Project #83756 - Online Learning

Planning Your Essay

Now that you have read and analyzed the three articles, and critiqued the sample student essays, it is time to start thinking about how you want to focus your essay! There are many ways to approach this.

Remember that a research paper is based on facts and information that you find through research, but the words and ideas are your own. What you do not want to do in a research paper is simply summarize your sources. A research essay is NOT a summary of what you've read. You need to find your own unique, original approach to bring the material together and add your own viewpoints.

In addition, your research essay may require a different style of writing. For example, all three of the articles given to you are written in a very conversational, journalistic style, and yet your research essay (using the source material from those essays) must be more formal and academic.

To start this essay, go back over the articles. Try to pick out one or two main themes, or main ideas, that appeal to you from the articles. For example, perhaps you are returning to college after years in the business world, and take online classes to juggle your busy schedule. Or perhaps you are finding that online courses require a different set of study skills. The main goal here is that you take the information from the articles, analyze it, and synthesize your own thoughts and ideas about it into your own essay.

In addition to looking at the articles again, you should spend some time prewriting, like you did for the first essay. You can also add your own examples to the paper, so it might help you to think about some experiences you have had. You can also choose to write your thesis statement and use it to plan the paper, or plan the paper and then write your thesis statement.

It's also a good idea to plan your use of source material. Too many quotations will be a problem, since there won't be enough of your own writing. Too much from one source can make a paper seem biased (or copied). Balance is the key, and it's a good idea to plan for this balance early on.

Spend as much time as you need prewriting, in order to begin drafting at the beginning of next week. Feel free to double-check your topic with me via email before you commit to the work involved in the essay plan.

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Due By (Pacific Time) 09/27/2015 03:00 pm
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