Research Essay

Research Essay

In Unit 2, you analyzed a TED talk about a current issue. By conducting this analysis, you have familiarized yourself with at least one conversation surrounding the issue. This will serve as your groundwork for Essay 3, the research paper.

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Your assignment is to develop a specific problem-solving proposal to the issue addressed in your chosen TED talk from Unit 2. If you want to switch topics, you may choose from the TED talk list below.

After further educating yourself on the issue through research, you will decide on one specific solution to the problem that can be supported by research. These are all extremely complex issues; therefore, it is not expected that you find an ultimate solution that makes the problem disappear. Think of it this way: your solution should help mitigate, or lessen, the problem to some extent. Remember, change begins with very small steps.

Your essay should use the TED talk to provide some background information of the problem, and you should use more sources (see below) to argue the problem’s urgency (i.e. why does it need to be solved?). Consider who is affected by the problem. Finally, propose a specific solution.

There are several ways you can approach this paper.

If the speaker of the TED talk has already proposed a solution, you can write an essay that simply extends that argument. For instance, if you chose Samuel’s “How college loans exploit students for profit,” your problem-solving proposal might be income-based tuition to help combat the student loan debt crisis.

On the other hand, you might choose to use Samuel’s speech as a jumping-off point to highlight the student loan debt crisis in America, but argue for a different proposal, such as forgiveness for all after ten years. The point is that the solution needs to be specific.

Research, Format and Length

You are required to use a minimum of four (maximum of six) sources for this essay. One of those sources should be the TED talk you have chosen (you already know how to cite this!). The remaining three sources should come from Vol State’s library databases with publication dates no earlier than 2015.

After you use your four required sources, you can use two additional sources from reputable organizations or websites.

This essay should be written in standard MLA format. Your final draft should be between 3-4 pages, excluding the Works Cited page.

Audience and Tone

Your audience are fellow college students who are not familiar with your topic. You should maintain a formal tone and write your essay in third-person point of view (no I, me, my, you, your).

The final draft is due on Sunday, Nov. 15

Topic Choices

You may use any of the topics presented in these TED talks:

How to build community when you feel isolated by Chitra Aiyar

How college loans exploit students for profit by Sajay Samuel

What we’re learning from online education by Daphne Koller

An ultra-low-cost college degree by Shai Reshef

The Reporting System that Sexual Assault Survivors Want by Jessica Ladd

4 pillars of college success in science by Freeman Hrabowski

How we’re priming some kids for college — and others for prison by Alice Goffman

The boost students need to overcome obstacles by Anindya Kundu

Can a robot pass a university entrance exam? by Noriko Arai

This virtual lab will revolutionize science class by Michael Bodekaer

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