2 What is an I-Search paper? An I-search paper is an alternative to the research paper. It allows you to identify an area of inquiry about a particular topic.The paper is written in the first person, and the paper describes the process of research as a story.
3 The I-Search Paper Divisions An I-search paper answers the question, “What do I need to know?”The four natural divisions of an I-search paper areWhat I know (and didn’t know about my topic when I started out)Why I’m writing the paper (writer demonstrates that the search may make a difference in his/her life.)The Search (the story of the hunt- 3 sources)The Connection (to the novel and movies)What I Learned (conclusion)
4 What I KnowAll I-Search papers must begin with an interesting lead, something which pulls your reader into your paper.Most leads take the form of a narrative, a story relating where in your life your question came from and what you already know, assume, or imagine about your topic.
5 Sample LeadMy first introduction to Islam was when I heard that a new movie would be coming out called Malcolm X. I heard it was supposed to be really good once the filming was finished. I decided to read the book before I watched the movie so that it would be easier for me to understand it when I see it on the big screen. I borrowed the book from the library and I was really enjoying the book until I got half way through, to the point where the Nation of Islam teaches that white people are devils. I was so disgusted, I didn't finish the book.Finally, the movie was about to be released and I saw the previews on television, plus the reviews in the paper. It looked appealing, and I heard that Malcolm X later dropped out of the NOI and realized that white people are not devils. I decided to read the book again, and I was very pleased that I finished it this time. However, I did not pursue more knowledge on the subject at this time.
6 What I KnowThen when I entered Gallaudet, I met a lot of people who were Muslim and I spent quite some time with them. I learned bits and pieces about Islam through socializing with them. My knowledge about Islam is superficial, but I want to know more about the soul of the Muslim Woman. I know that women must dress modestly and cover their hair. Only their face and hands can show. I also know that many men prefer or consider the main role of women is to stay home and take care of their husbands, children, and protect the home. That practice is stronger in Eastern societies than in America. I understand that many non-Muslims stereotypically think that the way Muslim women are treated is derogatory, because of the way they dress, the roles they play in their community, the limits that society bestows upon them, and that they have few rights. My main goal is to see why most women choose to stay in Islam and what is really behind the Islamic stereotypes.
7 Why I am Writing this Paper I chose to pick Women in Islam as my topic because I have many Muslim friends and I think they are very interesting. They represent something different in my life, a nice change from the normal, boring, and typical American life I live. Some of their influence has worn off on me. I am very curious about how Muslims live and how will Islam affect me if I was Muslim.
8 Thesis- Last line of “Why I am Writing this Paper Through my research, I hope to discover ________________________.Through my research I hope to discover _________, _________, and ___________.Through my research, I hope to answer the following questions: Regardless of the stereotypes portrayed about Muslims and the lower level of female power, why do these women stay in Islam? Do they ever feel frustrated about the way they are treated? How do these women view themselves and how do they think men view them as women?
9 The SearchThis section of the paper describes the story of the hunt – the process and steps you took to find information about your topic.Avoid merely listing the events (i.e. I did this, I went here, I found this, etc.).Be creative. Tell a narrative and share your frustrations and joys that you experienced along the way.
10 Documenting your Notes You will include source information on your works cited page- it is much easier if you begin by documenting your sources as you find themInclude the following information for each source:Author’s name (if given)Title of the articleTitle of the website.Date of publication (check the bottom of the site)Sponsor of the site (company responsible for the site)Date you accessed the site.The URL
11 The SearchI began my search for information on Islamic women by searching for articles on a site entitled The New Republic at This online magazine covers politics and the arts, and my search led me to the article, "Veil of Fears." This article explained why women started veiling themselves. In pre-Islamic times, women were scantily clothed and often topless. As a result, women were abused by men. Veiling the women helps to prevent promiscuity and arousing the men's desires, but mostly it guards women from disrespect and violence. It seems now that most women gladly wear the veil. Jane Smith, Dean of Academic Affairs at the Iliff School of Theology of Denver said, "Muslims value modesty as well as prize and retain their femininity ... Muslims are appalled and disgusted by women's open display of themselves and the sexual freedoms allowed in the West" (176). This quote made me realize that much value lies in the way a woman presents herself to society and that she demands and gets the respect she deserves. I think the main reason women stay in Islam is because they get the respect they deserve, compared to Western women. Muslim women also have more rights than many other non-Muslim women do. They had the right to hold office, to vote, to own property, to keep their own money, to get an education, to keep their family name, and to establish a business long before American women gained the right to the same circumstances. It's interesting to think that many people think Muslim women are treated badly, yet we don't think about the way we are treated as American women. A beautiful woman can not walk down the street with out being called everything from "hey baby!" to "slut" and other intolerable remarks. They can't even walk outside with out the fear of being attacked or being raped. The veil that Muslim women wear protects them from these unbearable circumstances since their beauty is hidden. This section made me think about how different societies treat women today.
