FAI: Freedom and Authority on the Internet

Writing Assignment 3: Introduction to Research Paper

Summary: In this assignment, you will write a draft of your introduction to your research paper.

Due: 8:15 a.m., Thursday, 4 October 2007

To Turn In:

Purposes: I intend this assignment and your work for the assignment to provide a variety of benefits. In particular, I expect that they will

Essay Topic: Write a draft introduction to your research paper. It is a draft primarily in that you should expect to change it. Your introduction should be clear, exhibit correct grammar, and demonstrate your mastery of the principles of style.

Special Characteristics: Your introduction should include

Length: 300-600 words.

Audience: You are writing for the typical Web reader. Your reader has probably used the Web and the Internet, and may have participated in some form of online community, but has not thought deeply about the kinds of conflicts that happen in online communities or about mechanisms for resolving those conflicts. Your goal is to entice the reader to continue with the paper.

Software: You may write this document in any software you deem appropriate. I would recommend that you think about writing it within the course Wiki.

Citation Guidelines: Use APA style.

FAQ

I don't have a thesis yet. What do I do?
I realize that we are fairly early in the research process. However, I also know from experience that most students more successfully study a topic if (1) they begin with some reasonable thesis and (2) they are prepared to revise that thesis if the materials guide them in a different direction. Hence, you must come up with a thesis for this introduction.
Why do I have to use sources in four different ways?
The College expects every Tutorial professor to give his or her tutees an assignment in which they write a paper that demonstrates the four kinds of use. I'd rather have you use materials in context than do an independent exercise.
Why are you having us turn in fifteen copies? Do we have to do another editing exercise?
Of course.
I've never had to write a multi-paragraph introduction before. What do I do?
There are many kinds of successful introductions. I'd suggest that you start by writing a prospective outline. That outline will suggest some things that you might find it helpful to include in your introduction. (No, I would prefer that you not include the wonderful In Section 2, we will discuss ....) Your introduction lays the groundwork for the rest of your paper, so you may find it helpful to provide some background information and to raise some issues of conflict. (Hmmm ... note that quotations will help.)
You love vague advice, don't you?
Okay. You want more specific advice? Here's more specific advice: Read section 21 of The College Writer's Reference: Strong Openings.
I don't own it.
Buy it.
I don't want to spend $40.00.
Borrow your roommate's.
My roommate doesn't have a copy.
Borrow mine.
It wasn't helpful.
Visit the writing lab.
Won't we want to drop the quotations, paraphrase, and such from the final version of the introduction?
Not necessarily. A well-chosen group of quotations can set up an interesting conflict or position and thereby draw the reader in.

 

History

Wednesday, 17 September 2003 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

Thursday, 18 September 2003 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

Thursday, 16 August 2007 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

 

Disclaimer: I usually create these pages on the fly, which means that I rarely proofread them and they may contain bad grammar and incorrect details. It also means that I tend to update them regularly (see the history for more details). Feel free to contact me with any suggestions for changes.

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Samuel A. Rebelsky, rebelsky@grinnell.edu