Research Essay Library Resources

Work on the research essay will be getting underway within the next few days for most of you and has already begun for a few of you who are working ahead due to summer obligations. Research can be tricky if you’re new to the expectation, so please be sure to use the resources I’m providing and reach out for assistance when needed.

NOTE: students who use these resources spend much less time worrying about, generally freaking out about, or completely redoing research, even though the video feels like a time commitment. Every semester I read student reflections about their research essays that mention they should have spent more time using the provided resources; some of them even discover them a few days before the essay due date and end up reworking their entire paper as a result.

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Citation Sandwich Expectations

This can be used as an example for the ENG 1002 essays. The “Citation Sandwich” PowerPoint provides this information as well. And while I’ll be specifically grading for citation sandwiches, sandwiching your evidence within your body paragraphs in the way I’ve outlined below will bring a couple key things to your academic writing:

  1. Academic Authority: providing appropriate signal phrases and explanation will show readers that you’re using credible and relevant sources that fit within the context of your argument.
  2. Organization: preparing readers for what is coming with a topic sentence, signal phrase, and helping them see the connections that you’ve just made with your citation examples and wrap-up sentences will help them understand the content that you’re providing them. It’s like a little mini 5-paragraph essay within your body paragraphs.
  3. Grading: while my grading expectations include citation sandwich formatting specifically, I’ve simply named a common grading expectation the “citation sandwich” to make things more clear for students. Additionally, most IVCC English instructors use the department grading guidelines that looks for strong organization, thesis, and support within student writing, something use of citation sandwiches will generally provide your essay.

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Accessing IVCC Library Databases from Home

When researching from a home for computer or one that is not using IVCC’s wifi while on campus, you’ll need to “log in” before you can access the library’s research databases. Here’s the process:

  1. pull up the IVCC library homepage
  2. click on the database in which you’d like to research
  3. it’ll redirect you to a log in screen, you’ll enter 24611 + your student number + 01, and then enter your last name.
  4. you will then have access to research
  5. log in again if your computer remains idle for a long period of time or you navigate away from the library page

 

Direct Citation Example

This can be used as an example for the ENG 1002 Poetry essay or Research essay.

Topic sentence of body paragraph. 1-3 sentences that set-up or build the paragraph’s claim. Slate Magazine makes the claim “The great drawback to becoming a celebrated voice of a generation is that it encourages writers to believe that whatever idle thoughts drift through their minds … are automatically of interest (Smith, Jones, and Pond). While those in previous generations were taught that children should be seen, not heard, the up and coming Generation X has generally been encouraged for individual opinions.

Things to note about this example:

  1. The parenthetical documentation formatting of this source tells readers this article includes an author name (and the page number of the citation, when known–often this is not known on Internet source). On the Works Cited page, this entry would begin with the last name of the first author mentioned.
  2. The use of the introductory signal phrase as well as the continued reference back to the source while including additional information helps show readers when the paraphrase begins and where it ends as well as what source provided the info/idea.
  3. The explanation or context provided by you the student is nearly as long as the paraphrase citation, making your voice be just as strong (or stronger) than the voice of the citation. 

And here’s a link to transitional language post if you’re looking for ways to provide more transition within and between your paragraphs.

Commonly Used Library Databases

Depending on the ENG 1002 learning module you’re working in, you’ll need to use one or more library database articles for your formal essay assignment. Here are the most commonly used library database resources:

Remember that you’ll need to log into the library site if you’re not using a campus computer. When you reach the log in screen, you’ll enter 24611 + your purple student number + 01, and then enter your last name.

Example Paraphrase/Summary Citation

This can be used as an example for the ENG 1002 Poetry essay or Research essay.

Topic sentence of body paragraph. 1-3 sentences that set-up or build the paragraph’s claim. According to an article from The Atlantic gender expectations can be established as early as toddler years. Researchers have seen children as young as two years choosing gendered toys when given the option. The article also makes the claim that children brought up in gender neutral environments do not show a marked difference in their choice of toys (“Kids, Gender, and The Complexity of Social Gender Norms”). It is easy to claim that parents are responsible for teaching a young girl to like pink or dolls or a young boy to like blue and trucks; however, the evidence it showing that parents can make all the effort at home to provide a neutral environment with little impact. Until the outside social exposure that children receive via television, grocery stores, day care providers, and the like becomes less gendered, there is little lasting impact parents will have. 

Things to note about this example:

  1. The parenthetical documentation formatting of this source tells readers this article does not have a given author. On the Works Cited page, this entry would begin with the “Article Title.”
  2. The use of the introductory signal phrase as well as the continued reference back to the source while including additional information helps show readers when the paraphrase begins and where it ends as well as what source provided the info/idea.
  3. The explanation or context provided by you the student is nearly as long as the paraphrase citation, making your voice be just as strong (or stronger) than the voice of the citation. 

And here’s a link to transitional language post if you’re looking for ways to provide more transition within and between your paragraphs.

Research Essay Grade

In my ENG 1002 course, the Research Paper essay is worth 40% of your final grade. However, please note this important point from my syllabus policy:

The college requires that students who earn a failing grade on the Research Paper in ENG 1002: English Composition II cannot earn a final grade of C or higher in the class. If you receive a D or F on your Research Paper, you will be required to receive the final grade of a D or F in the course regardless of your earned running grade.

If you find yourself struggling with your research essay at any point during your writing process, please notify me so we can work together to improve your process, get you in contact with  useful IVCC  resources, or prepare a plan for an Incomplete in the course.