Build a foundation for the other essays you will write for this class—the Synthesis Paper, and the Argumentative Essay.

Purpose
The purpose of this assignment is to build a foundation for the other essays you will write for this class—the Synthesis Paper, and the Argumentative Essay. You can build this foundation by recounting everything you know about the topic you have chosen at the beginning of the research process, including the significance of the topic, your personal involvement with it, and how you learned what you know so far. You will then address some of the gaps in your current knowledge, what you hope to learn through your project, and how you plan to address the gaps in your knowledge.


Topics: This essay sequence will culminate in your Argumentative Essay. Thus, it is imperative that you choose a topic that is sustainable through three essays. Your topic should focus on an issue that has sparked ongoing conversation across a state, nation, or the world(ex: the rising costs of prescription drugs; toxic fandoms; the difficulties faced by undocumented immigrants in the U.S.; investing in alternative energy technologies; proposed solutions to cleaning the world’s oceans; etc.). The goal for the argumentative essay is to provide a new and developing angle on a topic that is being debated. Thus, you must choose a topic that will allow you to take a stand and argue your viewpoint, not a topic that is solely research based. For example, global warming or obesity are topics that would lead to a “C” papers, as we already know the main contributing factors and dangers involved in each. A better version of such topics would be to research the developing field of green architecture, or how obesity affects mental cognition.

Strong research questions are vital. You should also argue for why your topic is interesting, important, or timely (kairos). Avoid “data dumps” or arguments; you are not yet required to perform research, you are merely outlining your research plan. Do not attempt to answer your research questions in this paper—rather tell us what you hope to learn about your topic during the semester and how you will go about answering your research questions.

Format
Your Proposal should be in the form of a Word document. Your document should be double-spaced, have a one-inch margin on all sides, and be done in a 12-point font.

Course Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate rhetorical awareness of diverse audiences, situations, and contexts
  2. Compose a variety of texts in a range of forms
  3. Critically think about writing and rhetoric through reading, analysis, and reflection
  4. Perform research and evaluate sources to support claims

Contents
In your Proposal, which should run about 1000-1250 words, you will need to:

· Develop a title

· Introduce and delineate the topic you will be writing about (including any necessary context)

· Explain why you believe your topic is interesting and important (stakes and exigence)

· Describe your personal experience related to your topic, if applicable; or explain why the topic interests you

· Develop and state questions addressing what you would like to find out about your topic (your research questions)

Note: It is not necessary to address these issues in this order; for example, you might want to begin your proposal with a narrative about your experience with the topic. Just make sure you fully answer each of the bullet points.

Suggestions for Drafting Your Proposal

· Give yourself at least two to three uninterrupted hours to develop your draft

· Start by making some notes regarding what you would like to include in each section

· Draft each section separately before trying to tie them together

· Give your draft a title after you have completed it

Audience
· Your audience for this paper, as well as for all the papers to follow, will be the members of this class. As such, you will need to consider and provide any context necessary for understanding your topic.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY AND PLAGIARISM: Academic integrity is one of the highest values that Purdue University holds. Individuals are encouraged to alert university officials to potential breeches of this value by either emailing integrity@purdue.edu or by calling 765-494-8778. While information may be submitted anonymously, the more information that is submitted provides the greatest opportunity for the university to investigate the concern.

When writers use material from other sources, they must acknowledge this source. Not doing so is called plagiarism, which means using without credit the ideas or expression of another. You are therefore cautioned (1) against using, word for word, without acknowledgment, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, etc. from the printed or manuscript material of others; (2) against using with only slight changes the materials of another; (3) against using the general plan, the main headings, or a rewritten form of someone else’s material. These cautions apply to the work of other students as well as to the published work of professional writers. Penalties for plagiarism vary from failure of the plagiarized assignment to expulsion from the university, and may include failure for the course and notification of the Dean of Students’ Office.

You should become familiar with the following websites related to Purdue’s rules and regulations. Purdue University’s Student Conduct Code at www.purdue.edu/studentregulations/student_conduct/index.html

Purdue University’s student regulations at www.purdue.edu/studentregulations/student_conduct/regulations.html The section on plagiarism is under Student Conduct, B, 2, a.

If you still have questions about what is and is not plagiarism, do not hesitate to ask me in class, in my office, or via e-mail.

Grading Guide
· Content (30 points): quantity, quality and interest of the material (relevance, creativity, appropriateness, originality, etc.)

· Organization (20 points): paragraph development, introduction and conclusion, development within the body of the essay, etc.

· Vocabulary (20 points): quality, accuracy, and range of word choices

· Grammar (20 points): correctness of the grammar (sentence level: verb tense, subject verb agreement, etc.)

· Conventions (10 points): punctuation, overall look, delivery, & professionalism of the paper (layout, fonts, etc.)

A – Essay meets and exceeds expectations: the proposal demonstrates original thought and a clear understanding of the stakes and exigence of the issue; includes explicit discussion of the student’s interest in the topic, what the student hopes to learn, including his/her research plan, and clearly his/her identifies research question(s). The proposal is properly formatted in MLA style, proofread and relatively free of errors, and meets the word requirement.

B – Essay meets nearly all expectations: the proposal demonstrates original thought and a clear understanding of the issue; can more clearly establish the stakes and exigence of the issue; or can include a more explicit discussion of the student’s interest in the topic, what the student hopes to learn, his/her research plan, or his/her research question(s). The proposal is properly formatted in MLA style, proofread and relatively free of errors, and meets the word requirement.

C – Essay meets most of the expectations: the proposal shows some degree of original student thought in consideration of the sources available, but ultimately may not address the stakes and exigence of the issue. May not include one or two of the following criteria: discussion of the student’s interest in the topic, what the student hopes to learn, his/her research plan, or his/her research question(s). The proposal is formatted in MLA style, but may have numerous typos, suggesting a failure to proofread, and may be short of the word requirement.

D – Essay barely meets expectations: the proposal fails to establish original student thought; and may not consider the stakes and exigence of the issue. The proposal is missing at least two of the following criteria: discussion of the student’s interest in the topic, his/her research plan, or his/her research question(s). The proposal has considerable typos, errors, and/or incoherent sentences that impact clarity and suggest a failure to proofread; does not meet the word requirement.

F – Essay does not meet expectations: does not present original student thought or consideration of the stakes and exigence of the issue OR include a research plan.

  • Grades additionally include plus or minus scores (ex: A-, B+, et cetera demonstrating degree to which students met or did not meet expectations/requirements described in each respective grading bracket).

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