Project Introduction Assignment

Length

100-200 words (not including citation and any quoted matter that you may choose to include)

Due

End of Week 1.  Submit your work through the “Project Introduction” link in Week 1.

Preparation

Please first review the Final Research Project assignment and any feedback you received on your project plan in the “Research Project” Week 1 Workshop. Please also complete the News Search Activity and the Web Search Activity, and review the week-one reading on identifying sources.
( http://info260.hcommons.org/?p=30 ).

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Purpose

The goal of this writing assignment is to help you develop and communicate an introductory knowledge of your topic. In writing the Project Introduction, you will strengthen your own sense of the inquiry you are conducting, and you will develop a piece of introductory writing that you will likely be able to revise and re-use in later versions of the project.

Writing

This writing assignment will serve as your first submission of edited prose in ILR 260. Use complete sentences, correct spelling and punctuation, etc.

Contents

Your report will consist of a single paragraph that introduces your topic and research question. Within this paragraph you will concisely reference a web or news source that helps you set up your question for readers. You will also provide a correctly formatted APA citation for this source (if you are a humanities major—for example, English, Philosophy, Art, etc.— use MLA ).

The type of source you reference is up to you. A news source can provide you with data to help establish the scope or significance of the question you are pursuing. A reliable website can provide similar data, or an expert opinion, or some key terms. Even an unreliable website can be useful in an introduction: for example, it might provide you with an example of a type of misinformation or fear-mongering that swirls around your topic.

Checklist tool

Here is a checklist you can use to construct your introduction one step at a time:

□ Write at least one sentence introducing the general topic.

Notes:

* Be careful not to make #1 overly broad (“The Internet has brought many changes to American society”).

* Avoid clichéd openings (for example: “In today’s society…,” “Throughout history…”).

□ Write at least one sentence introducing the narrowed topic.

□ Write at least one sentence in which you reference a news source or web source.

Notes:

* Remember that in this class we are using a combination of academic citation and journalistic/everyday citation, so do not simply drop a parenthetical citation into the introductory paragraph. There should be something in the actual sentence or sentences leading up to the citation that identifies the source. (Examples appear farther down on this page. See also this week’s reading on identifying sources.)

* It’s up to you where this appears in the paragraph. In the examples below the source reference appears around the middle of the paragraph, but a source reference might also work well as an attention-grabbing paragraph opener.)

* The opening paragraph of a research paper needn’t always contain a source reference. This requirement has been built into the Project Introduction assignment because 1) a source reference is often a useful addition to an introduction, and 2) source-integration is challenging, so we need to begin practicing this skill early in the course.

□ Present your research question.

□ Include a complete and correct citation for the source you’ve cited

Note:

* We will practice news source citation and web source citation during week 1. If you’re unsure of how to cite a source, ask!  One of the purposes of ILR 260 is to help you navigate the complexities of academic citation

Examples

Here are two examples of Project Introductions:

EXAMPLE 1

Sofia Student
ILR 260

The first video games emerged in the late 1970s with poor graphics and a low amount of depicted violence. Since then, video games have become much more violent with far more sophisticated graphics making the games seem almost lifelike. This has prompted concerns from the media and mental health professionals–concerns that frequently resurface in the wake of school shootings. For example, following a 2006 school shooting in Montreal, the Associated Press reported that the shooter had been “fascinated” by the video game “Super Columbine Massacre” (“Columbine game ‘fascinated killer,’” 2006). Did violent video game play lead this young man to go to school with a gun? Is there a cause-and-effect relationship between video game violence and real-life violence and aggression?

Columbine game ‘fascinated killer’. (September 15, 2006 ). Yorkshire Post. Retrieved from www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/lnacademic

EXAMPLE 2

Sam Student
ILR 260
Media consumption has changed: Train and airline passengers are now more likely to be watching a video or tapping out messages on a phone than reading a book or newspaper, and the traditional letter is a historical artifact, replaced by email, which itself seems increasingly fusty compared with texting. Many internet users have begun to experience the uncomfortable sense that the internet is affecting not just how they access information, but their capacity for sustained and careful attention. Is it possible that the increasing dominance of short-form and visual types of communication in our daily lives is weakening our capacity for creating and comprehending lengthier and more substantive forms of communication, such as in-depth articles, historical novels, and detailed reports? In a much-debated 2008 article the media critic Nicholas Carr posed this provocative question:  Is Google making us stupid?  Google does not represent the entire internet, and “stupid” is a strong word.   But the question remains:  Is the internet reducing our attention spans and thereby reducing our capacity for deep thinking?

Carr, N. (2008, July 1). Is Google making us stupid? The Atlantic. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/306868

 
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