Expert Project: Research

Over the next month, you’ll research a topic of your choice. This topic may be broad or specific—regardless, you may find it helpful to think of your topic in terms of a central question (or questions) you want to pursue. What are you curious about? What have you noticed about the world around you? As Nancie Atwell asks, “What itch needs scratching?” What have you always wondered but never had the time or opportunity to pursue? Well, now is that opportunity.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 10.20.00 PMEventually, this research will culminate into an essay, and by essay, I mean essay in its original, perhaps truest form.

As you can see in its etymology, the word essay is about an attempt, a trial, a way to “test the quality of” some idea. With this in mind, an essay is less about proving something to be true, and more about weighing evidence and then exploring the ways in which something may be true. Your essay should be less about choosing a side and more about looking at a question from many sides.

To get started on choosing a topic and research, review the links below.

Choosing a Topic

Choose a topic or area of research that will sustain you over the course of the next few months. How should you decide?

Submit Your Topic

Ready to submit your topic? Click here to fill out the form. DUE Friday, 3/4.

Join Diigo

Join the class Diigo group to see recommended articles for the Research Anthology.

Research Anthology

Your research anthology will give you an opportunity to learn more your topic—to develop enough expertise to be able to write an informed and thoughtful essay. Be sure to carefully read the requirements and suggestions listed on this page.

E-Anthology Submission

Submit your E-Anthology by filling out this form. To submit a PDF, bring a USB drive with your document to class with you on the due date. DUE 4/4.

Primary Source Interview

In addition to print and other media sources, have a conversation with at least two other individuals who can either offer an “expert opinion” or any other valuable point-of-view regarding your topic. DUE 4/11.

Blogging and Next Steps

Now that your first phase of research is complete, begin the first very rough draft of your expert essay by reflecting on what you’ve learned in your blog post this week. In addition, continue researching additional sources beyond your official anthology.