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Brew to Bikes Research Essay

Portland FRINQ
Knepler/Paterson
Winter 2015

In Brew to Bikes, Charles Heying introduced us to what he refers to as Portland’s artisan economy.
Heying argues that the concept of the “artisan” is central to Portland’s vibrancy, identity, and livability.
This research essay offers you the opportunity to further explore one area of this economy. Over the next
several weeks, you will pick one topic or area from the book to explore and research. Using various
tools for research and analysis, you will ultimately write a thesis-driven research essay that analyses the
role your chosen area plays in Portland’s complex and multifaceted culture.
In order to write your research essay, you will also draw from our other text, Bruce Ballenger’s The
Curious Researcher, to help you develop your ideas and your essay. You will create your paper in
various stages, turning in a full proposal, an annotated bibliography, as well as an observation, interview,
and photos. All of these stages should be completed by your mentor session on the day they are due.
You will also produce a solid draft of your paper for peer review in mentor session.
Be sure to make use of all of the resources you have: the writing center, my office hours, Chandler’s
support, d2l links, etc.
The Basics:
Length: 6-7 pages, not including visuals (approximately 1700-2000 words)
Format: Your essay must be typed, double-spaced, with one-inch margins and printed in 12-point
Times New Roman font. Use MLA style citation form. Your name, the course name and number, and
the date should appear in the upper left corner of all written material. Your paper should have a
compelling title (do not create a title page) and page numbers in the lower right-hand corner.
Following the process (see the following pages for further explanation of each of these
components):
Brief 2-3 sentence proposal due: January 20
Full Proposal due: January 27 (we will meet at the library that day)
Draft list of 5 potential sources due: January 29
Annotated Bibliography due: February 3
Observation, Photos, and Interview due: February 5
Rough Draft due: February 10
Final Draft due: February 17

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Your Topic
Choose a topic that interests you. You might be a fan of a specific Portland zine and want to know
more about Portland’s indie publishing world. You might be curious about a specific aspect of
Portland’s food scene (maybe you love cheese, theater, or ice cream) and you’re curious to know
more about it. Let your curiosity guide you and don’t hesitate to ask how you might fulfill a specific
interest.
In any case, do not choose a topic simply because you think it will be easy to research. A topic about
which you don’t feel at all passionate may frustrate you, and this frustration could lead to a less
interesting essay. Be sure to talk to me or Chandler, or both of us, if you feel stuck. Often the best
way to come up with an idea or a topic is to have a conversation about it. Your topic will also shift a
bit as you develop your ideas. You will also most likely have to narrow down your topic from a
broader general topic, to a narrower one (see below).
This assignment requires that you do an observation and an interview. Therefore, the only topic from
the book that is off limits is alcohol (beers or distilling) since almost all of you cannot fully
participate in this sector at this point in your lives.
Note: You can change your general topic after you turn in your proposal, but you must amend or
rewrite your proposal and talk to me about the change. Even if you change your topic, you must pick
your final topic January 29.
The general topic you choose should lead you to a series of questions, and one or more of these
questions will help you develop a clear and focused thesis. For example, if you choose to research
Portland’s bike culture, you might ask yourself the following:
 Why is Portland popular with bike artisans?
 How did Portland’s bike culture develop and why? What elements support this culture?
 What are the main concerns of bike purveyors, organizations and/or builders in Portland? Are
they concerned about safety, theft, and divisions within their community?
 How does this sector of the artisan economy sustain itself as a business? What factors does it
depend on?
 How has the biking community changed since Brew to Bikes was written. (It was published in
2010, but most of the work was completed before 2009, when the manuscript was completed).
 How has the economic downturn impacted this sector?
Narrowing down your topic: Once you have chosen you topic and started to develop questions, you
may find that you need to narrow down your topic. For example, under the larger topic of bicycling,
you might look at bike makers, bike retailers, or even retailers/advocates (such as the Community
Cycling Center).

