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ENG 111: College Composition I (Pierce-Loudoun)

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Research Paper

ENG 111 – College Composition I – Pierce

Students will complete a comprehensive, 5-7 page research paper identifying, explaining and analyzing a challenge to attaining the American Dream, as defined in the USA Today article, “Are you middle class?” This project will allow students to focus on one challenge and explore many facets of it while considering possible solutions based upon legitimate evidence/data. Students can focus on issues related to employment, education, housing, immigration, healthcare, inflation, federal, state, or local laws, etc. Use of this thematic focus will enable students to develop a deep understanding of pathways and barriers to the American Dream while mastering the process associated with composing a large research paper.

Exploration and evaluation work completed for this research paper will form the foundation for work completed  in ENG 112.

Suggested topics:

  • Employment & Wages
  • Education
  • Criminal Justice/Reform
  • Social Support Programs – Medicaid, Food Stamps, Welfare, etc.
  • Religion
  • Taxation
  • Housing or Homelessness
  • Native American Issues
  • Immigration
  • Inflation
  • Healthcare

*The above list is not meant to limit student selection. If you have an idea, please talk with me or the librarians as soon as possible so we can help guide you during the research phase.

Minimum Source Requirements:

Using a variety of sources such as newspapers, periodicals, speeches, interviews, books, websites, documentary films, etc, will provide the most comprehensive collection of information. Sources should be recent and published within the past five years – 2018 to present. Keep in mind that COVID had a significant impact on wages, housing, education, etc. so data before 2020 will possibly be outdated.

  • 7 different sources
  • 1 must be interview – personal, recorded, print-based are acceptable
  • At least 2 Visual aids such as data charts/graphs - no generic pictures
  • Detailed instructions for each component of this research paper will be provided prior to each due date.

All components must be typed in MLA format. All components will be submitted to CANVAS.

For additional assignment information, please refer to the assignment details in your Canvas course or contact your professor.