research essay 2

The Research Proposal is a minimum 2-page (double-spaced) first draft. It must contain your thesis, a minimum of two (2) sources, and should contain many of the key points that will be used in your final essay. It should be a COMPLETE essay – not the first two pages of your final draft. In that sense, it should have a beginning — containing your thesis or topic of research — at least two points of research, and should have a solid conclusion.

DO NOT USE “WRITE SUBMISSION,” meaning do not write directly to Blackboard. If you do, your assignment will not be graded, and you will earn a zero. Your assignment MUST be uploaded as a Word document or PDF file. Please submit in MLA formatting, with a separate MLA 8th formatted Works Cited last page. (NOTE: the Works Cited page is NOT included in the essay’s minimum page count.)

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This Research Essay should include the following elements:

  • Indicate a specific goal, career path or creative endeavor (eg. owning a restaurant, becoming an accountant, a career in law enforcement, becoming a musician, a dancer, sailing the Pacific, etc.).Then using either the career path or creative endeavor, introduce the main topic of your Research Essay though a THESIS STATEMENT (argument), and the motivation behind you’re wanting to achieve it.
  • GO DEEP into your topic through analysis backed up by research. Include specific passages or paraphrases from your sources to support a reasoned argument about your goal. Points of research should include the specific steps you’re taking to achieve your “American Dream.”  For example, if your American Dream involves becoming an accountant, then your research steps could include four-year colleges you’re considering after Mercer, graduate schools, internships, certifications and licenses, potential employers, cities to move to, professionals in the field to interview, etc.
  • Sourcing should be a mix of different media–online, library databases, in-person, print sources, etc., using primary sources with no more than one or two informational sites, if needed, to explain a complex profession.
  • The research needs to be practical, real-world sourcing with current (no more than two years old) information. Sourcing should show a practical pathway to attaining a goal. The steps to your goal are your sources, and those sources need to be realistic, recent, and attainable.
  • Tie all points together in a ‘conclusion’ statement that “proves” your goal is attainable.
  • Remember, this is an exploration on attaining your own personal “American Dream,” and should NOT be an extended definition of it.

Before you  start essay 2 List the CRAAP Test score for both news articles you’re comparing for Essay Two (just the TOTALS for each, not the catagory breakdown), then cite both articles according to MLA 8th formatting for Works Cited.

FOR Essay 2 

FOCUS: Internet Searching, Peer-Reviewed Sources, Comparing Sources, Bias in Reporting, “Fake News.”

Twenty-five years ago, all one had to do to find out what was going on in the world, was to pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV for the evening news. Through career print reporters or network correspondents, consumers expected and arguably received reliably sourced and reported stories on current events. But today, with the explosion of news and social media sites on the internet, it’s becoming more and more difficult to discern what’s reliable and what been referred to as “fake news.” With the purported sum of human knowledge only a Google-click away, how can you tell what’s true or not when the “truth,” some people believe, can sometimes be as reliable as the weather?

For this essay, you will concentrating on Internet searching to see how various sites deal with the same issue, and how viewpoints can be skewed by opinion. Some news sites are considered “bias-neutral”, where other sites tend to lean toward a more progressive or conservative agenda. Your first step is to search for a current and POPULAR news story –one that’ll be covered by all the news sites–as a popular story will be widely reported and easier to find several different viewpoints. Your story should be no older than the date this essay was assigned.

STEP ONE – Search for a news story described above on one of these “bias-neutral” websites ONLY:,, or You only need one article from ANY ONE of these sites. Try to go broad, as you’ll have a better chance of finding more coverage. DON’T choose stories from the Opinion or Editorial pages as these stories, by their very nature, are biased.

STEP TWO: Search for another news story covering the same issue on one of these sites ONLY:,,,,,, or Again, you only need one news story, but it’ll need to cover the new story as you’re covering in Step One. The same rule for Opinion pages above applies.

STEP THREE: Read both stories and compare and contrast, using the CRAAP test as a gauge, who makes the better argument and why, as who tells the story more fully and with less bias. Keep an eye out for any instances of so-called “fake news,” and if any viewpoint skews from one extreme to the other.

KEEP IN MINDYou don’t necessarily have to agree with what the writers are saying. You’re only going to determine who tells the story with less bias. The object is to persuade, whether what they write is convincing enough to change opinion, and score high enough on the CRAAP test to be reliable.

FOR YOUR THIRD SOURCE – In addition to your two news stories, pick one (1) of the three (3) fact-checking sites in the Lesson One Seven folder: Factcheck, FAIR, or The Checklist for Fake News. Use the criteria listed in one (or all) of the sites to analyze your news stories for accuracy and bias. Or use their search to look for your exact news story for analysis.

Essay will be a 5-7page (doubled space) argumentative essay that supports your position of which news coverage of the SAME news story tells that story more accurately, and with less bias. Essay must follow MLA 8th guidelines for formatting and citing, including an MLA 8th Works Cited on a separate last page. The essay must have THREE (3) sources, one from each news site you’re comparing, then a third from one (or all, if you want) of the three fact-check sites in this module (,, or using the fact-checking principles in these sites as a basis for your analysis.  You must refer to ALL three sources in your essay.

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