Final Research Paper (Due May 4 11:59pm)

Final Essay

For the opportunity to revise before final grade, submit by Friday May 1st, 11:59pm

Final submissions due Monday May 4th , 11:59pm

Prompt in Brief:

Define the most pressing problem in higher education today and review the academic literature* on the causes of this problem. Make an argument that either a) synthesizes the research b) proposes a new or revised perspective c) argues for the relevance of one set of causes over another.

*Academic literature is research conducted by experts in the field that is based on some kind of empirical data and systematic analysis (statistics, interviews, observations, historical sources, etc.). Look for this literature in the following places:

Use higher education news sources like the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed to describe and contextualize the problem.

Essays should be ~2500 words.

Use this Outline [see schematic version from class]

  1. Introduction and Background
  2. Literature Review
  3. Analysis and Discussion
  4. Conclusion

Use this Research Process:

STEP 1: Compose and review Essay 2

STEP 2: Create annotated bibliography of sources

STEP 3: Map your ideas using this schematic

STEP 4: Produce a rough draft that builds on Essay 2 with sources from your annotated bibliography, using the schematic outline from Step 3.

STEP 5: Incorporate feedback from Peer Review and Professor. Try drawing out your ideas (your own schematic) or outlining based on what you already have written in order to assess any gaps, missing pieces, or adjustments needed.

STEP 6: Revise your final paper. Be sure to include your own assessment of the causes of the problem and steps that can be taken next by your reader.

Here are qualities that I will be reading for:

  1. Provide background for a reader who has not yet considered this problem.
  2. Concepts and arguments from the readings should be fully explained. Don’t think of your professor as your reader. Instead imagine your reader is college educated but has not read these authors or been in our class discussions.
  3. Papers should have a clear thesis statement or argument and a “hook” that draws the reader’s attention to the relevance of the argument. This argument or thesis should reference concepts and arguments from the readings to date.
  4. Papers should review academic literature and organize that review based on the various perspectives about causes of the problem (rather than a summary paragraph per author).
  5. Papers should not be confusing or difficult to read. If you feel lost in a sea of your own words, ask a friend to read a draft and tell you where they need to re-read, where they zone out, or what doesn’t make sense.
  6. Paper concludes with suggestions for further lines of inquiry or action that may be taken based upon the argument.

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