The Impact of Digital Technology
Assignment 4: Research Paper (50 marks, 30%) Instructions In this assignment, you will produce a 1500-word research paper based on the research topic you chose for Assignment 3: Annotated Bibliography. The general topic for this assignment is: “The impact of digital technology.” You will need to significantly narrow down the topic to a specific focus that interests you. For example, you can explore the impact of digital technology on education, on political participation, on interpersonal communication, or on business strategies. You could also focus on the impact of digital media on different aspects of our wellbeing, i.e., social, psychological, physical, occupational, etc. Based on the specific topic for your annotated bibliography, you are expected to locate this topic in the existing knowledge, identify a knowledge deficit, and make a new claim which will be supported by reasoned argument. Please adhere to the following guidelines for the organization of your research paper. Introduction: Your introduction should sketch the typical rhetorical moves academic writers make as they find a position for themselves: • Describe the existing knowledge on a topic by way of summary and citations from other sources. • Identify the knowledge deficit, i.e., something missing, inadequate, or hidden in the view expressed in the existing knowledge, or something more complicated than that view. • Make a thesis claim that will address the gap (knowledge deficit) in the existing knowledge. You must draw on at least one of the articles in your annotated bibliography to examine the existing knowledge, identify a knowledge deficit, and make a thesis claim. Refer to Unit 4, Topic 1 for features of introductions. A4-2 Assignment 4: Research Paper TRU Open Learning Body Paragraphs: The body part of your research paper—the main components of your paper— should provide argument and reasoning that justify the thesis claim you have made in the introduction. Each paragraph of your body will need a guiding/topic sentence. A guiding/topic sentence functions as a way for the writer to signal to the reader that the paper is moving to the next section. Guiding/topic sentences should call up key words and phrases from the thesis claim and guide the reader’s interpretations of the details that follow. Body paragraphs are also where you cite sources to provide evidence for your argument. There are three general ways to incorporate sources into your paper: summary, paraphrase, and direct citation. Decisions about which to use when are decided by the emphasis you wish to make on certain points. Summary and paraphrase are used to make more generalized claims, while direct citation is used to discuss details. A balance of all three is typical. The number of body paragraphs for your research paper is best decided as you draft, consult sources again, determine what information you want to present, and decide what you want to emphasize. Refer to Unit 4, Topic 2 for the structure of body paragraphs. Conclusion: Students are often told to restate the thesis in the conclusion of their essay. The goal for the conclusion of a scholarly research paper, however, is not only to summarize the main points you have made in your paper, but also to provide avenues for other writers to create new knowledge from what you have said. You want to refer to your thesis, reminding readers of the main concepts the paper has addressed. But you want to go further than that. Some further gestures you can make in your conclusion include: a statement of the relevance or significance of your argument, an indication of the limitations of your argument, a suggestion of areas for further research, and a presentation of solutions to the problem or a call for action. Imagine your paper as part of a conversation undertaken by people who care about your topic. Your conclusion should include what you feel is most important—what you want your reader to remember most significantly. Refer to Unit 4, Topic 3 for features of conclusions. This assignment does not require you to conduct primary research (surveys, interviews, etc.). You are expected to work with secondary sources (books, articles, government and scholarly websites, etc.). ENGL 1101: Introduction to University Writing A4-3 TRU Open Learning To support your argument in the research paper, you can draw on articles in your annotated bibliography, other articles on our course reading list that you did not include in your annotated bibliography, or new sources you have found (minimum four and maximum 10 sources). When you draw on new sources outside the course reading list, make sure they are credible scholarly sources. You are expected to construct a title and abstract for your research paper that reflect the focus of your discussion Refer to Unit 4, Topic 4 for help with titles and abstracts. Refer to the APA File Template formatting (available in your online files).
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