Research Essay – Informative / Causal Analysis – with a
Make a Difference or Potential Solutions Goal
|Introduce and Define the Issue, Trend
This essay often begins with trend-tracking, historical, or discovery-based information.
Examples: First we must imagine (future), a deeper look inside, an engaging or thought-provoking trend.
Make your Need for Awareness – The “Focus” of What We Must Understand (Thesis).
“Make a Difference” pieces often illustrate and shape Why We May Need to Change or Re-Direct our Focus.
Examine Recent History & Development
Provide the recent History, Background, Explanation – What has led to this trend or issue?
Synthesis is Key: Make interesting connections./Create a through-line of development./Illustrate the focus.
Illustrate an In-Depth Understanding / Propose a Solution (which may be Awareness)
Build an Awareness necessary for Understanding Issue – or – Present Steps toward Achieving a Solution.
Supportive Research illustrates that Change May Be Necessary – or – This Solution Could Work.
The Body of Your Essay = Credible, Well-Integrated Evidence
Statements and illustrations are supported by specific details, examples, facts, statistics, stories.
Anticipate Likely Objections
Respond to obstacles or objections to awareness and solutions. / What are readers being asked to DO?
The placement of this portion of the essay is up to you:
A paragraph or two may appear directly after the introduction and thesis.
A paragraph or two may appear directly before the conclusion.
Individual passages may be interwoven (braided) throughout the body of supporting research.
Think: Change is Difficult – How can you present the possibility for change?
Conclusion: Illustrate Insight & Possibility
The conclusion revisits the need for, and builds the possibility of, potential change(s).
Provide a Take-Forward for the Reader. Predict the future. Frame the Change. Make it Possible.
Guidelines – Make A Difference / Propose a Solution Research Essay
Subject Matter: Joining a Discourse Community
Your Make a Difference or Solution-Oriented Research Essay may be written on any topic of interest to you. However, rather than argue about whether or not a new technological trend or social problem is “right” or “wrong,” set out to appreciate and understand the complexities, the deep-rooted questions that lead you and your reader to examine this issue or trend in a new way. How did this issue develop and what continues to drive this trend? You are not writing to “prove” a point. You are not writing to persuade. You are writing, first and foremost, to increase awareness and provide insights – to give readers reason to pause and consider how we fit into, contribute to, are affected by this trend.
Paper Length: 8-10 pages of text plus the Works Cited page, for a total of 9-11 pages.
Sources: 8-10 reliable, diverse, in-depth sources = minimum. You may use and cite more than 8 sources.
A general rule of research includes reading at least one detailed, in-depth source per finished page when utilizing research to illustrate and support your ideas. The key here is the quality of sources: authority, credibility, intent. You may use as few as 8 sources if you use in-depth and/or book-length sources. If you are using articles or brief research studies only, use at least 10 sources. This range allows for a mix of long and short sources.
Purpose of Sources:
Some sources may help you define and provide the history of this problem; others – at least 4 significant sources and most likely more – will help you illustrate (show, connect, support) your ideas for solving this problem and/or the need to create awareness around this issue or trend.
Provide a Moving Introduction and History:
Depending on your topic, you may spend 10-50% of your essay (word length) introducing, defining, and providing the development of the issue you’re writing about. Remember: as individuals, we don’t like being asked to make changes. Therefore, one of the first goals of this type of awareness-oriented piece is to make people aware of the roots and implications of the problem. In short: give readers time and cause to examine well-researched complexities, new insights, and potential implications.
Body of the Essay: Investigating and Illustrating / Awareness and/or Potential Solutions
The body of your article will address the changes the reader needs to make, either by becoming educated and informed or by becoming part of the solution. Your sources will help you educate your reader and/or illustrate that there are steps and ways to improve this situation. Some of your research and cited sources may directly address the issue, others may offer more “oblique” insights or present laterally effective ways that similar solutions have been applied to similar problems. You must illustrate, with properly cited sources used to support, at least (3) areas for understanding or achieving the change you’re asking the reader to make and/or to understand. This is your “Make a Difference” effort. Educate. Inform. Show the reader what awareness and insight can accomplish.
Your reader should leave with an “I can do it” sense; a feeling that the specific knowledge and efforts you’ve shared are valuable and can lead to necessary insight and/or action.
Format – MLA or APA Depending on Subject Matter:
Page & [Running] Header Format / Properly Cited In-Text Citations / Works Cited [References] Page / No Title Page.
Make sure your sources are properly cited for all summaries and all paraphrased or quoted passages.
Remember to integrate sources smoothly with proper cueing or signal phrases and attention to context.
Issue/Trend;Cosmetic Surgery Tends To Become Popular Nowadays
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