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The Investigative Essay

A Journey into Research and
Documentation

Hints
• Chapter 21 and Chapter 22 are the primary
source of documentation information for this
essay.
• I encourage you to refer to these chapters often.
• If you have any questions at any point in the
writing of this essay, contact me.
• If you have not read the Introduction to this
essay, you need to do so now.

Your Topic
• Investigate an academic major, a career, or job you are
interested in.
• Based on this information, generate a copy of your
transfer plan from the STARS Web Page (stars.troy.edu
)
• Write an informative essay in which you reveal your
findings.
• Blend together your own ideas about your topic, as
well as ideas from three secondary, or outside, sources.

See Topic Sheet document for complete details.

What kind of information should you include in this essay? • Requirements for a college major or training for the career. – – – – Formal education Practical training Personal requirements Where one can obtain the training .

What kind of information should you include in this essay? • Type of work the career involves – What does one do on the job? • Job opportunities – Number of openings in a particular geographical area – Opportunities for growth in the United States – Opportunities for growth in other countries .

What kind of information should you include in this essay? • Salary – Starting pay? – Opportunity for advancement? • Interesting statistics about the career • Rewards/satisfactions of the career .

. • You must access at least two of the documents electronically. • You are required to use three outside sources. . • You may consider a non-print source too . .How do I find this information? • You investigate – or research – outside sources.

410-412 for more information on interviewing. .What is an example of a nonprint source? An Interview • You could interview someone in the career and use that person’s comments in your paper! • See pp.

.How do I get started? • Choose the career of interest • Log on to the STARS website (access at www.edu OR stars.troy. See the Course Outline/Assignments document for due date.edu) • Develop a transfer guide for your chosen major and a transfer institution of your choice • Save the transfer guide in an electronic document so that you can e-mail this as an attachment.jdcc.

– Click here to find Statistical Sources links on the JDCC Library home page. . • Note that you must have an AVL Password and User Name for off-campus access. • If you have a question about a particular source.gov/oco ) – Utilize the databases available on the Alabama Virtual Library • Access is available through the JDCC Web site. • Click here to access the Leigh Library Catalog. – Click here to find the JDCC Library’s Serials and Solutions Database.What is the next step? • • Do some investigative research on your chosen career. • Note that this may or may not be operable off-campus. – To locate other online sites. which allows you to check the library holdings for the JDCC Library.bls. contact the library staff at . Suggestions: – Consult the Occupational Outlook Handbook in the college library or online ( www. as well as any public library. use www.ask.edu – 251-368-7610 (Atmore) – 251-809-1584 (Brewton) . – library@jdcc.com . . – Use other print sources available in the college library as needed. You can get this at the library on the Atmore and Brewton Campuses.

Attention! NOTE: Sources that were published before 2002 are not acceptable unless you are doing a comparison/contrast of past data and present data. Your information must be current! .

date. page numbers. – This page provides a list of all outside sources cited in the essay.) • This information must be included on the last page of your essay. 372. This list is organized in alphabetical order. 372-374 to see a sample Works Cited page. it should have begun on p. 11. Technically. 10 of the paper.What do I do after I find sources that I like? • You must make notes on the publication information for your sources. . etc. the printer of your textbook began the Works Cited page on p. – This page is called the “Works Cited” page. • See pp. – Author – Title – Publication (Publishing company. – Note that on p.

• This section of the textbook gives you a “formula” to use for each type of outside source that you might encounter. – Click here for a “Citing Electronic Information” Web site. publication) and “plug into” the formula.citationmachine. – Consult the following Web address for a step-by-step guide on setting up a bibliographical entry: www. Remember to select MLA format. 382-394 (Chapter 22).net.e. author. . title. 390-394. . . • Take your information (I. • Pay special attention to the “Online Sources” section on pp.How do I know how to set up a bibliographical entry for each of my sources? • See pp. • For additional resources .

. just keeping inserting your information into the formula where appropriate. – If there is not author. just put “n. title. • If any part is missing.d. publication).” in the appropriate slot in the formula. just slide the title over into the author’s slot in the formula.Helpful Hint • Don’t panic if you cannot find all of the required information (author. – If there is no publication date.

Helpful Hint • Don’t forget to include the date of access for your electronic sources. . • This date is important as it indicates the date on which you “captured” your information.

net and go to Online Encyclopedia (under non-print sources).Helpful Hint • Have you decided to use information from the Occupational Outlook Handbook in your essay? • Are you having trouble determining how to cite this source on your Works Cited page? ************************************ Go to citationmachine. .

Let’s talk about how to organize your bibliography notes . .Moving On . . . . .

. such as you would with a research paper. – They put their sample bibliographical entry on a card. – They organize the cards in alphabetical order.How do I take these bibliography notes? • Some people make bibliographical cards on 3 x 5 note cards. many sources. – This method works well when you are having to juggle many. – They type their Works Cited page from the cards that are in alphabetical order.

– Many create one entry per page.How do I take these bibliography notes? • Other people. they print the bibliography entry and staple to the source for easy access and identification later. . – If they have a photocopy of the source. – They save the electronic copy of the source and the bibliography entry page in a file or folder for easy access and identification later. especially those who like to type – versus handwrite – their information like to go ahead and create in a word processing document a bibliography entry as it would appear on the Works Cited page.

. • Keep in mind that. I would recommend saving your entries as a document that you can save on a disk.What form of bibliography notes should I use? • You may do either method of organization. because everything must be submitted electronically.

