The purpose of the Topic Selection and Academic Summary is to develop clear ideas for your course project, explore a potential argument and point of view, and begin your preliminary research.
For each part of the assignment, follow the instructions provided on the Course Project page. When you are finished, save the document as <your last name.Wk2 Topic Assignment> and submit it by the end of the week.
See the Course Project page for the following support documents:
- An assignment template
- The assignment grading rubric
Week 2 Topic Selection and Academic Summary
For this assignment, you will choose a topic, narrow it, summarize diverse points of view, and consider the context and audience of your project.
Part I: Selection
After looking at the list of topics in the course project overview choose a topic in which you have more than just a passing interest. You might ask yourself, “What is it about this topic that sparks my interest enough to write 6-8 pages about it?”
|Education||Technology||Family||Health and Wellness|
|School Bullies||Multitasking and Technology||Sexualization of Girls||College Students and Weight Issues|
|No Child Left Behind Act/Race to the Top||Technology and Social Isolation||Gender Discrimination||Childhood Obesity|
|Grade Inflation||Perils of Social Networking||Unequal Rights in Marriage, Children||Fad Diets|
|College Students and Underage Drinking||Online Dating/Online Predators/Sex Offenders||Children of Divorce||Junk Food|
|Student Debt||Illegal Downloading of Protected Content||Domestic Violence||Sedentary Lifestyles|
|College Students, Cheating, and Plagiarism||Internet Censorship/ Classified Information Leaks||Cyberbullying||Teenage Pregnancy|
|College Dropout Rates||Identity Theft||Life-Work (Im)balance/Flexible Work Schedules||Concussions in Athletes|
|High School Dropouts||Texting and Driving||Insurance Premiums for Smokers and Obese Employees|
Address the following:
- Identify your topic.
- Summarize your topic in a paragraph that includes a brief explanation of your topic, the multiple sides of the debate, and a reflection of your opinion.
- To further develop these ideas, brainstorm 5 research questions about your topic.
Part 2: Reflection
Once you choose the topic, write a reflection on your purpose by responding to the following five questions. Each of your responses should be approximately 1-2 paragraphs in length.
- How is the topic important?
- How does it affect you?
- What do you personally hope to gain or accomplish by writing about this topic?
- What do you want to readers to understand?
- What actions do you want them to take?
Part 3: Research, Audience, and Thesis
- Conduct Preliminary Research: Conduct some brief research and provide summaries of 2 academic articles related to your topic. For each source, include the following:
- Bibliographic data in APA format
- Description of the main argument of the article
- Explanation of key subtopics or research questions
- Description of foundational examples
- Consider your Audience: Who are you readers, and what are their needs, motivations, and influences? In what ways will you need to structure your writing to appeal to them?
- Narrow your Focus: What unique angle will you provide? Develop a preliminary thesis that reflect the nature of your topic and your point of view.
When you are finished, save the document as <your last name.Wk2 Topic Assignment> and submit it by the end of the week.