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Longer Research Essay Instructions The Longer Research Essay is an approximately 14- to 17-page essay in which you argue from a thesis on any major world topic—and matters of climate change, sustainability, environmental science, the political or historical contexts that condition sustainability, or any related topics are especially welcome. You may relate a topic in your academic major to sustainability. For instance, if you are a computer science major, to what degree does a digital culture support sustainability, or encourage extractive mining or manufacturing processes or energy use that is environmentally destructive, and how can such destruction be mitigated? If you are a nursing major, what biological resources such as nature-derived medicines must be preserved, against the extinctive power of the Anthropocene Age, for not just the health of the planet, but of its human inhabitants? If you are a business major, what real estate or urban planning practices can encourage land use that supports sustainability? Use your imagination and your initial research to find a topic and a thesis. Then provide significant support for your perspective through documented research. (The Kolbert text provides an extended example of this type of investigation.) The issue will be of your choosing, with the professor’s editorial approval. I encourage you to ask me for assistance if you have trouble coming up with a topic. I also encourage you to consider carefully whether your thesis can be reasonably and adequately discussed within this essay’s scope. (Don’t choose too narrow a topic and then bloviate to fill space; and beware of topics that are too broad and complex for you to answer a research question productively in under 20 pages.) You will be required to support your argument with at least five documentable sources, and this essay should conform to one of the major documentation styles described in the Bullock book. (Remember that you must cite your sources using a more academically-formal documentation system than Kolbert’s book.) Citations may be summary, paraphrase, indirect quotation, or direct quotation, and may also include visual and graphic sources. You may certainly quote Kolbert or Kolbert’s sources, but must quote at least five sources that you have found or generated yourself. Your essay’s sources may be print (such as books and periodicals) or electronic (such as Internet, broadcast, etc.). Additionally, you may use primary sources (such as interviews) to support your thesis. Note: You only need to use five sources in your essay, but the Source Report requires you to find at least eight sources (seven published) to make sure there are plenty available; for your essay, you may choose the most appropriate ones, as many as are helpful to make your argument. Remember the research methods you learned in the Research Workshop led by F.H. Green Library Research Specialist Ms. Amy Pajewski; that 02/12 class session is in Class Recordings on D2L for you to consult. (Remember to go back to that recorded workshop if it helps you explore research procedures.) The presentation, citation, and documentation style of this essay must conform to a major professional or academic system such as those described in the Bullock book (for instance MLA, APA, or CBE). I recommend that you use a style appropriate to the topic of your essay or a discipline to which your essay might apply (as me if you’re unsure–I’ll help). This essay has several due dates established for stages of research and writing. ?The Longer Research Essay Plan, a proposal about your how you will theorize and engage with the process of writing your essay, is due to its designated D2L assignments drop box by midnight (end of day) Wednesday, April 14. This plan must include four parts: • a research question; • a suggested stance; • a tentative thesis; and • a research approach delineating whether support will be found through specific databases, by primary or secondary sources, by surveys or specific types of field research, or by other means. Information on all of these parts can be found in Bullock readings assigned and discussed in class in recdent weeks. Expect that your Longer Research Essay Plan might be a topic of discussion in your Communications/Groups D2L Collaborative Peer Workshop Group (a Longer Research Essay workshop site will be established by 04/14) and that the prof might screen share your plan in class in order to analyze examples and troubleshoot to enhance the quality of each of the parts of your plan. Since each part in the plan can be summarized in no more than a few sentences, the Longer Research Essay Plan should not exceed one page (may be single- or double-spaced). The Longer Research Essay Plan will count for two of the essay’s 42 points toward the course grade. ?The Longer Research Essay Source Report should list at least eight potential sources, produced in proper documentation style, and is due to the designated D2L drop box by class time on Wednesday, April 21 (so that we can analyze examples and maybe correct some for you). It will count for five of the essay’s 42 points toward the course grade. ?The Workshop Draft, which you will discuss in a workshop group on D2L as explained in the syllabus, will be due for that D2L Communication/Groups exchange (or your Zoom alternative) at class time on Friday, April 30; your full participation in the online workshop will count for five of the essay’s 42 points toward the course grade. Note: your three-person group will be established by Wednesday, April 14 so that you may collaborate in the Communication/Groups discussion space well ahead of the workshop due date, to get good early input about your draft(s). ?The Graded Draft is due to the designated D2L drop box by midnight (end of day) Wednesday, May 5; it counts for 30 of the essay’s 42 points toward the course grade. ? Remember to start working on this essay soon–do not wait for the due dates to approach before researching and writing. And ask me for assistance and advice at any point. Some Hints on the Longer Research Essay The grading criteria I use generally reflect the importance I believe most professors assign to the several qualities evident in your research writing. Here are those criteria: I. Quality of thesis, supporting arguments, and research. II. Clarity and appropriateness of organization. III. Appropriateness of language and discourse. IV. Professionalism of grammar, presentation, and design. V. Accuracy of documentation and citation style. For the Longer Research Essay, the 30 points assigned to the final version reflect a 0-6 rating on each of these criteria.


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