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Presentation on theme: "This PowerPoint Presentation is ©2015 by Robin L. Simmons. All Rights Reserved. Robin L. SimmonsRobin L. Simmons."— Presentation transcript:

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2 This PowerPoint Presentation is ©2015 by Robin L. Simmons. All Rights Reserved. Robin L. SimmonsRobin L. Simmons

3 ENC 1102, Freshman Composition II Pitching Topics for the Research Essay I have so many good ideas that I don’t know where to begin!

4 Step 1: Know the policies.  You will write this research essay in a series of separate, graded assignments.  The first assignment requires that you pitch three possible topics.  The topic for your actual essay will be the one that most interests me, your reader.

5  Something most people do not know enough about to appreciate  Something people should be more concerned about  Something people should preserve before it is too late Step 2: Review the prompts.

6 Step 3: Pitch appropriate topics. But I’m not sure what makes a good topic! But I’m not sure what makes a good t opic!

7 Quality #1: The topic must interest both the writer and the reader.

8 Quality #2: The topic must be narrow enough for the assignment.

9 Quality #3: Sources for the topic must be plentiful.

10 Quality #4: The topic must be academic.

11 Quality #5: The topic must not be overused and unimaginative.

12 Read these example topics, which vary in success:  An F topic: Diabetes  A D topic: Types of diabetes  A C topic: Treatments for type 2 diabetes  A B topic: The use of insects in modern medicine  An A topic: Maggot therapy in the treatment of necrotic tissue common in diabetes patients

13 Test your understanding of these topic requirements by seeing what some real students have pitched...

14 I was really affected by the death of a Sea World trainer. I wonder if the treatment of the whales inspired the attack. I want to write my research essay on animal cruelty. I was really affected b y the death of a Sea World trainer. I wonder if the treatment o f the whales inspired the attack. I want to write my research essay on animal cruelty.

15 Is this a good topic for a research essay?  Yes! This student should run to the library to do some research!  No! This student has not been paying attention.

16 What is the biggest problem?  The topic is not interesting to the student.  The topic is too broad.  The student will have trouble finding enough good sources.  The topic is not academic.  The topic is overused and without imagination.

17 The solution: Narrow the subject to a topic that can be adequately explored in 2,000 words. Keeping Killer Whales in Captivity The training that both the trainers and killer whales receive The behavioral problems of killer whales in captivity The zoo philosophy for keeping animals like killer whales in captivity

18 I have really strong feelings about the death penalty. So I want to write my research essay on capital punishment. I have really strong feelings about the death penalty. So I want to write my research essay on capital punishment.

19 Is this a good topic for a research essay?  Yes! This student should run to the library to do some research!  No! This student has not been paying attention.

20 What is the biggest problem?  The topic is not interesting to the student.  The topic is too broad.  The student will have trouble finding enough good sources.  The topic is not academic.  The topic is overused and without imagination.

21 The solution: Choose overused topics only if you plan to say something that we don’t hear repeated on the news every other night. Capital Punishment The reasons some state governors have instituted a moratorium on executions Why some drug makers have stopped producing lethal injection drugs The attitudes other developed countries have towards human executions

22 These topics are overused. Avoid them unless you have an exciting and fresh angle:  Abortion  Dangers of smoking  Family values  Gun control  Global warming  Legalizing marijuana  Ozone layer  Skin cancer  Suicide  Teen pregnancy  Violence on television  Violence in video games  War on drugs  Religious issues

23 If you think a topic is overused, it probably is! Confirm your suspicion by asking your professor! Hmmm. I better ask about this one before I propose it as a topic! Hmmm. I better ask about this one before I propose it as a topic!

24 Our first son was born three months premature, so I witnessed first-hand the amazing medical advances that allow preemies to survive. I want to write my research essay on the medicine and technology that help these babies overcome the complications of their early births. Our first son was born three months premature, so I witnessed first-hand the amazing medical advances that allow preemies to survive. I want to write my research essay on the medicine and technology t hat help these babies overcome the complications of their early births.

