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Com 156 Week 1 Assignment Research Plan Template

Sample Weekly Outline

Weeks 1 - 6: Unit I: Text Analysis.
During the first six weeks of the course, students will read and analyze articles written in the field on which the course focuses: (a) arts and humanities, (b) sciences, (c) social sciences, or (d) education. The goal of this reading activity is to help students understand how the rhetorical context in which a text is produced (author/purpose/audience/subject) affects the final product. Students will write three analyses of selected articles. The goal of writing analyses of the readings is to help students understand that the choices writers make are intentional and influenced by a variety of rhetorical factors. These analyses will also help students develop skills such as reading with a writer's eye and understanding how to make informed choices in their own writing.

Week 1: Course overview; assign readings and first homework assignments; in-class writing and discussions focus on rhetorical situation and students' previous writing experiences
Week 2: Assign first analysis essay; assign additional readings and homework; in-class writing and discussions focus on analyzing rhetorical situations and varieties of text analysis
Week 3: Workshop and revise first analysis essay; assign additional readings and homework; in-class writing and discussions focus on revision techniques, analytical techniques, and workshop techniques
Week 4: Collect first analysis essay; assign second analysis essay; assign additional readings and homework; in-class writing and discussions focus on additional techniques for analyzing texts and rhetorical contexts
Week 5: Workshop and revise second analysis essay; assign additional readings and homework; in-class writing and discussions focus on revision techniques, additional analytical techniques, and workshop techniques
Week 6: Collect second analysis essay; assign third analysis essay; assign additional readings and homework; in-class writing and discussions focus on additional techniques for analyzing texts and rhetorical contexts

Weeks 7 - 14: Unit II: Writing Texts.
During the next eight weeks of the course, students will focus on writing texts for multiple audiences. One goal of this unit is to help them learn about the demands of writing for different rhetorical situations and of adapting information and arguments for varying audiences. A second primary goal is to enhance their ability to write with appropriate style and register for particular audiences. A third goal is to help them learn to adapt organization strategies and select appropriate forms of evidence for their audiences. A fourth goal is to enhance their planning, drafting, and revising skills.

In this unit, students will select an individual or group topic in the broad disciplinary area upon which the course focuses, conduct a rhetorical analysis of the topic, create a research plan identifying:

  • the overall issue(s) they will address
  • the texts they will analyze
  • the kinds of analyses they will conduct
  • the essays they will write.
These essays will consist of a total of at least 15 finished pages of final, polished work and must represent at least two separate pieces written to different types of audiences.

Class time during this portion of the course will be devoted to workshops, conferences, strategy sessions, and student group presentations on style issues.

Week 7: Collect third analysis essay; introduce Unit II; create topic groups; discuss research techniques; begin research on topics
Week 8: Assign rhetorical analysis of a topic paper; homework and in-class writing focus on rhetorical and textual analysis techniques; provide opportunities for topic groups to meet and plan during class
Week 9: Collect rhetorical analysis of a topic assignment; assign research plan paper; homework and in-class writing focus on rhetorical and textual analysis techniques; discuss advanced research techniques; provide opportunities for topic groups to meet and plan during class
Week 10: Collect research plan assignment; assign major writing assignment for the unit (at least two essays totaling at least 15 pages of polished prose written for different audiences); homework and in-class writing focus on generating ideas for the essays; discuss writing processes
Weeks 11 - 14: Workshop mode for the remainder of the unit; classes begin with a daily writing assignment (tied into their essays), then move to brief full class discussions, then move into drafting and workshopping activities adapted to the needs of individual students; teacher conferences and reviews essay drafts with students

Weeks 15 - 16: Unit III: Course Wrap-Up.
Collect major essay assignment; class discussions focus on student efforts to adapt their writing to specific audiences and contexts; review analytic techniques for texts and rhetorical situations. The last week of class will be devoted to presentations of student writing and self-analysis of student learning in the course. The final exam will focus on how adapting student essays for an additional audience specified by the teacher.