12 The Connection 1-2 paragraphs You must connect your research to both the novel and the moviesDiscuss how inaccurately or accurately the characters are portrayedDiscuss how your research makes you better understand the character’s behaviors
13 What I Learned- The Conclusion This section of the paper answers the question: What did I learn.Explain any surprising facts or information about Autism/Aspergers. Did you have any epiphanies (sudden flashes of insights)?Include any new questions you may have about your topic.
14 What I Learned- The Conclusion I really enjoyed researching this topic, and I have learned a great deal of information that I didn't know before. Just today, I got into a discussion with an acquaintance about Muslims. He said that Islam is a bad religion because of the way it treats women. I told him that Muslim women get more and better respect than American women do. He also pointed out that women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to drive or vote. I explained that those situations are laws formed by the state, not based on Islamic law; nowhere in the Qu'ran does it say that women are not allowed to drive or vote. He was speechless and didn't have anything to say to defend himself. I was so proud of myself that I could finally correct people on their misunderstandings about Islam. This shows that I definitely did learn something during this search. A few months ago, I had the same discussion with the same person and I had no way to defend Islam because I didn't know what to say. I definitely do not regret this assignment and I will continue to seek more knowledge on the subject of Islam.
15 Source InformationThe final part of the paper will be a list of the sources you used during the research, including the interview.Criteria and format for this source page are as follows...
16 How to cite your sources… You must cite the sources used in the paper.The title of this page is “Works Cited”
17 WebsiteThe information that you need to cite a source from a website is …Name of the author of the article/essay/information (if given)The title of the article/essayThe title of the websiteThe date of publication or last updateThe name of the company or organization responsible for the siteThe date of accessThe URL
19 Website Notice the various components of the citation: “English Language Teacher Overseas.” ChoicesPlanner Bridges Transitions.19 Sept.2006<careers/WhatTheyDo.do.occupationId=1006>.Title of the websiteTitle of the articleDate viewedDate revised/updatedURLCompany responsible for the website
20 Website Notice the punctuation: “English Language Teacher Overseas.” Choices Planner Bridges Transitions Inc. 19 September <WhatTheyDo.do.occupationId=1006>.
21 Interview Personal interview: Smith, John. Personal interview. 29 September 2006.Phone interview:Smith, John. Phone interview.Person interviewedType of interviewDate of interview
22 Works Cited Page guidelines: Alphabetize entries in the list of works cited by author’s last name. If no author is given, alphabetize by editor’s or compiler’s name. If no author, editor, or compiler is given, then alphabetize by the first word in the title of the work/article (disregard the articles a, an, and the when alphabetizing).Center the title, Works Cited, at the top of the page.Double-space all lines of type on the page. Do not leave any extra space between entries.Indent the second and third lines of each entry.Use correct punctuation. Each part of the entry ends with a period. Titles of websites and main sources are italicized. Titles of articles are in quotation marks. Use arrow brackets, < >, to begin and end the URL.Everything on the Works Cited page must be the same font size (12 point Times New Roman). Do not change the color or enlarge any part of the entries.
23 Sample Works Cited Page: “English Language Teacher Overseas.” Choices Planner BridgesTransitions Inc. 19 September 2006 <cx/careers/WhatTheyDo.do?occupationId=1006>.Smith, John. Personal interview. 29 September 2006.“What is an International School?” TIE Online: Newspaper and InteractiveWebsite The International Educator. 19 September 2006.<
24 Time to Write…Gather your source information from the three sources used in the paper.Write out a “Works Cited” page.
25 In-Text Citations: parenthetical documentation Your I-search paper is a collaboration between you and your sources (the internet sites, the interview, and any other sources used in the paper). To be ethical (and fair), you must credit those sources where you obtained information. If you don’t cite the sources, then you are guilty of plagiarism.Most (if not, all) of your documentation will be located in the “Find” section of the paper.To avoid plagiarism, you must not only create a works cited page, but you must document your information within the paper. The kind of documentation that you will use is known as parenthetical documentation.Parenthetical documentation is an in-text citation that refers readers to a list of works cited.