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Research Essay Full Proposal (Due January 26)
Your full proposal is a one- to two-page document that will include the following:
 A description of your topic (2-3 focused paragraphs) that gives me a clear sense of what you
want to explore and why this topic interests you. Your topic may still be fairly broad or vague at
this point, but be as specific as possible. Upon reading your proposal, I may end up suggesting
that you narrow down the topic.
 Three to five questions you want to consider as you develop your thesis (you may not be able to
address all of your questions). You might also indicate which question(s) interests you the most.
 A list of keywords and phrases you might use in searching through library databases.
 A description of your approach. How will you go about researching your topic? What methods of
research might you use beyond library research (other interviews, surveys, etc)?
 Ideas for where you might do your observation and who you might interview (see below).
On Tuesday, January 20 you will turn in a brief, two to three sentence proposal. This brief
proposal has no points associated with it, but turning it in will help lead you in a strong direction
as you develop your ideas.
Sources
For this assignment, you will need to develop a specific focus for your research and use at least 5
sources minimum, beyond your ethnographic observation and interview (this means at least 7
sources altogether). At least three of these sources must be scholarly sources. The other sources
should be reputable an appropriate, such as the Oregonian or a popular source on the subject. You
can also use films or videos as a source. Remember that Wikipedia, in particular, and
encyclopedias in general are not appropriate sources for a college research paper, and these
should be used only as background material. You will create an annotated bibliography for these
sources (see below).
Your final paper MUST include some statistical analysis with at least TWO statistical
representations (charts, graphs, pie charts, etc). You might use these to show things such as increase
in profit or numbers of participants. Remember that these images are not part of your final page
count.
Your ethnographic observation and your interview will also serve as sources. You might also choose
to do further interviews, conduct surveys, or gather data through other means. This means that your
paper can also use the following: opinion polls, charts, maps, illustrations, graphs, or statistics.
Annotated Bibliography
An annotated bibliography is an alphabetical listing of your sources that contains descriptive and
evaluative comments on the sources. When you are evaluating your sources, you need to think like a
researcher. Consider issues such as when the source was written (some information may be outdated
or need updating) and when the source comes from (consider who the audience is for the source).
You should be very careful when evaluating an Internet source. Always consider who developed the

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source and what its purpose might be; if its purpose is to sell something rather than inform, that
might influence the tone of the source or the information provided.
Questions you should consider when choosing a source include: Is the author you are reading an
established voice in the field? For example, are you citing an established psychology journal to
prove your point about human emotions? Is the publisher reputable? How current is the material?
Can you hold the author accountable for the information provided? (In other words, is the
information reliable? To what extent? Why?) Your description and evaluation should include a brief
summary of the source as well as how you plan to use the source in your research paper. What
information are you going to pull from it and why will it be helpful to you in developing your ideas?
Your annotation for each source should be one to two full paragraphs.
See the following links for more information about how annotated bibliographies:
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/614/01/
http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/annotated-bibliographies/
Please follow correct MLA formatting for your annotated bibliography. When listing sources, follow
the same form as you would in completing the Works Cited page of your final paper. Your
description and evaluative comments about a source will appear immediately following the citation,
as in the example below
Example:
Dill, Jennifer  “Bicycling   for   Transportation   and   Health:   The   Role   of
Infrastructure.”  Journal of Public Health Policy 30.1 (2009): 95110. Web. 6 Jan. 2015.
This article examines the role of city planners in developing safe and efficient
pathways for cyclists in Portland. The author argues that bicycling can
contribute to public health by encouraging citizens to bike to work or as a
leisure activity. The author also argues that a rise in bicycle commuting can
have a significant impact on decreasing automobile traffic and the pollution
associated with it. I think this will be important to my understanding of why so
many people use bikes in Portland and how the city planners help to support
biking as a mode of transportation.
Ethnographic Observation, Interview, and Photos
Your ethnographic observation will be similar to the one you did for your final presentation fall term.
For your observation, you will write a “mini-ethnography” based on a close, 20-30 minute observation.
The place you observe should be related to your paper topic (for example, if you are studying coffee,
you might observe a coffee shop or, if possible, a coffee roaster).
The mini-ethnography you write based on your observations should address the following:
Provide the name and/or location of the place, and note what date and time you are there. Also note
the weather, particularly if you are outside. Keep in mind that the date, time of day, and weather
should impact your interpretations of what you observe.
Describe the place. What are its physical attributes (size, color, layout, etc) and consider the
following question: How do the physical characteristics impact how people use the space or place?
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Describe the people and interactions and consider the following questions: How do people use the
place or area? What are they doing in the time that you are observing?
What does the place and the activities taking place within it tell you about the topic you are
exploring?
Your mini-ethnography will be turned in as a paper, and should be 2-3 pages in length. It should be
typed, double-spaced, with one-inch margins. Your paper should be well organized, with focused
paragraphs and clear transitions (do not simply type us the notes from your observations).
The interview should be conducted with someone connected to your topic. For example, you might
interview an artisan or the owner of a store that sells these types of artisan goods. You will record the
whole interview and transcribe at least parts of your interview. We will work on developing questions
for your interview in class (main and/or mentor session).
You should also take photographs of a place, event, or moment related to your topic. These photos
might be of a shop, a street scene, or specific objects. You will assemble and add captions to your photos
so that they are clearly identified. Remember that, unless you are taking pictures of a crowd or an object
in public, you must ask permission to take the photo.
Grading Criteria for Ethnographic Observation, Interview, and Photos
Description and analysis in observation (25 points)

