Issues in Identity
Instructions for Research Paper
In keeping with the theme of “negotiating identity” in our writing, this final research paper will focus in some form on an issue related to a chosen identity. This can either be about a problem, an emergent technology or process affecting the population, or an expectation of the growth or retraction of a particular demographic, to name a few examples. This will be an issue paper, but you should keep a primary focus on an issue that will directly impact the future of your chosen identity.
Development of Topic
We will group together to help develop a research question around your discipline (or future discipline) topic. This paper will be an analysis paper that leads into an argument from that analysis. The paper will eventually be an exploration of the larger topical issue, but the question itself will guide the research.
This paper should provide an overview of the eventual issue, define for the audience the issue, be an examination of various perspectives about that topic (i.e., the stakeholders in that issue), and, finally, your own, now-informed perspective, opinion, or suggested change in the status quo. It should, ultimately, be about what you learned through the research in how identities are encountered and negotiated.
You will use the research question as a guide to find a range of academic sources to use in developing a deeper thesis (minimum of 5 sources). This should involve at least two perspectives (more if warranted) directly related to that subject. These perspectives should be synthesized (summarized and integrated with responses) and then used to describe your position or perspective within that framework. The latter argument should come from an informed position reached through the process of evaluating and reading your sources. Relying on beliefs and opinions without evidence or data to support them will be insufficient to demonstrate that you have learned something about your subject of choice. In short, your grade will suffer if you only write about what you believe.
APA: Correct style format of paper, in-text citations, and sources, in addition to range and academic quality of sources, will be a larger portion of this graded paper than the previous ones.
1,500–2,700 words (~5–9 pages)
See Course Schedule
Conference (or discussion board in online courses) to develop research question and research strategy (in groups)
Revision workshop (possibly online)
A minimum of 5 sources
APA style (note, student papers do not have abstracts, so none are required)
Writing a Research Paper
Choose an identity (e.g., gamer, feminist, online vs. real life, or vegetarian) that you would like to explore or expand on. Note, this does not have to be a personal identity; however, care must be taken to avoid stereotyping an identity with which you may not be familiar:
We will hold conferences (or discussion boards) to help you shape your research question
You will conduct outside research (i.e., library, associations, or online), using the question as a guide
There will be 2 components to this paper
Part 1, Analysis: Create an arguable thesis (claim), background to the issue (i.e., summarize the readings), and then explore perspectives with that issue
Part 2, Argument: Support your own, informed perspective of the claim, then summarize your findings in a conclusion with no new information being introduced
Issues in Identity