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ENC 1101 - Professor Siler: Research Project

The word "research" with animation inside the letters

What Should I Do?

  1. Choose a topic, discussed in the CQ Researcher library database, of current national or global importance. Hint: You can use the "browse topics" option near the top of the database if you are unsure what you would like to research.
  2. You may choose from any CQ Researcher article appearing between 2016 and now - except you may NOT choose: abortion, capital punishment, gun control, hazing, serial killers, cosmetic surgery, eating disorders, or teen pregnancy.
  3. Use the CQ Researcher article to gather a strong foundation in the topic. Then, formulate a question to help you narrow the focus of your research.
  4. Find a variety of other sources that discuss the various points associated with your issue AND at least 2 recent (2016 or later) statistics that establish the relevance of the topic.
  5. Your sources must include: 
  • CQ Researcher article (2016 or later) 
  • 2 sources from periodicals--magazines, journals, or newspapers, obtained from print, an online version of a source, or through PCC library’s electronic databases
  • 1 source that originally came from a bookOpposing Viewpoints database is great for these AND the library's catalog has thousands of ebooks you can access from home
  • 1 relevant website

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Current Issues Assignment PDFs

View or download PDF versions of the Research Assignment below. For due dates, check the calendar or assignment area in your Canvas course.

Recommended Databases

Begin by selecting an approved topic in the CQ Researcher database.

Sign in using your Passport credentials: 

Your Student ID number & Password (default password = two-digit month and two-digit year of your birth).


Try searching in one of these next!

Catalog and Database Search

Search Polk State College's library resources here:

AskALibrarian

Four+ Assignments in One!

What "Assignments" to Turn in Related to this Project and Their Main Highlights:

1. Working Outine - Including your thesis

2. Research Proposal:

  • Part 1: (1 page) Topic explanation, research question, background information, statistics, relevance, your interest in topic, & your sources
  • Part 2: Updated working outline

3. Annotated Bibliography - Include at least 5 sources:

  • 1 CQ Researcher Article
  • 2 sources from magazines/journals/newspapers
  • 1 source the originally came from a newspaper
  • 1 relevant website.

4. Research Project

  • 6-8 pages of text
  • Minimum of 5 references -  1 CQ Researcher article, 2 periodicals, 1 book (Opposing Viewpoints database will work for this), & 1 relevant website 
  • Minimum of 2 in-text citations in each paragraph (other than the introduction and conclusion).
  • You must also make use of recent statistics at least twice within your paper.

5. TLCC Extra Credit!

Note: Consult the PDFs on the left and your modules and assignments pages in Canvas for full details on these assignments, as well as the grading rubrics :-)

Selecting a Topic

As you may already have discovered this is often the hardest step in the research paper writing process. It is also a very important step. If you choose a topic that is very broad - "Poverty" - you will be overwhelmed with information and you will have difficulty organizing your ideas and findings into a manageable, cohesive paper. If you choose a topic that is very narrow - "Gifted Children Living in Poverty Benefit From Having Pet Fish" - obviously, you will have trouble finding enough sources to support your paper. Take time to focus your topic.

If you can, try to choose a topic that truly interests you. Thankfully, controversial topics (like those in CQ Researcher) are often the most interesting topics!

Not finding enough sources?

  • You may need to use different search terms/databases  

*Still have no idea what (general) topic to choose? 

*Remember to get your selected topic approved by Professor Siler.

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