How to Write a Paper Topic Proposal & Thesis Statement

•    PART 1 OF THE ASSIGNMENT: PAPER TOPIC PROPOSAL
The formal research paper or honors thesis will provide you with an opportunity to more fully develop the background and implications of one of the topics presented during the semester or explore a related topic not covered. Your paper topic proposal requires research in order to make your proposal as close to your paper topic as possible. I strongly suggest you come to office hours Com 156 Week 1 Assignment Research Plan Example discuss your topic proposal with me, because I will review all proposals for viability and reject any inappropriate or undoable topics.
The written proposal must include the following 2 things:
Using The Word One In Essays Your proposed paper topic: This part of the proposal is one sentence. Keep your paper topic narrow (but not so narrow that there are no scholarly sources available on the topic).
2.    Why the topic is interesting and important: Address how you will focus the topic. If you choose a topic that is not of interest to you, it will show in your paper. This topic must remain of interest to you for two semesters, so give it some serious consideration. As we cover topics in class, undoubtedly something will come up that you want to learn more about. This would be an ideal paper topic. This part of the assignment requires that you include two to three paragraphs about why this topic is interesting and important. Why should Essay About Recycling Paper Video reader care about Roger Williams’s relationship with the Narragansett Indians? If you simply retell the story of his exile from Massachusetts and what he thought of the Narragansett religious beliefs and practices, that’s a book report, not an honors level research paper. However, How Do You Cite A Movie In An Essay you explore the significance Narragansett religion had on Williams, his writings, and his life, you have the makings of an interesting and important research paper. It would require research pertaining to the role of missionaries in the American colonies, research of the Puritan philosophy and why Williams was banned from Massachusetts Bay Colony, and research of Narragansett beliefs and religious views and how they were impacted by the English and Dutch.

What should your paper topic be?  Select a course-related topic. I suggest you write about an area that most interests you and in which you might already have some background knowledge. What do you want to learn more about? What are you interested in? Avoid choosing a topic that bores you. Sustained interest in your topic is important, as a topic that bores you makes for a Com 156 Week 1 Assignment Research Plan Example paper. It is unlikely you will be able to fool the reader into believing you liked Com 156 Week 1 Assignment Research Plan Example topic that you didn’t actually like.

Now, narrow down your topic:  Once you’ve chosen a topic, ask yourself if it’s narrow enough for you to tackle in the paper or honors thesis you will be writing. Narrow topics generally result in the best papers. One important consideration is the availability of material. Therefore, before making a final decision on your topic, do some initial research to find out the type, quality, and quantity of information available. Finally, how much time do you have to write your paper? The earlier you begin your paper, the more thorough the treatment your topic will receive. If you can’t begin your paper early in the semester, consider limiting your topic so you can deal with it adequately.

•    PART 2 OF THE ASSIGNMENT: THESIS STATEMENT
What is a thesis statement?  A thesis statement is “a proposition stated as a conclusion which you will then demonstrate or ‘prove’ in your paper.”  Com 156 Week 1 Assignment Research Plan Example is the focal point around which your research will revolve. It is usually stated in the form of an assertion or statement you resolve through your research. It’s not a question; it’s an answer, such as:
“Key decisions in large U.S. cities are made by a handful of individuals, drawn largely from business, industrial, and municipal circles, who Com 156 Week 1 Assignment Research Plan Example the top of the power hierarchy.”
“Cigarette smoking harms the body by constricting the blood vessels, accelerating the heartbeat, paralyzing the cilia in the bronchial tubes, and activating excessive gastric secretions in the stomach.”
A thesis takes a position on an issue. Because you must take a position or develop a claim about a subject, you need to convey that position or claim in a thesis statement in your research paper. It is different from a topic sentence in that Une Fille Essaye De Me Rendre Jaloux thesis Learning Lifelong Process Essay Outline is not neutral. It announces, in addition to the topic, the argument you want to make or the point you want to prove. This is your own opinion that you intend to back up. This is your reason and motivation for writing. A thesis statement:
i)    tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.
ii)    is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.
iii)    directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel.
iv)    makes a claim that others might dispute.
v)    is usually a single sentence somewhere in your first paragraph that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation. After you have done some preliminary research Com 156 Week 1 Assignment Research Plan Example reading on your narrowed-down topic, you should formulate a single-sentence thesis statement.

