I’ve enjoyed reading proposals for A3 this past week. I saw a few issues amongst them that I thought was worth sharing with the whole class:

1. Many of you neglected to consider design into your proposal. Even though the proposal asked for you to address contrast, purpose, repetition, and proximity, student struggled with this. This is just a reminder to the class that part of the evaluation of this assignment will be its document design. That is why we spent all of week 9 studying visual rhetoric and design principles. As you read student examples this week, notice how the design of the document is an integral part of its argument.
2. Choosing an existing publication can help inform your design. If you read a number of feature articles from The Atlantic or Dental Town, you will notice that the design has consistencies, even if it varies a bit from article to article. Don’t reinvent the wheel; consider the publication’s signature design before creating your own.
3. Citations are ways of noting where you received your information. This was a requirement of the proposal, and one which clearly confused students. Some styles call it a works cited page, some call it a bibliography; either way, your assignment will need to include both in-text citations and a list of referenced works at the end of the document. The image you include must also be cited, unless you created it yourself. Sources for help with citations: 
https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/.
As you read the example student essays this week, keep in mind that the assignment they were writing was a bit different than the feature article you are writing now. Some students chose to only focus on an interview in their feature article, because they produced additional documents (like brochures and websites, etc.). Since A3 for you only includes the feature article, all of your research on your career and major must be included—this can, of course, include an interview if you chose to use that research method.
Rough drafts of your feature are due to me by Thursday, July 24th at 11:59pm via Blackboard. Just as we have said before, a draft is a full attempt at the assignment—including design. If you did not submit a proposal, you cannot submit the rough draft.

 

A3: Researching your Major/Career
The third assignment for COMP 1500 will be a feature article that presents research that you have done regarding your chosen (or intended) major/field of study. This project incorporates many of the same strategies and components of a “traditional” research assignment (using sources, supporting arguments with evidence, communicating a message to an audience, etc.), but it asks you to present your findings in the form of a feature article, common to magazines and newspapers that are written for a general, non-academic audience.

 

Phase 1: You do Research (Week 8: June 30th-July 6th)

1.      Decide on Research Question(s)

Before you do anything at all, it is important that you have a clear focus from your research. This focus is often referred to as a research question and this question will help you find your research method, e.g. primary and secondary research. For example, in order to answer “What types of training is required in nursing?,” you will probably use multiple methods. You could interview/observe nurses in practice (primary research); you could find primary sources of actual testing questions or find information from books, articles, and websites (secondary research).

 

2.      Conduct research about your major/career

Your initial research will be through sources you and your colleagues gather and share via Forum 7. You may, however, need to continue conducting research beyond these sources as your write you proposal and begin drafting your article. Dr. Scanlon will post a few sources to get students started.

 

Phase 2: You Write a Feature Article (Weeks 9, 10, and 11: July 7th – 24th)

1.      Audience

Your feature article should  a real audience that is reached by an existing publication. For example, you could choose a more popular periodical like TIME Magazine, or a scientific periodical likeCosmos. Both appeal to a general audience, but Cosmos is trying to  those interested in science more than the general human-interest focus of stories in TIME.

 

2.      Feature Article Proposal (due Thursday, July 17th)

After you have considered your publication/audience, you will be asked to write a proposal for what you will write as the final product of your research. The proposal is under Assignments and is worth 50 points.

 

3.      Draft Response (Week 11: due July 24th)

Rough drafts are due Thursday, July 24th via Blackboard. Dr. Scanlon will respond to full drafts and return with 72 hours.

 

4.      Final Product (Week 12: due July 31st

The final product will be a polished, well-designed feature article between 1,500 and 2,000 words. The product’s specific visual design and textual style will depend upon the publication you chose to write for and the audience you are  Overall, however, your feature article must cite at least 6 sources and include at least 1 visuals of your choice.

Polishing Your Final Product

As you can tell from this assignment sheet, this is not a traditional "research paper." This project requires you to use research in order to help readers/viewers understand the major/career path you’ve been studying. As noted above, you have a lot of choices about how to do that.  Your final product should be polished. In order to credit the sources you have learned from, you will use the citation style most appropriate to your major (APA, MLA, IEEE, CSE, Chicago, etc.).  Although this may not be entirely appropriate for the genre (a magazine feature doesn’t often include a bibliography), you must include a bibliography/works cited/references list when you submit your final draft. This allows me to evaluate your ability to conduct college-level research.

 

 

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