26 Parenthetical Documentation cont’d. MLA in-text citations (the format we will use) are made with a combination of signal phrases and parenthetical references:A signal phrase indicates that something taken from a source is about to be used; usually the signal phrase includes the author’s name.The parenthetical reference, which comes after the cited material, normally includes at least a page number.
27 Parenthetical Documentation cont’d. Direct quotations:You must document all direct quotations, which is a source’s exact phrase or sentence.You must enclose exact phrases or sentences in quotation marks: “ “. Omission of quotation marks is considered plagiarism even if you have cited the source.Always introduce a quotation with a signal phrase and end the quotation with the parenthetical documentation.Example:In response to the benefits of teaching overseas, John Smith indicates that “meeting new people, learning about new cultures, and touring the countries are invaluable experiences” (“English Language Teacher Overseas” 4).Signal phraseParenthetical documentation
28 Parenthetical Documentation cont’d. Direct quotations:When using quotations, you should never drop a quote into the paper without leading up to the quote.There are only three ways to incorporate correctly quotations:Use a lead-in followed by a comma:According to Smith, “most teachers find that they learn more from their students than the students learn” (1).Use a complete sentence followed by a colon:The teacher usually teaches adults who are motivated to learn the language: “adults have to learn English as a second language in order to survive in the business world” (“English Language Teacher Overseas” 3).Use short quotations and imbed them into your own sentences (you should punctuate your sentence as if the quotation marks were not there.):Most teachers who take jobs overseas find that “the opportunities and experiences outweigh the difficulties of being in a foreign country” (“English Language Teacher Overseas” 2).
29 Parenthetical Documentation cont’d. Summaries:A summary condenses information from a source (using your own wording to describe information from a source).Any information that you refer to in the paper from another source must be documented.Example:Word-for-word Paragraph from the article: “English language teachers overseas primarily teach people who plan to use English for business purposes in a country where English is not commonly used. Japan is a good example. Many teachers move to Japan and teach English to Japanese businesspeople.”Summary of this paragraph: When overseas, teachers instruct people so they can use English in the work place (“English Language Teacher Overseas” 1).
30 Parenthetical Documentation cont’d. Paraphrases of sentences:A paraphrase is an interpretation of a statement using your own phrases and sentences, and citations must be incorporated.
31 Parenthetical Documentation cont’d. Keep in mind…Parenthetical documentation typically includes the author’s last name followed by the page number. Ex. (Smith 45).If no author is given then use the title of the article and the page number. Ex. (“English Language Teacher Overseas” 2).The period comes after the parenthesis, and there is no comma between the author/title and the page number.When the information is from a website and there is no page number, you determine the page number by viewing print set-up. Use the page number indicated on the pre-view. OR You can record the number of the paragraph: (Smith, par. 4).
32 In-text citation for websites and interviews I didn’t realize the amount of education that was necessary for this career. According to Choices Planner, you need a minimum of a master’s degree for most of the civil engineering jobs in government. A doctorate degree is required for the highest paying jobs in private industry (“What to Learn”). This means at least two more years of college beyond what I had planned, but I think the increased income will make it worth the extra effort.As stated by Civil Engineer U.S.A., the head of the engineering department in most American cities earns an average starting salary of $60,000 with insurance benefits (“The Market”). This sounds like a good beginning wage to me.In-text citation for interviewMr. Collins, the civil engineer that I interviewed, told me that his career has been very rewarding.
33 The Name of Your Career Appears Here last name 1First and Last NameMr. HydeEnglish IV, Period __April 10, 2008The Name of Your Career Appears HerePaper Requirements (Mechanics):Paper length: Seven paragraphsFont: You will type the paper in Times New Roman, 12-point font.Spacing & Margins: The line spacing will be double-spaced. Every paper must have 1-inch margins.Title: There is no title page; instead, you will use a Title-Header, which must be in the same format as seen above. TheTitle-Heading appears only on the first page of the paper on the left-hand side (left-justified). The title of the paper will becentered (see above example). A running-header will appear on all pages on the top, right corner of the page. This headerincludes your last name and the page number, and it is located inside the 1-inch margin (see above example).Paragraphs: Indent the beginning of each paragraph. Do not add extra spaces or lines between one paragraph andanother.
34 [Sample Paper] Heading Title of paper 1st Subtitle 2nd Subtitle First and Last NameMr. HydeEnglish IVMarch 27, 2008City EngineerWhat I Know:I chose to research a career in civil engineering…[Your response must answer the two questions.]What I Want to Know:Mr. Hyde took the class to the library to begin our research. …[Explain what you did to obtain information on your chosen career.]HeadingTitle of paper1st Subtitle2nd Subtitle