– Taking good notes on the information that you have read will help you organize the information that you want to include in your essay. .After I have made my bibliography notes. what is next? • You must begin taking notes on your research. – Taking good notes will help you avoid common documentation errors. .

404-406 (“Avoiding Plagiarism”) • Click here to view “Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It” . • See “Plagiarism Policy” in the syllabus.Why must I be so careful in taking these notes? • You must accurately document information obtained from your outside sources to avoid plagiarism. • See p.

. Think about your outline. Make notes on the ideas that you like but are just not sure where they will fit on the outline. Where do you need to use outside sources to help you generate ideas?) Make notes on the ideas that you think will fit nicely in your outline. Underline or highlight information that you think is useful for your essay.e. – What main points have you identified for your thesis? – Where has your brainstorming led you? – What ideas are you trying to bring out? – What ideas need “help” (I.How do I get started taking my notes? • • • • • Read your sources.

. you could also make notes to yourself about where the information could be included in the paper. • Using this same method. . . especially if they need a “hands on” approach to learning .How do I take these notes? • Some textbooks recommend a notebook approach in which you make your notes in the notes section of the notebook and keep a running list of sources in the bibliography section of the notebook. but many of my students find that using the note card system works much better. you could list the source information at the top of a page and then make notes on the information that you found in that source. • Using either method. *********************************************** • This works well for some people.

if you are not able to determine your main points after researching. You are able to organize your note cards to fit the pattern of ideas in your outline. • • • • • You use 4 x 6 note cards. 348-354 for an overview. the note cards help you develop your outline. You capture your information on these cards. based on the topics in the outline and the topics on the cards. . – Thus. you can “group together” cards with the same topic and evaluate the information to see what main ideas emerge. See p. Often. 374 concerning the transfer of note card information to a computer file.What is the “Note Card” system? • See pp.

• See the Direct Quote Note Card with Comments document. . – The comments will guide you on the other types of information that each note card must have. • This is called a DIRECT QUOTE card.What information must I put on a note card? • You may put information from the source wordfor-word as you found it in the source.

• See the Summary Note Card with Comments document. but that you summarize the whole idea or concept of the information. • This is called a summary card. Be careful that you do not merely do this phrase-by-phrase. – The comments will guide you on the other types of information that each note card must have.What information must I put on a note card? • You may summarize information from the source. – You put the idea in your own words. .

lines. • Develop a working outline to help you visualize your paper’s “map. identify the sub-topics that can be included under each main point. .I have my notes . Now what do I do? • Organize your note cards into “piles” based on the topic.” • See the Sample Outline document as a guide. • Identify the ideas or topics that these “piles” represent. • Begin to identify main points. • Then. or slug. . .

etc. – The only concept that is different is that you are going to incorporate the outside ideas that are provided on the note cards. . • I suggest that you write the “outline number” on the card (I. • Begin writing your essay as you have done before.3.B.A.) • Organize the note cards accordingly.What is next? • Identify where the information on the note cards can be used in the outline.1 or II.

• Note that summarized information does not require quotation marks. if applicable.How do I get the information about the source into my paper? • See the “Writing Your Research Paper” section on p. . • Note that you must identify the source and the page number. 357. • Note that you must use quotation marks around the information that comes word-for-word from a source.

Where can I look at a sample paper so that I can SEE how the in-text documentation looks? See the sample research paper on pp. . 363-374.

Some Situations You Might Encounter • If you have a direct quote of which you want to use part. you may use ellipsis markings (. but not all. • Example: – “Some of the children experienced severe trauma . and were unable to recover their belongings” (Brightman 76). . .) to indicate where you have omitted words. . . .

• See p. • You are not required to use quotation marks. 368 for an example . you must indent the entire quote – or create a block quote.Some Situations You Might Encounter • If you have five or more lines of directly quoted text. • The entire quote must be indented ten spaces from the left margin.

• See Quote Within a Quote Sample with Comments document. . • In that case. you must give credit to the original author and the author whose source you are using.Some Situations You Might Encounter • You might find information in a source that was actually gotten from another source.

” . you have two options: – Insert [sic] after the misspelled word • “Their [sic] are still many miles left to go.” – Insert brackets [ ] with the correctly spelled word to replace the one that is incorrectly spelled • “[There] are still many miles left to go.Some Situations You Might Encounter • If you find a misspelled word in your source but want to use the information in a direct quote format.

is an increasingly popular method of expressing ideas in a concise form. Click here to read more information.Other Techniques • • • Rhetorical illustration– also known as visual rhetoric -. you can decide whether you want to present the data in sentences or in a graph or chart. many lines of text to discuss. . – You insert a graph to emphasize a point of your discussion. – It is a way to let a concise graph provide information that would take you many. • • See pp. – You can also provide the illustration and then provide follow-up discussion about particular point that you want your reader to know or understand. What is “rhetorical illustration”? You see this constantly in textbooks when numerical data is being compared/contrasted. 376-378. – When you draft your paper.

chart.Rhetorical Illustration: A Bonus • If you correctly incorporate an illustration. . you will automatically earn 5 bonus points on Essay #4. or graph in your essay.

the outline does not. .How do I type this paper? • The same as you have done the other papers this term!!!!!  • Use the sample research paper (pp. 363374) as a visual aid. • Remember that the Works Cited page counts as a regular page of your paper.

Best Wishes As You Work On This Essay! Contact me if you need any assistance!  .