25 Is this a good topic for a research essay?  Yes! This student should run to the library to do some research!  No! This student has not been paying attention.

26 What makes this topic suitable?  The topic is interesting to the student.  The topic is narrow enough.  The student will be able to find enough good sources.  The topic is academic.  The final essay will give its reader new information and perspective.

27 I’m a vegetarian animal lover. I want to write my research essay on the negative karmic energy trapped in meat as a result of the barbaric practices at slaughterhouses. I’m a vegetarian animal lover. I want to write my research essay on the negative karmic energy trapped in meat as a result of the barbaric practices at slaughterhouses.

28 Is this a good topic for a research essay?  Yes! This student should run to the library to do some research!  No! This student has not been paying attention.

29 What is the biggest problem?  The topic is not interesting to the student.  The topic is too broad.  The student will have trouble finding enough good sources.  The topic is not academic.  The topic is overused and without imagination.

30 If your topic isn’t taught in a college course, then it is not academic!

31 The solution: Write about personal beliefs in an academic fashion. Treatment of Animals Used for Food The changes mainstream markets have made as organic products gain popularity The more humane ways organic farmers treat their livestock The health consequences of eating meat from animals treated with hormones and antibiotics

32 I love biochemistry, so I want to write my research essay on the nutritional deficiencies of Rwandans in Africa, explaining the necessity of the native people poaching wildlife in protected parkland to meet RDAs of vitamins and minerals. I love biochemistry, so I want to write my research essay on the nutritional deficiencies of Rwandans in Africa, explaining the necessity of the native people poaching wildlife in protected parkland to meet RDAs of vitamins and minerals.

33 Is this a good topic for a research essay?  Yes! This student should run to the library to do some research!  No! This student has not been paying attention.

34 What is the biggest problem?  The topic is not interesting to the student.  The topic is too broad.  The student will have trouble finding enough good sources.  The topic is not academic.  The topic is overused and without imagination.

35 The solution: Don’t pick a topic that requires a $4 million grant from the World Health Organization, a staff of fifteen, and a two-year stint in Africa to do original research!

36 I work as a firefighter for Osceola County, and every week I see people injured — sometimes dead — because they didn’t buckle up. I want to write my research essay on the under appreciated value of that simple nylon belt that folks foolishly neglect to strap across their laps. I work as a firefighter for Osceola County, and every week I see people injured — sometimes dead — because they didn’t buckle up. I want to write my research essay on the under appreciated value o f that simple nylon belt that folks foolishly neglect t o strap across their laps.

37 Is this a good topic for a research essay?  Yes! This student should run to the library to do some research!  No! This student has not been paying attention.

38 What makes this topic suitable?  The topic is interesting to the student.  The topic is narrow enough.  The student will be able to find enough good sources.  The topic is academic.  The final essay will give its reader new information and perspective.

39 I hate English classes! I can never think of anything to write! Oh, well, I’ll do my research essay on the reasons that Florida teachers should get paid more. I hate E nglish classes! I can never think of anything t o write! Oh, well, I’ll do my research essay on the reasons that Florida teachers should get paid more.

40 Is this a good topic for a research essay?  Yes! This student should run to the library to do some research!  No! This student has not been paying attention.

41 What is the biggest problem?  The topic is not interesting to the student.  The topic is too broad.  The student will have trouble finding enough good sources.  The topic is not academic.  The topic is overused and without imagination.

42 The Solution: Do not write what you think your professor wants to hear. Think of an academic topic that really interests you. This is your opportunity to delve into a topic that might influence your major, career, or interests in life!

