English 101 Course Project

Essay Based on Course Readings and Secondary Sources


Design a short research project that uses secondary sources to explore a complex, debatable issue from assigned course readings. You may select an issue that you explored in a previous course essay or choose a new topic. Write an essay that takes a position the issue based on what you have learned from reading secondary research sources and course readings. Support your position with evidence from readings and at least two secondary research sources that are appropriate for academic writing. The sources that you select should either report on original primary research sources or use credible and appropriate evidence from secondary research to support claims.


The main purposes of this assignment are to a) provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate your overall learning for the course, b) demonstrate your readiness for English 102, and c) introduce you to key strategies for writing research-based essays in English 102 and other college-level courses. This assignment will help you learn how to use scholarly databases for college research, evaluate source material, read research articles, and support a position with evidence from multiple courses. The research and writing process activities for this assignment will prepare you for more intensive research-based assignments in English 102.

Project Steps

1 Identify a complex, debatable issue from course readings. You may write about the issue that you selected for another course essay or choose a new topic.

2 Reread selections from course readings to review key arguments about the issue and to identify supporting evidence to use in the essay.

3 Find at least two research sources that present credible and reliable research on your selected issue. Each source should be appropriate for college-level academic writing, for the focus of your project, and for the purpose that you would like to achieve with your final course essay.

4 Read and analyze your research sources.

5 Organize an essay

Essay Guidelines

• Focus the entire essay on developing and supporting an insightful argumentative position on a complex academic issue.

• Use the first paragraph to introduce your narrow, focused issue and your specific thesis statement (not to talk about the topic in a general way).

• Write a thesis statement that takes a position on the essay issue. Your thesis statement should present your own thinking about the issue in response to course readings and research sources.

• Organize each body paragraph or section around a clear, argumentative main point (or supporting point for the essay). Include a topic sentence that introduces the main point of the paragraph or section. Each topic sentence should help readers understand how that paragraph or section will support and develop your thesis.

• Focus each paragraph on providing evidence to explain and support the main point of the paragraph.

• Support your thesis and other assertions with specific quotes, examples, details, or other evidence from sources.

• Use evidence from course readings and at least two research sources that are appropriate for the purpose of your essay and for college-level academic writing. The sources should focus on presenting research findings (either the authors’ own original research or secondary sources that the authors used for making their arguments).

• Analyze and evaluate sources in connection to your thesis statement; do not simply summarize or report on research information without connecting source material to the point(s) that you are making as a writer in that section of the essay.

• You may use the first person (i.e., the word I) to present relevant personal examples and discuss your own thinking about the essay issue. You may use a few carefully selected examples from your own experience to introduce your topic and/or support your thesis. However, the essay should focus primarily on your position on an academic issue with supporting evidence from multiple sources—not on your own experience.

Originally posted 2017-05-30 15:38:11. Republished by Blog Post Promoter