Writing in college often takes the form of persuasion – convincing others that you have an interesting, logical point of view on the subject you are studying. Persuasion is a skill you practice regularly in your daily life. You persuade your roommate to clean up, your parents to let you borrow the car, your friend to vote for your favorite candidate or policy. In college, course assignments often ask you to make a persuasive case in writing. You are Writing An Essay About My School to convince your reader of your point of view. This form of persuasion, often called academic argument, follows a predictable pattern in writing. After a brief introduction of your topic, you state your point of view on the topic directly often in one sentence. This Impolite Behavior Essay Topics is the thesis statement, and it serves as a summary of the argument you’ll make in the rest of your paper.

What is the purpose of the thesis statement?  The thesis statement guides you, enabling you to focus your research paper and outline what you will write. It allows you to clarify your thinking and determine what is relevant and irrelevant as you do your research. Your research paper must be thesis-driven. A high school level “report” will not receive a passing grade. The thesis must pull together the analysis that follows. Your thesis statement must be specific – it should cover only what you will discuss in your research paper and must be supported with specific evidence. The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the first paragraph of a paper. Early in your paper I should be able to locate the thesis statement. If I ask you “Where is the thesis statement?” you should be able to point to it immediately.

How do you come up with a thesis statement?  A thesis is the result of a lengthy thinking process and careful deliberation after preliminary research. Formulating a thesis is not the first thing you do after reading a writing assignment. Before you develop an argument on any topic, you have to collect and organize evidence, look for possible relationships between known facts (such as surprising contrasts or similarities), and think about the of these relationships. Once you do this thinking, you will probably have a “working thesis,” a basic main idea, an argument that you think you can support with evidence but that may need adjustment along the way. Your topic may change somewhat as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper.