 You describe the place using vivid details.
 You describe the people and their interactions using vivid details.
 You clearly indicate the time of day, day of the week, and weather conditions (if relevant).
 You analyze the degree to which physical characteristics impact how people use the space or place.
 You analyze the role that the place might play in the neighborhood or city’s activities.
Overall organization and fluency of observation (15 points)
 There is a clear logic to the structure of the paper and the flow of ideas.
 The paper uses clear transitions between paragraphs and ideas.
 The paper has a strong introduction and conclusion, and an original title that reflects the ideas in your
paper.
 Your paragraphs are focused.
 You elaborate on your ideas using specific examples to back up your claims.
Writing style and tone, and grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and punctuation in observation (15 points)
 The tone of your observation is consistent and appropriate for audience.
 Your writing is concise (you emphasize “quality” over “quantity”).
 You work to avoid errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation, particularly errors that may impede the
readers’ ability to understand your ideas.
 Your vocabulary is appropriate and varied.
Quality of the interview (25 points)
 Your interview questions are clear, relevant, and demonstrate that you have done your research
 Your questions can lead to more open-ended answers (avoid “yes” or “no” questions unless they’re
relevant)
 You demonstrate listening skills by asking good follow-up questions
Photos and captions (20 points)
 Your photos are thoughtful and engaging
 They do their best to capture the place or idea you are documenting

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Grading Criteria for Research Essay
___ 30 points: Development of ideas, including the development of your thesis and claims
 Your paper is focused includes a clear and compelling thesis that is developed throughout the
essay.
 You provide appropriate background and historical information on your topic so that the reader
can better understand your thesis.
 You develop compelling claims that connect to your thesis and that you can support.
 You consider various points of view and present counterarguments when relevant.

___25 points: Quality of research, integration of sources and use of compelling examples
 Your essay demonstrates that you have devoted necessary time, effort, and though to your
research.
 Your essay includes the required sources, and your sources are appropriate and reliable.
 The paper uses clear, vivid, and appropriate examples to back up your claims, and demonstrates
that you have read closely and critically.
 The paper demonstrates an ability to analyze and synthesize ideas, and to connect the ideas in the
sources to your own claims.
 You use sources to support your analysis (instead of allowing the sources to simply speak for
themselves).
 You use active and appropriate signal phrases/verbs to introduce sources and ideas.
 You use correct MLA format on works cited page and for in-text citations.

__ 25 points: Overall organization and fluency, paragraph development, and elaboration
 There is a clear logic to the structure of the paper and the flow of ideas.
 The paper uses clear transitions between paragraphs and ideas.
 The paper has a strong introduction and conclusion, and an original title that reflects the ideas in
your paper.
 Your paragraphs are focused.
 You elaborate on your ideas using specific examples to back up your claims.

__ 20 points: Writing style and tone, and grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and punctuation
 The tone of your paper is consistent and appropriate for audience.
 Your writing is concise (you emphasize “quality” over “quantity”).
 You work to avoid errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation, particularly errors that may
impede the readers’ ability to understand your ideas.
 Your vocabulary is appropriate and varied.

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*__ 10 points: Draft (I will subtract 10 points if you do not have a draft on February 10)

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