Research Analysis Assignment


The purpose of this assignment is to allow you to begin working on the Research Essay, the first draft of which is due Week 13.  Essentially, for this assignment, you’re being asked to complete a bit less than half of what you’ll need to for the essay itself.  The idea is that you’ll receive feedback from me, which you can then apply to the essay. To complete this assignment successfully, you’ll need to have read the Research Essay Directions and completed the Library Resources Assignment.  


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Assignment Directions
To complete this assignment, work through the tasks described below. 



  • Select one full-text database source. To locate a source, use the drop-down menu on the A-Z Databases page on the MATC Library Web site, just as you were asked to do for the Library Resources Assignment, Number 7.  Choose a source based upon a topic related to your career goals or interests.  
  • After you’ve selected your source, write a “practice” introduction paragraph, based on the Research Essay Directions. 
  • Choose at least two of the criteria or categories for evaluating scholarly sources listed on page 380 in Rules, in the box titled Determining if a source is scholarly. (Remember, for the second draft of the essay, you’ll need to choose four criteria.  Therefore, the more criteria you include in this assignment, the fewer you’ll need to include in the essay.) 

    After you’ve chosen two or more criteria, present each by quoting, summarizing, or paraphrasing from both the Rules text and Understanding Criteria for Evaluating Scholarly Sources, from the Course Reader.  Be sure to introduce and place in context each criterion, as well as its definition, in the same way you have learned to do in any academic essay, and include in-text citations where they are needed.  To place each criterion in context, you should explain why each one is important to consider when evaluating a source for research in a college-level essay.  Present this information in a paragraph.  
  • Read the source you chose for Number 1 and summarize it in a paragraph.  Review the “Guidelines for writing a summary” box on page 64 of Rules, if necessary.  Remember to introduce and place in context, in the same way you have learned to do in any academic essay.
  • Evaluate the source you summarized in Number 4, based upon the criteria you’ve chosen for Number 3.  Be sure to include specific examples from the source so the reader will understand your evaluation without having to read the source. Present this information in paragraph form. Think about whether it should be presented in more than one paragraph―one paragraph for each criterion, for instance.

  • Create a Works Cited page for the database and textbook sources.  For the source Understanding Criteria for Evaluating Scholarly Sources, refer to the model on page 452 in Rules, “Work from a website (MLA).”  For the database source, use the model on page 440 in Rules, “Article from a database (MLA)”.  Chances are you have already done this for the Library Resources Assignment.  Since you’ve already created an entry for our Rules text, this should be a matter of copying and pasting.  Additionally, don’t forget to include in-text citations where they are needed in the “body” of the assignment. 



Aside from the list of writing assignment requirements on your syllabus, double space and present the paragraphs so they look the same as they would appear in an MLA-formatted essay.   


Evaluation Criteria

These are the criteria upon which the assignment will be evaluated:

  • Does the introduction paragraph include all the elements discussed in the Paragraphing video presentation?
  • Are the outside sources from which ideas are taken and presented clearly introduced? 
  • Does the writer demonstrate he or she understands where to place in-text citations, to distinguish his or her ideas from those presented from the source(s), whether these ideas are quoted or summarized?
  • Are the ideas from sources placed in context?  That is, does the writer “follow up” on the source’s ideas and connect them to the paragraph’s main idea or topic?  In this assignment, does the writer explain why each criterion is important when evaluating a source for a college-level essay?
  • Are the in-text citations correctly formatted, with the author’s last name and a corresponding page number, when applicable?   
  • Does the summary clearly present the main idea and purpose of the database source in the writer’s own words? 
  • Does the writer clearly evaluate the source based on the criteria discussed in the assignment? 
  • Do the evaluations provide specific examples from the source text?
  • Is the Works Cited page correctly formatted? 
  • Do the Works Cited page entries follow closely the models presented in Chapter 52 of Rules?
  • Are spelling, grammar, and punctuation correct?
  • Is the assignment document formatted correctly, following MLA Style and the details discussed on the course syllabus?

Due Date:  Sunday, November 24, by midnight.  Submit only one file/document.


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