Research Essay Basics Attached are research essay basics: DRAFT is due Wed., April 13. FINAL RESEARCH ESSAY: You Must Complete Each Step to Receive a grade on this final project. (Second version). First, conduct basic research. Read Sundance Reader selections and watch PBS videos related to “The American Dream” in "Confronting Issues." DEVELOP a focused, challenging and grounded research question about your generation being able to achieve "The American Dream," or not being able to, as your generation's ability or inability to achieve that dream relates to a debatable social policy issue, i.e., unemployment, foreclosures, income inequity, pay equity, quality education, free college tuition, homeownership or homelessness; anything but raising the minimum wage. How does a particularly social issue help or hurt your chances of obtaining "the dream?" Then, write a simple informal draft outline of a minimum eight-paragraphs (about 4 pages) researched and documented essay. SPEND TIME ON YOUR THESIS: In your essay, your thesis should center on what action should be taken about a current social issue related to The American Dream that we have discussed from the selections in The Sundance Reader or the PBS documentaries. A possible thesis statement could be: "As Alexander Cockburn states in his essay "Why We Should Raise the Minimum Wage" published in The Sundance Reader, the current minimum wage of $7.25 should be raised to provide workers the means to pay for goods which will improve the overall U.S. economy" (Conelly 411). Then you incorporate the objective data you have collected from other sources to support your thesis. ESSAY FORMAT (Structure): Remember to: (1) A: assert a strong, direct thesis (a persuasive argument or solution) in your intro, using your SR story or video as your springboard to that social issue; (2) write a definition graph in which you define your issue "in a nutshell" and that provides basic background information about the scope/problem/impact/of the issue; (3-5) B: backup your thesis/argument with objective facts and data in three separate graphs; (6) include an opposing viewpoint (7) give your overall analysis and opinion based on the data collected; and (8) in the conclusion, issue a call to action, or a recommend a solution for readers and/or public policy makers to do something specific to remedy your issue. Remember to quote from your primary and secondary sources. NO-NO: Wikipedia is NOT an acceptable source. Next, you'll be asked to freewrite about your essay, and you may have a self-assessment quiz about your progress, next week. Then, write a rough draft of an essay that is a combination of analysis and research (sourced and documented), again based on an social issue related to The American Dream in one of the videos we watched -- 740 Park Avenue. The United States of ALEC, or There Goes the Neighbourhood -- and the stories we've read The Sundance Reader (SR): gentrification, tax rates, pay equity, immigration reform, the dwindling middle class, etc. Remember, the story or video will be your primary source. You will need to find other secondary sources, including a newspaper, magazine or news website article or commentary; a scholarly journal; an online book; a visual that relates to the SR story and features a current news event that illustrates in real time the social issue that you have chosen. These secondary sources should provide additional basic facts and figures about your issue. You will write a cover sheet, and an abstract in APA style; an Outline, and the rest of the 4-page, double-spaced essay with in-text citations in MLA style including the first page and Works Cited page. You will also need a visual, a picture or chart, that will be referenced in your essay. UPDATE: We will have a MANDATORY peer editing session of your DRAFT on WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13. BRING IN TWO PRINTED COPIES of your draft: one for me; one for your classmate partner to edit at the VERY BEGINNING OF CLASS. Your grade will be deducted if you are late or do not follow this step and you will be dismissed early. I will be available for personal consultations after class, and possibly by phone or by appointment. Finally, Presentations of a summary of your Final Persuasive/Research Essay: This is a mandatory assignment; you must be present on WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27 and MONDAY, MAY 2 when we will start presentations. You will be required to write a list of your classmates' presentations as proof of your attendance, meaning you must be present for everyone's presentations, unless you have prior permission to be absent or to leave early . Please try to keep your presentation within the 3-5 minute timeframe. PowerPoint is optional. You will present the basic elements to your classmates, including your title, your thesis, your basic backup data or details, the opposing view, and your conclusion. Also show or pass around your visual aid. You can check the Sundance Reader, The Bedford Handbook handout, or owl.english.purdue.edu in NOVA Library services website for examples of research essays and papers. I will be looking for evidence that you conducted outside research based on the objective information and data you include in your paper.