Eventually, this research will culminate into an essay, and by essay, I mean essay in its original, perhaps truest form.
Consider this essay to be the culminating work of your year here in AP Lang. Let’s begin!
Choose a topic
Choose a topic or area of research that will sustain you over the course of the next few months. How to decide?
- Choose something you’re already interested in or passionate about. Writing will allow you to explore that passion with a depth you may have not have had an opportunity to do before.
- Choose something you may know very little about. Perhaps you’ve been wondering about something, but you’ve never had the time or opportunity to pursue that wondering. Now can be that time.
TOPIC SUBMISSION BY: MARCH 9th
TYPES OF SOURCES
- Compile at least 8 sources on your research topic. At least 4 of your sources must be full-length essays (not blog posts). The remaining sources may be audio or visual (for example, TED talk, podcast episodes, infographic, etc.). The essays should be attractively printed out in their entirety. The visuals must be printed so they are clear and complete.
- Select your essays from a variety of respected sources. If you have questions about the merits of the source, you must bring a copy of the specific piece you would like to include to your teacher for approval. Make your requests at least two weeks before your deadline. Editorials and blog posts do not count as full-length essays. Look for “feature” articles in magazines like Time Magazine orThe Atlantic and full-length articles in newspapers (consider the major essays in your textbook as examples). A general rule of thumb is to choose essays that are at least 3-4 “magazine” pages in length.
Check out the following infographics to help with your Google searching:
- Don’t forget your textbook. You are highly encouraged to pull at least one of your sources from it, if applicable. Oh, and go to the library and browse their magazine selection. You never know what you might find.
And books! Consider using a chapter or excerpt from a book as one of your sources. Books sources, I’ve found, can be the most useful.
- Using the CHS Research Databases, found on Stoga.net. Use the ProQuest and Ebsco databases (listed under “Current Events, Newspapers, etc.”).
WHAT TO INCLUDE
- Introduction: Introduce each piece of writing with a brief biography of the writer (including the writer’s publishing history and any awards received) and any background for the source (when and where it was originally published as well as any reprints. For example, “Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog” was originally published in Harper’s in December, 2004 and reprinted in The Best American Essays 2005, Houghton Mifflin.). This introduction should comprise a brief paragraph.
- Summary: Summarize the source’s major points, quoting the text throughout. In your summary, review the source’s various claims and the evidence used to support them. You do not need to cover all the source’s claims, just the ones that you find most compelling, especially as they relate to your central research question(s) and why this claim/evidence may be important. Note: This is not a rhetorical analysis. It is a summary and analysis of the major claims (not style). You may use a Graff template to help you organize your thoughts or as part of your summary, but it is neither required nor necessarily suggested. This summary should be about 250-300-ish words, perhaps more, depending on the length or complexity of your source.
- Table of contents (if you are making a website, use the “menu” on your site as the table of contents).
- Bibliography of all references used (including information used for the biographical material). Use MLA format. (if you are making a website, you do not need to have a separate bibliography so long as you use links to all your sources)
- Give your anthology a clever title.
- cover page (with title of anthology, your name, teacher’s name, course name, and date)
- table of contents (or menu for website)
- sources (with introductory material at the beginning of each piece and the summary/reflection at the end)
- bibliography (or links for website)
Please Note: In lieu of a physical anthology, you may also create an online anthology using a webpage (such as your own WordPress site, using your existing WordPress login – go to WordPress.com to “create a website” – search YouTube for how-to videos), or an e-anthology (pdf) on USB drive, CD or DVD. See me if you have more questions.
Here a few sample anthologies:
Follow this link to look through some different print and web-based anthologies. Notice how many students used a Wordpress blog to create their anthologies.
- DEADLINE Submit your complete anthology on Monday, April 4 (see note below).
NOTE: You must submit at least one source for your anthology by Wednesday, March 16th, for a grade and to ensure some feedback. Include all required components to your sample as outlined above (introduction, article, then summary, with MLA citation at end). Then after the sample is assessed and returned, include it—with any needed revisions—with your completed anthology.
More details about your essay will follow, but here are the basics: 2000-ish words, formatted in “magazine” style. Minimum five sources cited, including at least one primary source interview.
(What a sneak peak at the kinds of papers you'll be writing? Check out these former student samples. In particular, notice how each writer begins the essay, integrates personal experience and expert opinion, organizes each section, and works in visuals as support.)
- The Birds, The Bees, and Why We Deserve Better
- Talented Tentacles
- The Checkmate Effect
- Latin: Back From The Dead
- Man's Best Friend: Why The Bond Lasts Forever
- Back To The Past
- Reality TV: America's Guilty Pleasure Revealed
- Adults By Age 10: Kids As The Nation's Newest Consumers
After you complete your final essay, you’ll present your work to the class in a brief talk to the class, approximately 7-8 minutes in length. More details to follow.