Assignment #4—the I-Search Essay You have decided on a topic via the topic selection paper. You have researched your chosen topic and written the annotated bib. You are now likely sick of research and your sources. The good news is that you now have a strong context to write from. Don’t be surprised if you find pages flowing without having to consult sources. Purpose To gain a better understanding of your topic and yourself. To communicate this understanding to your readers. Audience It’s your itch. You decide. Although the I-search paper is designed to benefit the writer, there are almost always other people who would enjoy reading about your topic and who would be able to apply what you write to their lives. So think about questions your readers might have and what details they will need to understand the points you want to make. Length Twelve pages minimum. Maximum—whatever you need to satisfy your itch. Grade Weight This paper will be worth 30% of your grade. Sources The primary objective of the paper is to explore and learn more about a topic not to cite a specific number of sources; however, you will need to cite at least six sources (at least three should be scholarly and one primary). Use a diverse range of sources that are credible and appropriate to your topic. Also, use a variety of sources, so you and your readers get the whole picture, not just one view. How to Write It It’s your itch. Take any approach you want. Write an argumentative paper if you want. Write an informative paper if you want. Persuade or don’t. Since it is an I-search paper, you can’t help being expressive. You can write a research narrative as described in the I-search paper article. That is you can narrate the story of your research and present the results of this research. For this approach, you would follow the four steps on page 13 of the article. And you would describe your evolving thought process. (These are the steps I took in my journey; this is how I felt/thought about each step; here is where I am now.) You can write a paper in which you discuss your research questions and then proceed to answer these questions. With this approach, you might not describe how your thinking process evolved, but you would still describe your reaction to your sources. (This is what I wanted to find out; this is what I found out and what I think about what I found out; this is where I would go next.) You can write a call to action paper. That is you can write a paper in which you persuade/convince your readers to make your itch their itch. (Here is why I have this itch; here is why you should have this itch; here is what you can do about the itch.) Combine W233 Research Paper 2 the approaches. Or make up one of your own. Whatever approach you take, remember: The predominate voice in the paper should be yours. Tips for Writing the Paper I encourage you to fight the tendency to moralize. Try not to preach to your readers. Try not to beat readers over the head with the “truth” you have discovered. Be kind to your readers. Treat them respectfully. From years of writing instruction, and perhaps from reading, you may have a strong tendency to end your papers with some grand conclusion(s). Don’t feel compelled to do so in this paper. Like other writers before you, you might end with a new idea. Often teachers and students think that papers should be like blankets. That is everything in the paper should be woven into a nice unified whole. Sometimes it works that way sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes you end up with a quilt. Pieces of this and pieces of that held together with stitching. Your stitching could be subheadings.