Skip to Main Content

ENG 112: College Composition II (Doheney-Loudoun)

This guide has been created by librarians at NOVA to help you find books, articles, videos, and other types of resources related to this program of study. Direct comments to

Need Help?


For individual research help, schedule an appointment to meet with a librarian.

Research Project Assignment

Over the course of our semester together, we will delve deeply into the research process to investigate a topic you will choose and use to develop four different kinds of writing, listed below. As you write each document, you will consider its features and the rhetorical moves needed in order to execute each genre effectively.

Topic Selection and Inspiration Source: You will choose a topic that will support a long, multi-faceted research project. Your topic can be related to a controversial issue or a problem in your community, or you can investigate a person, concept, event, or phenomenon that interests you.

To support your initial understanding of your topic, you will choose an inspiration source that helps you understand the context and implications of the issue/problem, person, concept, event, or phenomenon you have chosen to investigate. Examples of good inspiration sources are

  • a magazine or journal article; 

  • a book or book chapter; 

  • a documentary film; 

  • a literary or historical text;

  • or a work of art.

NOTE: Do not choose a whole website, a “tip” or “fact” sheet, or a very brief news article because they do not, generally, provide the right depth of coverage for this project. 


Over the semester, you will complete the four deliverables, described briefly below, as you continue to investigate your topic and practice writing in different genres for specific audiences and relevant purposes. As we begin each deliverable, you will get more robust instructions and evaluation criteria (on Canvas). You can find due dates and related assignments to complete each deliverable in our 15-Week ENG 112 Class Schedule (linked) and on Canvas.


Research Project Deliverable 1: Project Proposal

A project proposal explains a project someone wants to work on, establishes the work’s relevance to the context in which it will be accomplished, and sets forth a plan for accomplishing it. The goal of a project proposal is to obtain permission (and/or funding) to complete the project. 

Completing this assignment will help you develop knowledge about your research project topic, narrow your focus, and posit an effective research question. You will use your inspiration source to explain the relevant components of your topic, to justify your interest in your topic, and reveal its significance to others who you want to be invested in the new knowledge your project provides.  


Research Project Deliverable 2: Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography organizes sources about a common topic, provides specific information about sources’ content, and considers the value of the sources to create deeper understanding about the topic. The goal of an annotated bibliography is to communicate what you understand about each source’s content, trustworthiness, and possible usefulness to fellow researchers interested in your area of study. 

Completing this assignment will help you recognize your knowledge gaps and find relevant information from varied sources about your topic to fill those gaps. It also allows you to develop effective research processes and learn how to find, evaluate, and use digital and traditional sources.The sources in your annotated bibliography will be included in your argument and final presentation.


Research Project Deliverable 3: Argument

Arguments take many forms in college and in life, but every form, from a literary text analysis to a post on X (formerly Twitter) to a traditional Rogerian defense, all arguments take a position on an issue, provide clear reasons and convincing evidence to support the position, and address differing perspectives. The goal of an argument is to convince others, who may not agree with you, to be informed about a timely issue, take action, and/or consider a new belief, policy, solution, definition, etc. 

Completing this assignment requires you to apply your knowledge of rhetorical situation in order to make the most effective moves, supply the best reasons and evidence, and design your argument convincingly. It also allows you to develop skill in critical thinking and reading and synthesis of information from multiple sources in order to establish the significance and implications of your topic. 


Research Project Deliverable 4: Final Presentation

Presenting research closes one loop of learning—disseminating your findings—and opens more opportunities to continue your inquiry. School and career settings often require sharing research and ideas with others through persuasive visual or auditory presentations. The goal of a presentation is to share new ideas and knowledge created through inquiry. 

Completing this assignment requires you to alter your written argument into a new medium and share it with a new audience, students in our class and me, in order to educate us about your topic and persuade us of its importance and value.