Ch.14 from your M. Austin anthology, post 2+ paragraphs discussing & explaining:
1. the focus of your topic. just name & explain the specifics of your topical focus: what, when, where, how, why, who. e.g. "the decline & subsequent negative effects on coral reefs in the Dominican Republic over the last 20 years." in this example we have a multi-layered 'what' [decline of coral reefs & resulting negative effects]; a 'where' [Dominican Republic]; a 'when' [last 20 years]; there are also other, implicit layers [a 'who' would be people, fishermen, & marine life & any effected people or life forms; another 'when' would be effected life into the future; and more...find as many layers as possible and get as specific as possible, keeping in mind that too narrow is better than too broad as you can always broaden your focus back out. the worst focus is too broad...too vague.
for #1 here, make certain that you first put some thought & crafting into your topic focus. i.e. don't just slap some stuff up on the discussion board just to satisfy the task. show us that you are taking your issue & research seriously. if we see that your focus is still too broad, we will have to assume that you are being lazy or careless.
2. also discuss your research/searching as it relates with the nature of your focus: how do you know whether your focus is too broad or too narrow? how many results are you getting when you search? precisely what search terms are you using & how does changing your search terms change your search results? have you asked for help from your UT library staff? and if so, discuss how that went?
be mindful that 2 paragraphs is the minimum for this. this is simply an opportunity for you to "think out loud" in the d.b. and "flesh out" the details of your work in progress. these discussion boards are informal so you should feel free to write as much or as freely as you possibly can. the devil is in the details, especially for this project since it is primarily a research based essay. you must be thinking, reading, researching & writing from here until the final draft due date on some sort of regular basis.
I will be evaluating your final drafts carefully and with a fair degree of severity so your freedom & autonomy with this project should be taken seriously.