Research Project

Development Milestones and Timeline:

  • Background research and research question development – Library Workshop 1 – TBD
  • Library Workshop 2 -TBD
  • Annotated Bibliography Peer Review – 11/13
  • Annotated Bibliography – 11/20
  • Peer Review – 11/20
  • Presentations due on CANVAS – 11/27
  • Class Sharing – 11/27, 12/4


The research inquiry project maps directly to all of our learning outcomes for ENGL 102. 

This is an independent research effort, supported by instructors and research librarians.  Our final products include an annotated bibliography, a visual presentation and an accompanying script. 


Research a topic of interest, narrow a topic, develop a research question, find, evaluate, integrate and document sources, understand and use conventions of genre within an academic discipline, read, re-read, analyze and synthesize a variety of sources, draft, review, revise, and edit a presentation, follow presentation best practices and gain experience presenting to an audience of peers.


The final product of your research will be a 10-minute presentation, a documentary or collage, which includes a combination of text and images with the option to incorporate video and sound.  Your presentation will be accompanied by a 10-page narrative script.

You will develop a research topic of your choice, but your research question must, in some way, engage our course theme The American Dream

First, explore topics of interest to you.  After conducting background research you will develop a particular research question which will guide your efforts.

You might think of current social issues or a current event and then historicize your topic to provide context for the ways in which the notions of The American Dream have contributed to the current state of affairs.  You might also choose to research a historical, environmental, artistic or literary topic of interest.  There are many options, but some topics will lend themselves better than others to a documentary presentation.  One challenge of this assignment is to narrow and focus your topic given the documentary genre, your intended purpose and audience. 

You will be presenting your documentary to the class during the last two weeks of the quarter.  Thus, your audience will include your instructor as well as your peers.

Format and Media:

  • A 10-minute presentation accompanied by a script. The presentation and script should be rehearsed and timed.  The page-length of the script will be determined by your presentation timing; however, a good rule of thumb is approximately 1 page per minute.  Thus, a 10-minute presentation would be accompanied by a 10-page script. 
  • PowerPoint or other presentation software may be used to create your presentation. If you would like to film and edit a 10 – minute video for your documentary, you are welcome to do so, however, you must have all of the necessary skills and editing software at your disposal in order to create your piece.  I do not recommend that anyone attempt to learn video editing during this class!
  • You may incorporate text, still images, video clips, sound, music and voice over. The minimum requirement is a presentation which includes text and still images.  If you decide to use video clips, please do not use more than 2 video clips.  Each clip must be no longer than 1 minute.

Source Requirements:

Sources incorporated into your final project should include traditional and contemporary texts; corroborative, descriptive and analytical materials; and should represent a range of views and information. You must integrate a minimum of eight texts.  Specifically, your list must include:

  • at most two reference sources
  • at least two actual books (essay collections count)
  • at least two articles from academic journals (which are not book or film reviews)
  • at least two articles from credible newspapers/news magazines
  • at least two visual texts (including films, photos, maps, charts, graphs, paintings, etc.)

To be clear, I am not asking for exactly two of each item on the above list. Some of these source criteria may overlap. For instance, you may find a book full of cool images regarding your topic — that will cover a book requirement and a visual text requirement in a single source. The same thing could happen if you find a newspaper article that includes a photo, or a book that is a collection of academic articles. You may have no reference sources to discuss at this point — terrific. You may have more than ten sources in all to talk about at this point — terrific. “At most” and “at least” mean just that. The goal is to ensure depth and breadth of sources.

Assessment Rubirc:

Critical Thinking

Depth and Thoroughness

Research – Source Breadth and Variety, Incorporating and Documenting Sources

Mechanics – Formatting, Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation

I will upload my research topic and all the files. 

My topic is: American Fitness Culture . 

Project must be connect with American Dream.!!


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