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Prof. R. Werner ENG 101 Fall 2018: Home


This guide will  help you with your:

1) Research Proposal

ompose a 700-word formal document that describes your plan for the Unit 3 Research Essay.


What question do you plan to address and how will you go about finding an answer?

Your Research Proposal must include the following sections:

Topic & Question Describe the topic and the specific question you hope to address.
What I Know, Assume, or Imagine What do you already know about the topic and question? What don’t you already know about the topic and question? What do you hope to learn?
Significance Address the questions “So what? Who cares?” Why does this topic/question matter to you? Why should it matter to anyone else?
  • Identify a published essay on your topic question.
  • Summarize the essay’s argument (identifying the claim and key reasons/evidence). If helpful, use templates from They Say, I Say Chapter 2 & 3.
  • State your own view and explain how it compares to the argument presented. If helpful, use templates from They Say, I Say Chapter 4.
Plan What kinds of sources could be helpful to answer your question? What will you be looking for in terms of credible and useful sources?


2) Research Essay

  1. What I Knew, Assumed, or Imagined. Describe your prior knowledge and understanding of the topic and question, before you began the project. Yes, you may adapt this section from your Proposal.
  2. What I Discovered. Describe the information and ideas you gathered. Organize this section as a chronological narrative (like a story) recording the steps of the discovery process. Don’t share every detail; instead, highlight key findings and happenings, the ones that really impacted your perspective. Feel free to include missteps and mistakes you may have made along the way.
  3. Reflections. Reflect on what you found and draw some conclusions. Compare what you thought you knew, assumed, or imagined, with what you actually discovered. Discuss what you still hope to learn about this topic/question, and reflect on how you might further share or act on what you have learned.

3) Outreach Piece

Compose a written piece that draws on your academic research but “reaches out” to a wider, public audience. Your document should...


  • target a specific public audience
  • share your research (from Unit 3)
  • connect that research to a specific public issue or problem
  • present an argument, persuading readers to take a certain action or adopt a certain way of thinking

You will decide which genre to write in, but it must be a public genre (not an academic essay). Possibilities include:

  • letter to the editor (for the Viking News, Journal News, LoHud)
  • social media post
  • brochure or flyer
  • Website
  • Political cartoon

 Your piece must make an argument, no matter what genre you write in. Argument, in this context, means…

  • making an overall claim (a big, debatable idea you want readers to consider)
  • supporting that claim with reasons (smaller ideas that explain the big idea)
  • providing evidence for those reasons (specifics that firm up those smaller ideas)
  • offering counterarguments that acknowledge and respond to contrasting perspectives


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