Week 1 discussions
Exploring the Course Themes (graded)
The four course themes of education, technology, family, and health and wellness are topics that touch each of our lives in some way. In this discussion, practice exploring the themes as a researcher would: by creating problem statements.
How do you do this? Ask and then answer the question using a sub-topic (see below). Here’s an example. “For whom is [school bullying] a problem?“ In your post, provide the question and then the answer to the question. For example, “School bullying is a problem for victims of bullying because. . . .” Complete the statement based on your experience and knowledge.
Health and Wellness
Multitasking and Technology
Sexualization of Girls
College Students and Weight Issues
No Child Left Behind Act/Race to the Top
Technology and Social Isolation
Perils of Social Networking
Unequal Rights in Marriage, Children
College Students and Underage Drinking
Online Dating/ Online Predators/Sex Offenders
Children of Divorce
Illegal Downloading of Protected Content
College Students, Cheating and Plagiarism
Internet Censorship/ Classified Information Leaks
College Dropout Rates
Life-Work (Im)balance/ Flexible Work Schedules
Concussions in Athletes
High School Dropouts
Texting and Driving
Insurance Premiums for Smokers and Obese Employees
Starting Your Research Process (graded)
To prepare for the letter to the editor assignment, conduct an Internet search to find at least two articles that have been posted in the last month on one of the topics (i.e., bullying). The goal is to find articles that take clear positions on the topic. Share what you find and include the URL links to the articles. After you’ve posted, assess a classmate’s links, indicating whether you’d like to read or hear more about the topic and why.
Week 2 discussions
Argumentative Strategies (graded)
In research writing, what exactly do we mean by argument? Do we mean taking an extreme position and standing our ground, whether or not the facts support our position? Or do we mean instead convincing our audience by taking a reasonable stance on an issue and supporting our position with appropriate evidence? Define and explain the difference using examples.
Internet Reliability (graded)
How reliable is the Internet as a source of information for your research? What are the ways you can validate information that you find on the Internet? Why is this necessary? Use examples from the Information Literacy module you reviewed this week.
Week 3 discssions
Presenting Ideas (graded)
Persuasive presenters have several traits in common. Browse through TED talks http://www.ted.com/talks or American Rhetoric Website at http://www.americanrhetoric.com/ to find notable speakers who demonstrate strong communication traits. Compare and contrast the ways these speakers meaningfully communicate ideas to their audiences. Include the URL link of the speaker you choose to write about. In a short paragraph, respond to a classmate’s post, indicating whether you agree or disagree with his or her choice, and why.
Preparing the Research Proposal (graded)
How important is it to be personally invested in an idea? Can you sell an idea that you have no stake in? Why or why not? Using one of the resources from the Course Readings, provide an example of an author who is communicating in a way that tells a reader that the author is credible and is a trustworthy source.
Week 4 discussions
Annotated Bibliography Entries (graded)
In your textbook (pp. 325–326), you’ll find a model of an annotated bibliography. Review the model, focusing on the components of the entry: (1) the reference citation, (2) the summary, and (3) the assessment. Then draft one reference entry and two paragraphs from one of your sources. We’ll use the rest of the week to peer review the entries to prepare you for this week’s assignment.
Argumentative Strategies (graded)
In presenting an argument, should a writer strive to be the final authority or a reasonable voice on an issue? Review Chapter 22 to understand the difference. Then, using your topic and one or more of your sources, define and provide an example of arguable claim as opposed to a personal judgment.
Week 5 discussions
Analyzing a Sample Argument (graded)
In the textbook, review the student essay on p. 199, “Allowing Guns on Campus Will Prevent Shootings, Rape.” In an abbreviated format, the sample contains the elements that you will be including in your Course Project. The controversial subject matter (the content) may engage you right away. This is a sign that the writer is applying an argumentative strategy. Focus on the organization. What do you notice about the way the topic is introduced? How will your draft be similar or different?
Here is another argument:Are Kids Too Coddled? Follow the link and read Frank Bruni’s argument about tougher standards versus “bruised egos,” and answer the questions below.
Organizational Patterns in Argument (graded)
Let’s look at samples of research-based writing: “Nervous Nellies” on p. 328; “From Degrading to De-Grading” on p. 254; and “How Many Zombies Do You Know?” on p. 290.
Review each selection and include in your post responses to these questions. What do you notice about how each is organized and presented? What kinds of appeals to the audience does each author use? How are sources used in text?
Reading Strategy Note: Unlike summary and paraphrase, which require close reading, for this discussion use the reading strategy of skimming. Carefully read the introductory paragraph, but then move quickly, reading only the topic sentence of each paragraph. The goal is to compare and contrast the differences in the presentation of the information in the document. Skim and review until you have an impression you can share in the discussion.
Week 6 discussions
Rebuttals and Refutations (graded)
Anticipating readers’ objections is one way to determine what other sections to include and support in your paper. Practice writing a rebuttal or a refutation by taking your thesis and considering the point of view of someone who believes differently or even the opposite of the argument you are making. To do this, review Chapter 10, pp. 449–452 and post a paragraph that summarizes an oppositional point of view to your thesis and then refutes it. As peers, reply to one another explaining whether or not your classmates are presenting the opposition objectively and whether the refutation is logical. Give one another ideas or suggestions for points that may be left out or might need to be further developed. The paragraph you draft here can be used in a section of your Second Draft this week.
This section lists options that can be used to view responses.
Designing Your Course Project (graded)
While APA-style citation and format is required, you do have the flexibility in the design of your Course Project to include a visual element. Review Chapter 17, pp. 382–387. How does the use of visual elements enhance or detract from the presentation of research? Will you add graphs, charts, or images to your draft? Why or why not?
Week 7 discussions
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