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This assignment aims to help you develop ideas for the argument you will present in your research essay (Essay 3). As you know from , your goal in the research essay is to make a contribution to an ongoing conversation about your topic. You will do so by making an argument about how a primary source (or case study, such as your own experience or someone else’s) sheds light on the issue or problem you identified in your literature review (Essay 2). You should also use at least two academic secondary works to help you develop your argument. You may use either MLA or APA style in this final unit (Unit 3).

  1. Briefly explain the analytical question or problem you are examining in your research essay, and mention which authors from Unit 2 (Assignment 2: Annotated Bibliography; and Essay 2: Literature Review) were most important in helping you develop this question. Then, explain why this issue is worth investigating: why does your question, and how you answer it, matter? And to whom?
  2. Write the full MLA or APA citation for the primary source you are analyzing to investigate your topic. (If your primary source is an article or TED Talk, write a full citation using either MLA or APA guidelines. However, if you are using your personal experience and observations as your primary source, simply say so. Because it’s your experience, it needs no citation.) Then, write a paragraph that summarizes your primary source and states why it is a good testing ground to explore the question or issue you have chosen.
  3. Write a paragraph or two that compares your primary source to the ideas/assertions raised by the authors (secondary sources) you mentioned in step 1. In what ways does your primary source (or case study) illustrate, demonstrate, or confirm one or more of the authors ideas? In what ways does your primary source complicate, challenge, or for some reason not quite fit with the ideas or approach of those sources? In what ways do you secondary sources help to explain the case presented in your primary source? Try to refer to concrete evidence as you develop your discussion. (Your concrete evidence should come from either your own experience/observations, or those presented in the article/TED Talk youve chosen as your primary source.)
  4. What was the most interesting idea/insight/discovery that arose out of your reflection in step 3? Rewrite that idea as a tentative thesis statement, and then closely analyze one part of your primary source in order to explore that idea in more depth.
  5. Note: Originally, Step 5 was to propose new sources for further study and create an Annotated Bibliography for those new sources. However, since most of you have all your sources by now, you are not required to look for additional sources.