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Final Research Project

As you know, you are required to do a ten-to-fifteen-page final research project. This page gives a rationale for this assignment, some suggestions for developing a topic, and an assignment sheet with possible topics.

What For

This assignment is aimed at helping you further develop and demonstrate an awareness of your own acts of interpretation in reading (goal 1 from Part IV of the syllabus--cf. main page). Your reflective essays, critical essay, and team pedagogical projects should have prepared you to choose a topic for, research, and write an extended argument in which you perform a critical reading (either in the form of a critical theoretical essay, a pedagogical essay, a creative writing project, or a web authoring project), thereby showing what you've learned in the course.

How To

The topic and format for your final research project is open. You are encouraged to develop a topic based on any of the aspects of the course from the course description (Part I of the syllabus--cf. main page) and to choose a format that best allows you to articulate your findings persuasively (possible formats include persuasive essay, pedagogical essay, creative writing, web authoring--see below for more details). The central goal of this assignment should be to demonstrate the usefulness of using the critical contexts or theoretical concepts you've learned about in this course and/or encounter in your research to analyze your topic.

Whether the topic you choose is instructor- or student-initiated, you must turn in a 2-3-page research-based proposal by Friday, November 18, 2005, that lays out a compelling justification/rationale for pursuing the project. This will be returned to students in late November or early December during a conference with the instructor. The proposal is an opportunity to consider what you've found most interesting in the course and then to design a research project that allows you to explore that topic in more depth. For guidelines on proposals, click here.

Final Research Project Assignment Sheet

Due: Friday, December 16, 2005, no later than 5 pm, in my mailbox in the English department main office (277 Fenton) or in the envelope outside my office door (240 Fenton). Please turn in a copy of your original proposal for the paper along with the paper itself.

Format: in general, 10-15 pages, double spaced, with reasonable fonts, font sizes, and margins; title that indicates main argument of paper; heading that includes your name, the course name or number, and the date; bibliography and citations in MLA style (see links page for explanations of this style of citation); proper quotation format for quotations within a paragraph: "..." (12); blockquote format for quotes five lines or longer--but see below for variations.

Possible formats (meant to be illustrative, not comprehensive or prescriptive!) for your final research project include:

Criteria for Evaluation: Your grade for this segment of the course will be based on the strength and persuasiveness of the rationale/justification for the project offered in the proposal; the degree of intellectual and analytical development from proposal to project; and, on the project itself, the effectiveness with which you incorporate appropriate critical/theoretical contexts, concepts, and arguments into your essay, creative piece, or web site, the coherence and validity of the implicit and explicit arguments of the piece, the effectiveness of the piece's structure in conveying your ideas and convincing your audience, and the quality of the piece's writing (including grammar, syntax, and punctuation).

Options: Here are some suggested rubrics for the final essay; you are, of course, encouraged to invent or develop your own topic, even one that doesn't fit within these rubrics. That's why you're required to write a proposal for the project--it's your job to convince your readers of the value of your proposed topic and approach.

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ENGL 345: Critical Reading, Fall 2005
Created: 10/19/05 4:59 pm
Last modified: 11/15/05 9:50 am
For earlier versions of this course, please go to the Spring 2004, Spring 2002, or Fall 2001 web sites.
Webmaster: Bruce Simon, Associate Professor of English, SUNY Fredonia