43 My mother had breast implant surgery 15 years ago. Before the operation, her doctors didn’t warn her of the long-range health problems that she could suffer. Now she is in tremendous pain from a number of complications. I want to write my research essay on the dangers of breast implants. My mother had breast implant surgery 15 years ago. Before the operation, her doctors didn’t warn her of the long-range health problems that she could suffer. Now she is in tremendous pain from a number of complications. I want to write my research essay on the dangers of breast implants.

44 Is this a good topic for a research essay?  Yes! This student should run to the library to do some research!  No! This student has not been paying attention.

45 What makes this topic suitable?  The topic is interesting to the student.  The topic is narrow enough.  The student will be able to find enough good sources.  The topic is academic.  The final essay will give its reader new information and perspective.

46 After taking a history course, I’ve developed a real interest in ancient Egypt. I’ve been reading on the Internet that no one knows for sure how the pyramids were built, and I want to prove that extraterrestrials used their space ships to help the pharaohs create these architectural wonders! After taking a history course, I’ve developed a real interest i n ancient Egypt. I’ve been reading on the Internet t hat no one knows for sure how the pyramids were built, and I want to prove t hat extraterrestrials used their space ships t o help the pharaohs create these architectural wonders!

47 Is this a good topic for a research essay?  Yes! This student should run to the library to do some research!  No! This student has not been paying attention.

48 What is the biggest problem?  The topic is not interesting to the student.  The topic is too broad.  The student will have trouble finding enough good sources.  The topic is not academic.  The topic is overused and without imagination.

49 The solution: Write about historical events in an academic fashion. The Pyramids of Ancient Egypt New theories modern archeology has provided about the pyramids’ construction The innovations that ancient architects used to build bigger and better pyramids The ways that Egyptian and South American pyramids compare and contrast

50 My grandfather passed away last year after a long illness. At the very end, when nothing else could be done for him, Hospice was called in. At some point in their lives, most people will experience the death of a loved one—or they will have to deal with their own mortality. I feel it's important to be informed of what the Hospice mission is and what services this organization provides. My grandfather passed away last year after a long illness. At the very end, when nothing else could be done for him, Hospice was called in. At some point in their lives, most people will experience the death of a loved one—or they will have to deal with their own mortality. I feel it's important to be informed of what the Hospice mission i s and what services t his organization provides.

51 Is this a good topic for a research essay?  Yes! This student should run to the library to do some research!  No! This student has not been paying attention.

52 What makes this topic suitable?  The topic is interesting to the student.  The topic is narrow enough.  The student will be able to find enough good sources.  The topic is academic.  The final essay will give its reader new information and perspective.

53 Now you are ready to write your own !

54 Remember that you are pitching possible topics. I decide the one that you actually use for the research essay.

55 Directions 1.Complete one topic on your Pitch Drafts handout. Use complete sentences. 2.Bring your potential topic to me. 3.Once I have approved it, finish the other two for homework.

56 Step 4: Prepare the final pitches. Emphasize your favorite topic.

57 First, prepare your notecards.  Using the three notecards you received in class, compose your three pitches.  Use the samples posted at the course blog as your guide.  Write in complete sentences. Proofread for sentence errors.  You will lose points for pitches that do not follow these directions.

58 If all three of your pitches are unacceptable, you must start from scratch. See me during office hours if you want me to preview your topics.

59 Second, search the library classic catalog.   Classic Catalog  Find two good paper [not electronic] books relevant to your favorite topic.  Print the book descriptions.  Annotate the book descriptions indicating what part(s) will be helpful for your topic.

60 This part explains how income inspires overfishing of sharks.

61 Finally, search the New York Times.   Search (at top left)  Find two good articles relevant to your favorite topic.  The articles must be signed. They cannot be letters to the editor or book reviews.  Print the full printer-friendly version of the articles.  Annotate each article, explaining why the information will help you.

62 This article explains how many sharks are killed and what authorities in Hong Kong are doing to reduce the number.

63 Your pitches and evidence of sources [ 50 points of the prewriting ] are due at the beginning of our next class.

64 The END.


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