Music Therapy

Craig Skinner

Search and Explain Assignment

This paper will serve as an opportunity to explore and define a topic for your annotated bibliography and final argumentative paper. While your topic for your argumentative paper should be narrow and well defined, this paper will serve as an exercise to help you explain what you already know about your topic, explore and write about the issues surrounding your topic, and conduct some secondary research.

First, you need to choose a topic. I recommend that you choose a somewhat broad topic that you think has the potential to be narrowed during the research process. You can research an issue you have been reading about in the news, an issue you see affecting students here on campus, or you may want to choose a topic that is somehow related to your major at Ivy Tech. If you do not have a major, that’s fine. You can use this assignment as an opportunity to explore a topic related to whatever field you are considering for a major, or you can choose to investigate and define a topic from a class in which you are currently enrolled. What is most important is that you choose a topic that you will be interested in writing about and researching. I also highly recommend that you read and review the sample paper I have provided along with this assignment. This is a paper written by an actual student, and you are required to follow the form and appearance of this sample as you prepare your rough and final drafts.

This paper will consist of two parts:

Part one should address what you already know about your topic, and why you want to investigate it. You should discuss why you are interested in the topic, what issues or problems you see involved with your topic, and possible solutions to these problems. At the end of this section, you arerequired include at least threepreliminary research questions about your topic that will guide you through the research portion of part two. Think carefully about what questions you have about your topic and work to express these questions in a deliberate and concise manner.

Here are some questions to guide you as you draft Part One:

• How did you first encounter the topic?
• What do you know about this topic that makes it relevant to you?
• How do you encounter this topic in your current life?
• What makes your curious about this topic?

Part two should include summaries and MLA style citations of five sources. Each source should be introduced with an MLA style citation and followed by a 1-2 paragraph summary and analysis of the source. These sources should be analyzed for stance, possible bias, and quality of information. You should summarize each source, explain whether they answered any of your preliminary research questions, and compare and contrast the information found within each source. Please see the sample paper of this assignment for guidance on the appearance of this section. You are required to have each of the following type of source:

1) A non-fiction book (eBooks are fine)
2) A video or television program (yes, you can use YouTube)
3) A credible website
4) A blog written by an expert in your topic (we’ll discuss what I mean by this)
5) An article from a newspaper or magazine (internet sources are acceptable)

Part 2 should also include a summary and reflection on what you have learned through your research and how it has shaped or changed the knowledge of your topic as you explained it in part one. Here are some questions to guide you:

• What have you learned?
• Why was this process important?
• What can be done with your new knowledge?
• Has this helped you learn more about your topic?


• Your final paper must be 1250-1500 words in length
• Your final paper must be double-spaced, typed in a 12 pt. font, and fulfill MLA formatting

Last Updated on February 2, 2018

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