Before we turn to the research portion of the class, we’ll read, write, and reflect on college-level research practices. This assignment will, ideally, help you approach your own research with a greater understanding of academic research and source use. It also helps you to learn how to read academic articles (the kinds you will locate in your own research). Be sure to use the reading guides as you read the articles for this assignment; these reading guides teach you how to break down an academic article into sections to read, skim, and skip. Finally, this essay asks you to reference sources in your essay that your instructor and fellow classmates know well, which means that they can help you master citation and paraphrase skills during the drafting and revision process.
We’ve read Chris Anson “Fraudulent Practices: Academic Misrepresentations of Plagiarism In the Name of Good Pedagogy,” Randall McClure “Examining the Presence of Advocacy and Commercial Websites in Research Essays of First-Year Composition Students,” Les Perelman “Information Illiteracy and Mass Market Writing Instruction,” and Rebecca Moore Howard, Tanya K. Rodrigue, and Tricia C. Serviss “Writing from Sources, Writing from Sentences,” and we’ve reflected on our own source use and research in college.
This assignment asks you to argue a position on student source use in the academy using at least two of the above readings and your own experience as a college writer. This “position” doesn’t need to offer a solution or take a definitive stance; it may, for example, argue for the two main challenges to students finding and using quality sources or for the central dilemma in student plagiarism.
The essay needs to be 4-5 pages double-spaced, Times New Roman 12 point font or Calibri 11. It will need to correctly cite and/or paraphrase passages from the texts in correct MLA form. You must refer to least two of the following four writers: Chris Anson, Randall McClure, Les Perelman or Howard et al. This essay can and should include personal experience and/or field research in addition to the scholarly sources read in class.
Look over your answers to the provided reading and discussion questions for the articles. Read over your reflections on the readings and your experiences as a writer and researcher. Think of a theme or thesis that argues a position about student source use in the academy. Submit a draft to the instructor and participate in whole-class workshop as a writer getting revision advice and/or as reader giving revision advice (advice that will help you return to your own draft with fresh ideas for revision). Revise your essay using my feedback, the feedback of your peers, and your own ideas. Submit a final version with two copies of your final essay as well as the draft with my comments.
A passing essay must:
- have a clear, focused, arguable theme or thesis that argues a nuanced position on student source use in the academy
- develop this theme thoroughly with voices of scholars, examples from your own writing and research experience, and, optionally, field research
- cite at least two of the following five writers: Chris Anson, Randall McClure, Les Perelman or Howard et al.
- understand the writers you include (use the reading and discussion questions, your notes, and the article itself)
- include correct parenthetical citations for all sources. Failure to do so may result in failing grade.
- contain adequate paraphrases of the secondary sources (i.e. in your own words). Failure to do so may result in a failing grade.
- quote accurately (word for word).
- integrate supporting quotes and paraphrases smoothly
- conclude somewhere near the bottom of page six (or on a subsequent page)
- demonstrate revision (there should be substantial differences between the first and final draft)
- be submitted in a portfolio with all required components
- have an introduction that adequately introduces the argument
- have a conclusion that adequately concludes the essay
- as a whole, be logically organized into well-developed, well-organized paragraphs
- use transitions between paragraphs to make paper organization clear for readers
- use transitions between sentences to make paragraph organization clear to readers
- avoid unnecessary repetition
- be clean stylistically, using concise and clear sentences, strong verbs, sentence variety, emphasis, and parallel sentence structure; avoid “this” as a pronoun except for emphasis
- be grammatically correct, using commas with an introductory phrases, using a comma and a conjunction to connect two independent phrases (phrases that can stand alone as sentences), using only a conjunction with compound verbs
- employ a voice and tone appropriate for academic discourse
- demonstrate conscientious word choice and diction
- be formatted correctly? (1inch margins and Times Roman 12 point font or Calibri 11)
- include a works cited page, in correct MLA format, that lists the texts to which your paper refers