Project #30322 - Proposal and Research Paper

Proposal For I-Search Essay


Step 1: Choose a topic that you are interested in. Read p. 421-424 in Rules for Writers about Posing Questions worth exploring.


Step 2: Write an approximately 2 page paper in the following format.


First, state your topic and write 1-2 paragraphs and explain why you find the topic interesting.


Second, write 1-2 paragraphs and explain what you already know about the topic.


Third, create 4 questions that you intend to answer during your research. Remember, these must be questions that require analysis and critical thinking – not the variety where a one or two word answer will suffice.


For example, if your topic is Thomas Edison pick the question that would get you some points.


  1. When was Thomas Edison Born?
  2. What childhood influences might have shaped Thomas Edison’s interest in science?

 * I hope you chose #2 - the other one is clearly of the "fact" or no analysis required variety.


After you write the proposal write the actual research paper. It is below:


I – Search Essay Instructions


The I-Search paper is designed to teach the writer and the reader something valuable about a chosen topic and about the nature of searching and discovery. As opposed to the standard research paper where the writer usually assumes a detached and objective stance; the I-Search paper allows you to take an active role in your search, to experience some of the hunt for facts and truths first-hand, and to provide a step-by-step record of the discovery.

The first rule of the I-Search paper is to select a topic that genuinely interests you and that you need to know more about. 

The I-Search paper will be written in Five integrated sections:

What I know, Assume, or Imagine 
What I want to find out
What I Discovered



I. Introduction: The introduction of your essay should give your reader some indication of why you have chosen to write about this particular topic. Keep in mind that your essay needs to have some point. What message do you want to communicate to your reader. The message needs to be something more than "I want to know more about skydiving." The purpose of this essay will be to inform your reader of your (1) original assumptions, (2)the information you found on your search, and (3)your discoveries.

II. What I Know, Assume, or Imagine: Before conducting any formal research, write a section in which you explain to the reader what you think you know, what you assume, or what you imagine about the college and career. There are no wrong answers here. You are basically establishing your hypothesis.

III. What I want to find out:  Your questions from your proposal will help here. You should expect to refine them somewhat in order to focus your topic.

IV. What I Discovered:  Test your knowledge, assumptions, or conjectures by researching your paper topic thoroughly. One requirement of this assignment will be to conduct a face-to-face interview* with someone who is an expert/knowledgeable about your topic. Also, consult useful second-hand sources such as books, magazines, newspapers, films, tapes, the Internet, etc. Be sure to record all the information you gather.
                After concluding your search, compare what you thought you knew, assumed, or imagined with what you actually discovered, assess your overall learning experience, and offer some personal commentary about the value of your discoveries and/or draw some conclusions. Some questions that you might consider at this stage:

How accurate were your original assumptions? 
What new information did you acquire? 
What did you learn that surprised you? 
Overall, what value did you derive from the process of searching and discovery?

V. Conclusion: Don’t just do a question/answer conclusion. Go back to the main point you want to make with this essay. What final message do you want to leave with your readers?

Keeping your audience firmly in mind will be an important key to success with this assignment. You don’t want to write this up as if it is simply a long journal entry. Think of your audience as your peers who might also be interested in the information you have collected. Remember, writing is a form of communication, and you need to be clear in your own mind who you are trying to communicate with and what you want to communicate to those people.

Helpful Hint
* When you interview someone, you are attempting to elicit as much information from that person as you possibly can. In order to accomplish this goal it is important to keep the person talking. Be sure to ask questions that will require more than a "yes" or "no" response. Here are a few suggested questions: 

Tell me how you first became interested in...? 
Tell me about the path you followed to get you to this position? 
What suggestions would you give to someone who is pursuing this career? 
These are only a few basic questions to consider. I expect that since this is a career you are interested in that you will have a number of things that you are curious about. Don’t feel shy about asking questions. You will find that most people enjoy talking about their work with people who are interested in learning about it.


The requirements for your essay are as follows:


v     Length 7 – 10 pages

v     6-10 research sources (1 interview, Max. 3 internet, 1 library database, Min. 2 print sources)

v     MLA style citations

v     MLA Works Cited page

v     Double spaced

v     No line breaks between paragraphs

v     1 inch margins on all sides

v     Times New Roman or Arial font, 12 point size

v     1st person voice

v     Title/Cover page

v     Pages are numbered

Subject English
Due By (Pacific Time) 05/11/2014 12:00 am
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