Mrs. Karla Lyles
Assignment #1: Exploratory Essay
Purpose: To build an introductory understanding of research and writing in the student’s
Audience: A fellow student who is a beginning researcher and who would like to learn about
the research and writing in the student’s discipline.
Learning Objectives: To learn how to:
1. Locate academic and/or professional (with prior instructor permission) journals in the
2. Identify current research topics of interest and importance in the student’s discipline as
well as outside of it to the general public;
3. Read an academic or professional journal article published in the student’s discipline to
understand how academics/professionals communicate with each other;
4. Practice summary of sources; and
5. Use APA citation style to document sources.
1. Compile a list of at least 5 academic (and/or professional, with prior instructor
permission) journals published in your discipline. During our library information session
the librarian will instruct you on search strategies you can use to learn about journals
published in your discipline.
2. Determine the significance of the journal to the discipline. For example, learn the impact
factor (we will discuss what this is during our library session) of each journal (*you may
not be able to find the impact factor for all of the journals you select, but you should be
able to find it for most academic journals); the history of each journal (how long it has
been published, its status as a foundational or premier journal, etc.); the credentials of
those associated with the journal (the editorial board, organization that publishes the
journal, etc.); etc.
3. For this next step choose one of the following two options:
a. Search a library database such as Newspaper Source or a website such as Google
News for the title of one of the journals you found. Your goal here is to see
whether you can locate at least one news article that references the journal.
b. Access the most recent issues of the journals you found and skim through the
article titles to learn what the current topics are that the journals are publishing on.
Search a library database such as Newspaper Source or a website such as Google
News for the topic of one of the journal articles you found. Your goal here is to
see whether you can locate at least one news article that focuses on the same topic
that was the topic of research published in a journal.
4. Select and read a popular article from the results of your search in Step 3.
5. Now, select an academic or professional (with prior instruction permission) journal
article about the same or a similar topic. If you chose option b for Step 3 then you could
Mrs. Karla Lyles
use the same journal article whose topic you used to find a popular article. Read that
6. Draft your paper, narrating the steps you took in your research process as well as
summarizing what you learned from the news and academic/professional journal articles
you selected. Also discuss your initial thoughts on the research topics in your discipline
that you learned about from completing this assignment, including your (dis)interest in
continuing to learn about those or related topics.
7. Revise and edit your draft for peer review.
8. Revise and edit your rough draft based on the peer feedback you received.
9. Submit a polished final draft of your paper as a hard copy in class on the due date.
Format: This assignment should be 2-4 double spaced pages using 12 point Times New Roman
font and standard margins. Follow APA style for in-text citations and your References page.
Also include a title page, which does not count toward the required page limit. An abstract page
is not required for this assignment, and if included it will not count toward the required page
Assessment: This assignment will count for 10% of the student’s final course grade.
|Due By (Pacific Time)||02/10/2014 12:00 am|
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