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WRIT 1120: Seminar in Research Writing: The Pre-Search Essay

Picking a topic

Can't think of what to write? Take a look in the news. Keep in mind that you'll want to pick something you're passionate about, as you'll spend quite a bit of time with this topic!

How to choose a topic

Developing your research question

Developing that overarching research question for your presearch essay can be tricky. Here's a video with some tips.

Organizing your research

This worksheet will help you collect the details you need to cite your sources and some notes on the content of the sources you find. If you need to submit an annotated bibliography, you'll already have most of the work done if you fill out this worksheet you conduct your research. 

Seeing synthesis

Remember that a big part of the research essay is synthesis, or recognizing the relationship between sources, and recognizing that the ideas of a source exist in a conversation of ideas that takes place on the page. Do your sources agree, disagree, or build upon one another? This can be tricky to figure out, and using a graphic organizer can help you see, visually, the relationship between sources. Download the document below for one such organizing tool!