Research paper:politics and media
Research paper:politics and media
PROMPT/ASSIGNMENT: Don’t be intimidated: this project may look and sound complicated, but it has a pretty simple main goal: to help you become comfortable with using library databases to do research. Also, it aims to help you become more comfortable with the process of asking your own research questions. To do that, you’ll go through several steps on your way to finding sources to write about in your multi-source essay.You will be finding and discussing sources from library databases as you define, articulate, and answer a research question related to issues discussed in class. You won’t be doing experimental research, like Wilson with his ants. Instead, you’ll be researching to locate a conversation about an issue and then to join the conversation with a point of view based on what you’ve learned.Be aware that this project is not asking you to first develop a thesis, and then to find evidence to confirm it. That would be demonstrating the influence of Bacon’s Idol of the Theater: “The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion. . . draws all things else to support and agree with it” (595). Postman asked, “how is it possible that no more than one in one hundred students has ever been exposed to an extended and systematic study of the art and science of question-asking?” (286). For this assignment, you’ll be thinking about question-asking as well as research.Topic: Iris Murdoch’s essay “Morality and Religion” starts with “a question about the relation of morality to religion” (760). Your essay will start with “a question about the relation of ___________ to________. It’s up to you to fill in the blanks, but, so that as a class there are some common aspects to the research, I’m asking you to follow the guidelines below. The words you put into both blanks should be connected to something we read about in class.*For the first blank, choose from the following: either a term related to “information pollution,” or “voting,” or “ethics.” (These terms connect with the essays we read by Bacon, by Rousseau, and by Gazzaniga and others. For information pollution, you can use that term or choose any connected term: “fake news,” “disinformation,” “misinformation,” “propaganda”; or “information,” “truth,” “facts,” etc.). *Fill in the second blank with your choice of another term related to a text we’ve read in class. Suggestions for the second blank could be: democracy, education, feminism, choice, civil society, the social contract, slavery, science, politics, technology, morality, government, the brain/the mind. . .If you like, you have the option to fill in both your blanks with a combination of the alternatives I suggested for the first blank: for instance, “what is the relation between information and voting?” or “what is the relation between voting and ethics?”*Caution: don’t make your question a strictly historical question. In other words, don’t ask something like: what is the relation of misinformation to the Medici, rulers at the time of Machiavelli?” Instead, aim to connect your question with issues that people are debating today. *Your question should also not be something like “Why does the political party I disagree with believe or promote fake news?” which could lead to an answer like: “because they are idiots.”Instead, your initial question could be something like: “What is the relation between the brain and information?” or “What is the relation between education and voting?” or “What is the relation between science and fake news?” *The original question is only a research starting point, aimed at helping you locate a conversation that you find interesting and that connects with issues raised by the reading we’ve done. For instance, “what is the relation between information and slavery?” might lead you to an article on the fight against modern day slavery. In that case, though your keyword search started with a term related to the text we read by Frederick Douglass, your research question could end up focusing on what can and should be done to address the issue of slavery today.*To successfully complete the assignment, you will keep revising the question based on information you find, until you come up with a question that leads to an arguable or debatable response.*You will be responsible for defining your terms in the essay. “Fake news” means different things depending on who is using the phrase. Similarly, it’s up to you to define what you are thinking of with the terms “information,” “misinformation,” and “voting.” If you want to use a different word for any of these terms, check with me.Requirements: *To get started, do a library database search using your two keywords/keyword phrases as a starting point. We’ll work on this during our first Shatford Library session. Remember, your starting point is just a starting point. You’re looking to see what kinds of articles those keywords connect you to. Once you have few articles related to your keywords, you can follow wherever those articles take you. Ask me about this if you are confused.*Use library search tools to help you find resources related to your question. Your goal is to write a multi-source essay, so the aim is to find a variety of sources that you can discuss in your essay.*In consultation with the teacher, librarians, and peers, and with the assistance of your library research, refine your original question so that it is “focused (not too broad), challenging(not just factual), and grounded (not too speculative)” (Writer’s Ref. 405-08: R1-b).Example: The question “What is the relation between information and slavery” could morph into “What is the United States doing to address the problem of forced labor/modern slavery, and should it be doing more?”*Continue your library research to find sources that help you clarify your thinking on the topic, and that help you come up with a reasonable, focused, interesting answer to your question. *Write an essay in which, in an introduction, you explicitly state both your revised question and your answer to the question. In the body of the essay, define your terms and explain and defend your answer, using your sources and your own analysis.
*Somewhere in the essay, establish your essay’s connection with the text that relates to your original keyword, and address your research process, by discussing the text, your original question, and how the question evolved. (Use “I” for this section.)*Document your sources using MLA 8th edition format.******************************************************************************This assignment is similar to other assignments for this class in that it asks you to write an argumentative (thesis-driven) essay, with support for the thesis based on summary and analysis of texts. This assignment differs from other assignments for the class in that you will pose the starting point question yourself. Also, support for your thesis will come from the sources you locate using Shatford Library databases. Remember this from World of Ideas: “One of the most reliable ways to start writing is to ask a question and then to answer it. In many ways, that is what the writers in this book have done again and again” (12). Read pages 12-13 for more about research questions.The Rules for Writers/Writer’s Reference sections on research will tell you everything you need to know to complete this assignment – be sure to do the reading as assigned (see syllabus, Canvas). Use Michael Gazzaniga’s “Toward a Universal Ethics” (787-98) as a model for your paper: Provide an intro that defines the issue and presents a research question and an answer to the question (the thesis). Use headings to identify important topics addressed in the body of the essay. Under those headings, provide background/context/arguments from sources relating to the question. Use quotation sandwiches to incorporate sources. In the conclusion, “remind readers of the essay’s main idea without repeating it” (Rules for Writers 25, Writer’s Ref. 19).
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