De Anza College Importance of

I need an explanation for this English question to help me study.

1) The Research Essay allows you to do some of your own research on a topic of your choice, finding at least six texts we did not read in the class that you can use to support your discussion. For this paper you may choose your own topic to research, as long you are using the skills and ideas we have covered in the course.

2) Your essay can be either strictly informative, exploring your topic to inform your audience about it, or it can be argumentative/persuasive, both informing and arguing a position at the same time. Either is acceptable.

Your essay should attempt to address the following questions about your topic:

  • Describe/explain your issue/topic thoroughly, exploring all aspects of the issue; and, if you like, take a strong position on the issue.
  • What is at stake with your issue? Why is it important? How does it impact people’s lives?
  • What, if anything, is controversial about this issue? Why?
  • What are the important side issues to address? What are the counterarguments?
  • Are there obstacles to addressing this issue? How might these obstacles be surmounted? (This will not apply to every topic)

Your Research Essay needs to include a Works Cited page at the end of the paper, where your sources are correctly formatted according to the sample Works Cited page on Canvas/that I handed out earlier. It also needs to have at least six (6) sources cited that we did not read in class (that you found on your own, on your topic). You may have more than that, but not less. You may have exactly 6 new sources, and then supplement with materials from the class if you like.

At least two (2) sources need to be scholarly or peer-reviewed sources. The others may be from reputable other sources such as newspapers and other publications. Sources that are not verifiable (blogs by individuals, etc.) cannot function as research sources. If you have any doubt about the verifiability of any of your sources, don’t hesitate to ask me!

Below is a list of sample general topic ideas. These are mostly topics that students have researched in the past, but not all possible ideas. If you have an idea that is not on this list, no problem!

Vaccine debates                                                                      

Debunking conspiracy theories

Education/school curriculum policies                                                

Science and paranormal beliefs                       

Popular culture: social impact of film, TV, games, etc.                       

Emerging technologies (benefits of, pro/con)

Government/laws/political policies                                       

The environment, climate change


Controversies in media or social media           

“Fake news”                                                                           

Human rights issues/animal rights issues        

Nutrition and fitness                                                             

Other social justice issue(s) and/or how they are discussed/portrayed in the media

The healthcare system