Course Description

Course date and time: Mondays, 11:45 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Office hours: Mondays 3:15-4pm, by appointment

Course Description

From LaGuardia

3 credits, 3 hours. Pre-Requisites: ENA/ENC/ENG 101 (unless officially waived) Students write coherent essays in varied academic formats, by using appropriate library research and writing a staged, formal essay. Students learn how to choose an appropriate academic research topic, pose research questions, outline, organize and integrate source material into essays without plagiarizing. Students find and evaluate both print and online sources and practice note-taking, summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting using in text citations and learn to create a Works Cited page.

Our course

In this course, you will develop the above skills as you learn how to write a research essay of at least 1,800 words (approximately 6-7 pages double-spaced) through in-class writing exercises, assignments, peer reviews, and conferences. Along the way, we will explore topics related to New York City’s vibrant neighborhoods, communities, and social movements.

We live, work, and go to school in one of the world’s largest cities–a city often described as a “global city” that gathers people, and our languages, ideas, objects, and actions, from all over the world. Through this course, I hope you will see that there are many possibilities for research in your own lives, and among your neighbors, to better understand the people, places, and stories that make up our communities in New York.

As your professor, I encourage you to make use of the city’s resources in your research. We will visit two institutional resources: LaGuardia’s newly-renovated library, and the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives, a repository of primary sources documenting the social and political history of New York City. I will also host an optional field trip to the “Activist New York” exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York. In addition to consulting documents and exhibits, you may choose to interview a community member as a source for your paper.

Course Objectives

Writing the Research Paper guides students to develop critical thinking and writing skills while completing a research-based scholarly paper. At the end of this course, you can expect to be able to do the following:

  • Gain some familiarity with research methods, interpretive frameworks, and writing genres across the humanities and social sciences
  • Develop skills in critical inquiry, as applied to academic research and writing
  • Identify, locate, and gather research materials in the library–including digital databases–and through archival and field-based research
  • Ask critical questions to evaluate your research sources
  • Integrate appropriate sources into your academic writing, through synthesis and analysis
  • Learn how to write with academic honesty and integrity, and by extension, understand the meaning of plagiarism in an academic setting, and its consequences
  • Quote, paraphrase, and cite sources effectively to support your paper, and document your sources on a Works Cited page using MLA style
  • Practice drafting, revising, and editing your academic writing
  • Digital literacy and communication, through blogging, commenting, and annotation
  • Begin to develop your own academic voice and style
  • Compile a portfolio of research and writing that culminates in a research paper of approximately 1,800 words on a topic of your choice
  • Write a research paper that develops a clear line of inquiry, with appropriate structure and organization of your thinking into paragraphs

Course Readings and Materials

You will be provided with digital copies of all readings necessary for this course, via our class website, along with handouts in class. No purchases are required.

If you prefer to carry books, I highly recommend the following two books, from which several of our readings are drawn, as you will find them useful while writing research papers throughout college:

  • Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein. “They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. 3rd ed. New York: Norton, 2011. (ISBN: 978-0-393-93584-4)
  • Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams. The Craft of Research. 3rd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008. (ISBN: 978-0-226-06566-3)

Bring to class

  • Notebook or a binder with loose-leaf paper
  • Writing tool of your choice: pen or pencil
  • Folder to collect printed readings and handouts
  • Office supplies to organize your ideas: index cards, sticky notes, highlighters, etc.

We will also use a computer lab for one hour each week to do in-class research and writing that will help you define your research topic and questions, and draft, revise, and edit your paper using online tools.

Course Requirements

Assignments and Assessment: You will learn more about these assignments over the next few weeks:

  • Participation & Attendance = 15%
  • In-Class Writing and Blogging = 15%
  • Research Portfolio comprised of the following:
    • Archival Document Response / Interview Transcript & Notes = 10%
    • Paper Sketch / Storyboard = 10%
    • Annotated Bibliography = 10%
    • Draft #1 = 10%
    • Draft #2 = 10%
    • Final Draft = 20%