Writing Assignment: A Spark
You spend all summer trying to get close to your crush. You go bowling even though you hate bowling. You send emails and IM to plan the big day, and finally you are out on the date, just the two of you. Unfortunately, the conversation is forced, your date is answering text messages all through dinner, and you just want it to be over. Luckily you are just dating, not getting married!
At this point you are not married to your research topic yet either. You are in the dating stages, and if things are not going well, you can look for a new topic or give this one another chance. You are seeing if you like it and if there is enough substance to take this topic further.
Nothing is more frustrating than discovering at the eleventh hour that there is not much information about your topic, or that all the sources say the same thing, or that the topic isn’t as interesting as you thought. To avoid these pitfalls, this assignment will give you a little preview of how the project will go and give your instructor enough information to guide you toward successful discovery.
- Complete the chart that presents your overall research question and the series of questions you will explore in relation to the main question. This chart can be found on the Writing Assignment Worksheet. Feel free to add as many additional squares as you like to the middle levels. In addition you may want to complete more than one chart if you are considering more than one topic or more than one direction in the same topic.
Writing Assignment Worksheet
|Main (General) Discovery Question||Does playing violent video games lead to violent behavior?|
|Focused Discovery Questions||Which video games are considered violent?||How do psychologists study the relationship between violent behavior and influences?||What is violent behavior?|
|Specific Discovery Questions||What kind of violence is portrayed in these games?||Which demographic purchases or plays this game?||What studies have been done on this subject?||How can psychologists be sure that violence they observe is actually caused by games?||Is the violent behavior anything to be concerned about, or is it minor violence?||Are the violent behaviors exhibited immediately, or are they long term?|
|Follow up Question||What could/should be done about this if it really is a problem?|
- Complete at least five "Research Source Cards" from your Writing Assignment Worksheet (beginning on page 3) on your chosen topic. Source cards will be used to create your Works Cited page and help you assess how successful your research will be. Create as many source cards as you like over five.
- Submit the completed Writing Assignment: A Spark worksheet (including: the topic table, the discovery questions drill down table, and at least five source cards) to the Writing Assignment: A Spark assignment link for grading."
To ensure success, read the grading rubric.
For help with editing and revising, go to the 6+1 Trait® Writing rubric.