Research Paper Assignment
This class will culminate in a research paper on a topic of your choosing related to some aspect of emerging adulthood within the parameters outlined here. We will spend the rest of the semester working on aspects of this paper, so the sooner you choose a topic, the sooner you can start working toward writing it.
The purpose of this paper is for you to demonstrate that you can create relevant context for an identifiable audience, and convey solid understanding of a topic that is informed by academic research. The final paper should show that you can find and incorporate secondary sources, properly cite them, both in-text and in the bibliography, and use skills such as summary, synthesis, and analysis to produce a paper with a clear argument. Successfully writing this paper will demonstrate that you have met all of the objectives for this course.
Identify a problem, concern, challenge, or opportunity facing some group of emerging adults. Provide background information and context for understanding this problem, including who this group of emerging adults is, and how we should approach it. Keep in mind, part of this paper will be defining your terms, including the nature of the issue, evidence of the scale or scope of the problem, the group of emerging adults most affected by it, and who should address it (parents, emerging adults, teachers, tech companies, legislatures, etc.). Your paper must include a solid argument and be grounded in academic research and supported with data.
Your paper should address the following:
Define the problem/issue/challenge/opportunity facing some group of emerging adults. What is it? What evidence is there that this is not just a pet concern of yours, but is something that affects a measurable group of emerging adults? Explain relevant context so that we can understand the nature of this problem and why it matters.
Define the group. Who is this sub-group of emerging adults? What do we know about them? Why does this group deserve our attention?
Define the impact. How do we measure the impact this problem/challenge/opportunity has on this group of emerging adults? Does it affect all of them equally, irrespective of age, gender, geography, social class, ethnicity, education, or other similar factors? Are some hit harder than others? How, in what ways, are they affected? How do we know? Use data to quantify this problem.
What should we do about it? This question actually contains two. Who should do something about it? (Parents? Legislators? Teachers? Universities? Emerging adults? Coaches?) What evidence is there that we can/should do better? I want to see some evidence-driven approaches that could produce better outcomes for this group.
Anticipate and address 2 counterarguments. These counterarguments can appear in any part of the paper, including how you define the group, the problem, the nature of the concern, or what to do about it.
As a result, your paper will present an argument—grounded in academic evidence—in favor of some kind of response that some group of people should make to remedy or ameliorate a problem facing some portion of emerging adults.
The paper may include as many of our class readings as you wish, but you must have 8 academic sources that do not come from our course. Academic sources include: scholarly books, book chapters, and articles in peer-reviewed journals. Newspaper articles, advertisements, websites, tweets, blog posts, examples from popular culture and the like are welcome, but do not count toward the 8 outside academic sources. All citations—both in-text and in the works cited—should be consistent, in MLA format.
Each paper will vary in the amount of space it gives to each of these, but all papers should incorporate the following information:
introduction to the paper
relevant context/background information
your argument and supporting evidence, including data
satisfying conclusion that does not merely restate the introduction or summarize the paper, but instead explains why this topic/your argument matters or where we go from here.
At least 8 pages in length (Note: bibliography does not count toward the page limit)
1″ margins on all sides
Times New Roman
Includes page numbers
In order to break this paper into manageable steps, you will complete a series of scaffolded assignments, which are designed to help you to research and write this paper. They will consist in the following:
Quizzes (2 @ 4% each) 8%
Annotated Bib 6%
Source Synthesis 10%
Context Paper & outline 10%
Research Paper 21%
No two students can work on the same topic. I must approve all topics. Please reach out to me if you are having difficulty finding a topic. I enjoy helping students to find a topic that they will enjoy researching and writing.
I must see this paper in progress. I will not accept your research paper if you have not also handed in the annotated bibliography, the source synthesis, and the context paper/outline. For more information on Aspect of Emerging Adulthood see this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adult_development
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