solution. These are topics about which some of the most insightful thinkers in the country remain stumped. But think of a good, solid, workable plan that at least nibbles at the edges of the concern.
 

  1. Conduct further focused research. Improve on your understanding of the issue. Find other thinkers who are addressing the same issue. Take careful notes, looking for explanations, definitions, and background, descriptions of the problem, its history, past solutions that may or may not have worked, and ideas that could be tried.

 

  1. Select 12 potentially useful outside sources for a paper explaining and defending your proposal. The twelve sources must include:
  • at least 2 with background, history, definitions, explanations
  • at least 2 that suggest solutions (these may or may not be solutions you eventually propose)
  • at least 3 from unusual kinds of sources

 

  1. Summarize (in 4 to 10 sentences each) each of the 12 sources, including the main idea and the gist of the major points.

 

  1. Construct a Works Cited entry for each source.

 

  1. Compile these 12 summaries in the specified format.

permitted topics:
 

  • How can the United States improve voter participation/voter information?
  • How might we encourage/improve/increase volunteerism for some underserved group or for some common good?
  • Define and explain the duties and obligations of citizenship; what, specifically, does it mean to be a good citizen?
  • How can civic discourse be made more civil? Can we learn to talk to one another as citizens with common goals and a common love for the country?
  • Is the metaphor of “the commons” still useful today? Could this concept help bridge political differences that threaten our civil society? If yes, explain how. If no, suggest and elaborate a different metaphor.

formatting:
 
See the formatting guidelines and sample in the Table of Contents under “Annotated Bibliography”

academic voice:

 
No second person
No first person
No contractions
No slang or colloquial “chatting”
No direct address to a hypothetical reader
 
 
 
 
 
 

  1. Position/Argument Paper

 
Based on the issue/research question you selected for the Annotated Bibliography, write an essay arguing your position on the issue, specifically proposing a solution (or solutions) to the issue raised in the topic.
 
You MUST analyze the issue or question raised in the topic and then propose thoughtful, workable ideas/solutions. You cannot just conclude that it’s a tough issue, indeed, and then say only that more thought/effort is needed. You might not be able to come up with an ultimate, foolproof set of ideas, but make a start.
 
Your logic and your reasons for the proposal you present must be supported with evidence and details you found in your research for the annotated bibliography.
 
You do not have to use all twelve outside sources that you compiled for the annotated bibliography.  You must use at least four outside sources. If you have found a useful outside source that was not in your original annotated bibliography, you may use it.
 
Your paper should be structured like the sample papers we’ve read in class (Harba on regulations and restrictions on food choices and Levi on restricting the use of cell phones while driving), with an introductory paragraph (ending with a thesis statement) and body paragraphs with topic sentences that present the steps in your argument, supported by evidence from outside sources. A portion of your grade will be based on whether the paper clearly and effectively follows this structure.
 
Use MLA-8 documentation (which includes both in-text citation and a Works Cited page).
 
Your paper grade will be heavily weighted for structure/organization and documentation.
 
***I WILL DEDUCT ONE ADDITIONAL POINT***
for each fragment, comma splice,and run-on sentence
and for each use of the pronoun YOU/YOUR

formatting:

 
4 – 6 pages
12-pont font
1” margins L R T B
double-spaced
no extra spaces between paragraphs or between the heading and the title
include a strong, apt, engaging title
page numbering header
MLA formatted heading

academic voice:

 
No second person (1st person is permitted)
No contractions
No slang or colloquial “chatting”
No announcement of your writing plan
No direct address to a hypothetical reader
 

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