I-Search Project Overview
The I-Search paper is designed to teach you and your reader something valuable about a topic. As opposed to the standard research paper in which a writer assumes a detached and objective point of view to reveal newly acquired facts, this paper allows your voice to thrive. You begin with a passion to know something. You articulate the specifics of your curiosity. You learn new ways of finding answers. You follow the paths of curiosity by reading what interests you. You organize your findings and write honestly about where you learned each new fact or from whom you gained each new perspective.
During our work on this composition you will be:
“Information is not knowledge.”
“To repeat what others have said, requires education; to challenge it, requires brains.”
Mary Pettibone Poole
“There is one thing one has to have: either a soul that is cheerful by nature or a soul made cheerful by work, love, art and knowledge.”
Dialectical Journal Guidance
The dialectical journal is a double-entry note taking system. It helps you to read critically and encourages the habit of reflective questioning. It is a place to record and explore ideas using writing as a tool for learning.
1. Draw a line down the middle of the paper, making two columns.
2. The left column is used for notes - direct quotations or summaries from the reading.
3. The right column is used for commenting on notes in the left column. Personal reactions to the notes on the left go here. The comments on the right may include:
• what the passage prompts in thinking or memory associations;
• feelings toward the author’s words;
• words or passages not understood;
• words or passages that look important; and
• connections among passages or sections of the work.
As you take notes in your journal, you should regularly reread the previous pages of notes and comments, drawing connections in a right-column summary before starting another page of the journal.
Prewriting Part I
Narrowing a topic:
Devising Questions Worth Answering:
Utilizing a Variety of Sources:
Resources and Links
Document your process in a dialectical journal:
Part 1 of the I-Search: What I know, assume, or imagine:
Due Wednesday, October 15th to turnitin.com
What I Know, Assume, or Imagine
Before conducting any formal research, write a section in which you explain to the reader what you think you know, what you assume or what you imagine about your topic. For example, if you decided to investigate teenage alcoholism, you might want to offer some ideas about the causes of teenage alcoholism, provide an estimate of the severity of the problem, and create a portrait of a typical teenage drinker, and so on. This section can tell the story of how you came to be interested in your topic.
Part 2 of the I-Search: The Search:
Due Wednesday, October 29th to turnitin.com, before class
Test your knowledge, assumptions or conjectures by researching your paper topic thoroughly. Conduct first-hand activities like writing letters, making telephone calls, initiating face to face interviews, and going on field trips. Also, consult useful second-hand sources such as books, magazines, newspapers, films, tapes, electronic sources, and so on. Be sure to record all the information you gather. If you were pursuing a search on teenage alcoholism, you might want to do some of the following: make an appointment to visit an alcohol rehabilitation center, attend a meeting of Alanon or Alcoholics Anonymous, consult an alcoholism counselor, or interview your peers, as well as check out a book on the subject, read several pertinent articles, or see a film.
Using your dialectical journal as a resource, write your search up in a narrative form, relating the steps of the discovery process . Do not feel obligated to tell everything, but highlight the happenings and facts you uncovered that were crucial to your hunt and contributed to your understanding of information using documentation when appropriate.
Part 3 of the I-Search: What I Discovered:
Part 3 Draft 1 due to turnitin.com on Monday, 11/3
After concluding your search, compare what you thought you knew, assumed, or imagined with what you actually discovered; assess your overall learning experience; and offer some personal commentary about the value of your discoveries and/or draw some conclusions. For instance, after completing your search on teenage alcoholism, you might learn that the problem is far more severe and often begins at an earlier age than you formerly believed. You may have assumed that parental neglect was a key factor in the incidence of teenage alcoholism, but now find that peer pressure is the prime contributing factor. Consequently, you might want to propose that an alcoholism awareness and prevention program including peer counseling sessions be instituted in the public school system as early as sixth grade.
Include in-text citations and a list of works cited to document the research sources you consulted.
Due in hard copy with evidence of the writing process and your annotated research on Thursday, 11/6