The purpose of Essay 3 is to introduce you to academic research techniques (or to sharpen your skills, if you are already an old hand at research). Additionally, the assignment will ground you in the basics of MLA (Modern Language Association) format: MLA format employs parenthetical citation of sources rather than footnoting, and is widely used in the humanities. PREPARATION FOR THE ESSAY 3 ASSIGNMENT: ‘Finding and Documenting Sources’: Brief Bedford Reader, pp. 491-519 ACC Library MLA Guide (includes link to printable PDF version): http://library.austincc.edu/help/MLA/ ACC LIBRARY TUTORIALS: Before you begin researching your Essay 3 I require you to take the ACC library’s online tutorials: They will guide you through the process of researching your topic, formulating a thesis, and writing your essay. Follow this link to the tutorials page, and email me the results (there’s a link that explains how to do that at the bottom of the page): http://researchguides.austincc.edu/eng HERE’S THE TOPIC: You must write on the following topic. Essays on other topics will lead to an automatic failing grade: Research a career profession – one in which you are currently employed, or one in which you are interested. AREAS YOU WILL NEED TO RESEARCH FOR YOUR ESSAY: • Education: Explain the educational requirements for your chosen career: Which college classes are necessary? What sort of training is required? • Job Options: Describe the job market for this career: Is the market for your chosen procession gtowing? Declining? Stable? What sorts of jobs Purdue Online Writing Lab MLA Guide: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/ are available for an individual with this level of professional training? • Salary: What starting salary is a new hire likely to receive? It will be your job to choose a profession and incorporate that information into a clearly defined, specific thesis; the body of your research paper will be an elaboration of that thesis. You will discuss your subject, and present your data; you may draw a conclusion based on your research as well. Although a secondary aim might be to interpret or persuade, keep in mind that this is a referential/informative essay, and your primary duty is to the facts. To that end, strive for accuracy and clarity, and cite scrupulously. Choose one of the above topics, begin your preliminary research as soon as possible, and contact me if you have questions. ESSAY REQUIREMENTS: You must use a minimum of three sources of different types for your essay, but use no more than five sources in all. Your three sources MUST include: • One online source, either Internet or a periodical database such as MasterFile Premier (please use no more than two electronic sources) • One periodical (a magazine, newspaper, or professional journal) – I require that you find your periodical article in MasterFile Premier or another online database available through the ACC Library website: these databases are available through UT and Texas State libraries as well. These databases provide full texts of articles from a wide range of periodicals. Follow the link below for information on finding articles through the ACC Library. • One book other than an encyclopedia (though you are free to use an encyclopedia as a second book source. Ebooks count as electronic sources – find a physical book in your nearest library. If your essay does not include these three types of sources, I will assign the essay a failing grade. GENERAL GUIDELINES: DO NOT USE FIRST PERSON POINT OF VIEW (I, me, we) or SECOND PERSON POINT OF VIEW (you). Use third person point of view (he, she, they, them) consistently. USE ACADEMIC ENGLISH; avoid contractions, casual language, and slang. Before submitting the essay, double-check your MLA formatting, particularly on the ‘Works Cited’ page. The ACC Library Research Paper Guide handout (link above) provides the information you will need to correctly format your paper; additional help can be found in Chapter 3 of The Brief Bedford Reader. Help can also be found in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, available in the reference section of most libraries. PREPARATION FOR ASSIGNMENT: For examples of research writing that will help you in writing your own essay, refer to the sample research essays in our textbook and the Purdue OWL MLA site. I’ll post supplementary material for Essay 3 in the “Course Documents” folder and to the ‘Announcements’ section of Blackboard. I suggest you print them out and keep them with your printout of this assignment. Print out the ACC library’s guide to MLA format and refer to it often as you prepare your research essay. A FINAL NOTE: I REQUIRE COPIES OF ALL PRINT MATERIALS USED IN THE WRITING OF YOUR RESEARCH ESSAY. SCAN YOUR SOURCES AND EMAIL THEM TO ME AS .JPG OR .PDF FILE ATTACHMENTS. IF YOU NEED HELP WITH THIS (OR ANY OTHER ASPECT OF THE ASSIGNMENT) CONTACT ME.
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