Writing Project 2:
Source Social Network +
Research Narrative Essay
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS PROJECT?
This project invites you to engage in research as inquiry, conversation, and rhetorical practice
toward goals of creating new knowledge and enacting change in the world.
During the unit, we will learn about and apply responsible research practices. We will also
explore the social contexts in which research and researched writing exists. Writing and
information does not exist in a vacuum, and this unit will help you learn to pull back the curtain
and look behind the scenes to learn about the context in which sources are published and
distributed and how sources “speak” to each other. We will also examine how research and
information is presented in different genres.
Once you have explored key sources to understand the conversation around your topic, you will
start to enter that conversation yourself as a writer and researcher. You will take a position on
the issue and offer ideas for action. In Writing Project 3, you will forward those ideas for action
by creating texts in a variety of genres to share your research with different audiences.
WHAT IS THIS PROJECT?
Building on what we learned in Unit 1 about the power of writing, rhetoric, and information to
create change, you will
select a topic to investigate and explore for the remainder of the semester
formulate a research question to guide your research & writing process
gather & evaluate sources
put the sources in conversation with one another in a “source social network”
synthesize your sources in an essay that narrates your process of discovery, describes
the conversation around the topic, and comes to conclusions for thought & action
This project consists of 2 parts.
PART 1: Create a “source social network.”
You will gather strong, credible sources that help you learn more about your chosen
topic. As you gather, explore, and finally select each source (around 6 sources total for
individual projects, at least 1 academic sourse), you will add that source to your “social
network” around that topic. You can design your “Source Social Network” however you
want (feel free to get visual and creative here!).
You will need to include
1) credible, diverse sources that help you and your readers to get a full sense of
the conversation around the topic
2) a detailed and accurate description of the rhetorical context of each source
3) a strong, detailed reflection/description of what you learned from the source
4) a meaningful and complex description of how each source relates and
“speaks” to the other sources included in the social network, demonstrating
an understanding of the “conversation” around this specific topic
5) a logical and creative design to help guide the reader through the “social
network” so that the reader can easily see the rhetorical context of each
source and the emerging conversation presented
PART 2: Compose a research narrative.
In this essay, you will discuss your prior knowledge of the topic and how this knowledge
was expanded through your research. You will also describe your personal stakes in the
topic and your research question. Then, you will use what you found in your “source
social network” to synthesize information to create an overview of the topic for your
readers. You will conclude with a clear position on the issues/problems that you present
in your overview and offer ideas/recommendations for action.
You will need to include
1) a clear, specific reflection on your past knowledge of the topic
2) a focused, clearly defined research question that is open-ended and feasible
for investigation that addresses a practical problem, need, or issue
3) a clear, specific reflection on how your knowledge of the topic was
broadened and deepened through the research process
4) a synthesis of your research findings to provide a clear and useful
explanation of the current “conversation” around the topic, sharing your
understanding of the problems or issues
5) an appropriate blend of summary, paraphrase, and quotation to support
your explanation in #4
6) a works cited that includes the sources in your “source social network” as
well as any other sources that you cite in your narrative
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