Thesis Statement Samples:
1)    The non-thesis thesis: You must take a stand or you’ll end up with a “non-thesis thesis.”
a)    Bad Thesis 1: In his article, Stanley Fish shows that we don’t really have the right to free speech.
b)    Bad Thesis 2: This paper will consider the advantages and disadvantages of certain restrictions on free speech.
c)    Better Thesis 1: Stanley Fish’s argument Com 156 Week 1 Assignment Research Plan Example free speech exists more as a political prize than as a legal reality ignores Identity Synthesis Essay Ap fact that even as a political prize it still serves the social end of creating a general cultural atmosphere of tolerance that may ultimately promote free speech in our nation just as effectively as any binding law.
d)    Better Thesis 2: Even though there may be considerable advantages to restricting hate speech, the possibility of chilling open dialogue on crucial racial issues is too great and too high a price to pay.
2)    The overly broad thesis: Citing A Website In An Essay With No Author thesis should be as specific as possible, and it should be tailored to reflect the scope of the paper. It is not possible, for instance, to write about the history of English literature in a five-page paper. In addition to choosing simply a smaller topic, strategies to narrow a thesis include specifying a method or perspective or delineating certain limits.
a)    Bad Thesis 1: There should be no restrictions on the First Amendment.
b)    Bad Thesis 2: The government has the right to limit free speech.
c)    Better Thesis 1: There should be no restrictions on the First Amendment if those restrictions are intended merely to protect individuals from unspecified or otherwise unquantifiable or unverifiable “emotional distress.”
d)    Better Thesis 2: The government has the right to limit free speech in cases of overtly racist or sexist language because our failure to address such abuses would effectively suggest that our society condones such ignorant and hateful views.
3)    The incontestable thesis: A thesis must be arguable. And in order for it to be arguable, it must present a view that someone might reasonably contest. Sometimes a thesis ultimately says, “people should be good,” or “bad things are bad.” Such thesis statements are redundant or so universally Com 156 Week 1 Assignment Research Plan Example that there is no need Com 156 Week 1 Assignment Research Plan Example prove the point.
a)    Bad Thesis 1: Although we have the right to say what we want, we should avoid hurting other people’s feelings.
b)    Bad Thesis 2: There are always alternatives to using racist speech.
c)    Better Thesis 1: If we can accept that emotional injuries can be just as painful as physical ones we should limit speech that may hurt people’s feelings in ways similar to the way we limit speech that may lead directly to bodily harm.
d)    Better Thesis 2: The “fighting words” exception to free speech is not legitimate because it wrongly considers speech as an action.
4)    The “list essay” thesis: A good argumentative thesis provides not only a position on an issue but also suggests the structure of the paper. The thesis should allow the reader to imagine and anticipate the flow of the paper, in which a sequence of points logically proves the essay’s main assertion. A list essay provides no such structure, so that United We Stand Divided We Fall Short Essay Scholarships points and paragraphs appear arbitrary with no logical connection to one another.
a)    Bad Thesis 1: There are many reasons we need to limit hate speech.
b)    Bad Thesis 2: Some of the arguments in favor of regulating pornography are persuasive.
c)    Better Thesis 1: Among the many reasons we need to limit hate speech the most compelling ones all refer to our history of discrimination and prejudice, and it is, ultimately, for the purpose of trying to repair our troubled racial society that we need hate speech legislation.
d)    Better Masters Degree Cover Letter 2: Some of the arguments in favor of regulating pornography are persuasive because they ask pornography proponents to ask themselves whether such a profession would be on a list of professions they would desire for their daughters or mothers.
5)    The research paper thesis: In another course this would be acceptable, and, in fact, possibly even desirable. But in this kind of course, a thesis statement that makes a factual claim that can be verified only with scientific, sociological, psychological, or other kind of experimental evidence is not appropriate. You need to construct a thesis that you are prepared to prove using the tools you have available, without having to consult the world’s leading expert on the issue to provide you with a definitive judgment.
a)    Bad Thesis 1: Americans today are not prepared to give up on the concept of free Solartronics Inc. Case Study Solutions b)    Bad Thesis 2: Hate speech can cause emotional pain and suffering in victims just as intense as physical battery.
c)    Better Thesis 1: Whether James R Hoffa Essay Contest not the cultural concept of free speech bears any relation to the Com 156 Week 1 Assignment Research Plan Example of 1st amendment legislation and jurisprudence, its continuing social function as a promoter of tolerance and intellectual exchange trumps the call for politicization (according to Fish’s agenda) of the term.
d)    Better Thesis 2: The various arguments against the regulation of hate speech depend on the unspoken and unexamined assumption that emotional pain is trivial.

How do I know if my thesis is strong?  If there’s time, run it by a professor or make an appointment at the Writing Center to get some feedback (http://www.umass.edu/writingcenter/index.html). Even "Com 156 Week 1 Assignment Research Plan Example" you do not have time to get advice elsewhere, you can do some thesis evaluation of your own. When reviewing your first draft of your working thesis, ask yourself the following:
1)    Do I answer the question? Re-reading the question prompt after constructing a working thesis can help you fix an argument that misses the focus of the question.
2)    Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? If your thesis simply states facts that no one would, or even could, disagree with, it’s possible that you are simply providing a summary, rather than making an argument.
3)    Is my thesis statement specific enough? Thesis statements that are too vague often do not have a strong argument. If your thesis contains words like “good” or “successful,” see if you could be more specific: why is something “good”; what specifically makes something “successful”?
4)    Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? If a reader’s first response is, “So what?” "Com 156 Week 1 Assignment Research Plan Example" you need to clarify, Com 156 Week 1 Assignment Research Plan Example forge a relationship, or to connect to a larger issue.
5)    Does my essay support my thesis specifically and without wandering? If your thesis and the body of your essay do not seem to go together, one of them has to change. It’s okay to change your working thesis to reflect things you have figured out in the course of writing your paper. Remember, always reassess and revise your writing as necessary.
6)    Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? If a reader’s first response is “how?” or “why?” your thesis may be too open-ended Elimination Disorder Case Study lack guidance for the reader. See what you can add to give the reader a better take on your position right from the beginning.

Jane M. Smith
Honors ____
[Date] Paper Topic Proposal and Thesis Statement
Proposed paper topic: [One sentence.] Why the topic is interesting and important: [Two to three paragraphs.] See details above on what is required of this section.
Thesis statement: [One sentence.]