The Final Essay Project
Why Write a Final Research “Paper” as a Web Article?
The final individual essay will enable seminar members to use the advantages of the blog architecture and Web “rich media” content for references, links, and embedded media (images, graphics, video, music). The point is to use the Web environment as a space to think with.
Like all research papers, your essay must be motivated by a research question with your own argument and interpretive framework. The Web/blog format allows us to use multiple media sources and a “bibliography” of references to supporting materials in any medium (text, image, video, film, sound/music).
Using the approaches, theories, and methods in the seminar, develop a topic for an extended essay with examples or cases to interpret or apply your ideas. Your essay should be about the equivalent of about 15 pages of traditional writing, and with a fully developed set of references and links to relevant sources. Be as creative as possible with the Web environment of your essay.
The Structure of Your Argument
For the structure of your argument in a professional research essay (in any format), refer to my Writing to be Read: A Rhetoric For Writing in the Post-Digital Era. Follow the guidelines there for a successful structure to the presentation of your argument and research. This is the main required structure:
- Introduction (establishing your topic and approach, your sources and methodology)
- Main body of the essay (explanation and interpretation, development of the main argument)
- Conclusion (wrap up your main point and significance of your work)
- List of Web sources and links (you can combine with the whole bibliography if preferred)
- Bibliography or Works Cited/Consulted (all the relevant materials you have considered or want to reference to support your essay)
References and Citations
Include a “Works Cited and Consulted” or “References” bibliography at the end of the wiki essay. Use the documentation format of either the humanities or social sciences. Refer to the following online guide for a quick summary of citation styles:
- Diana Hacker’s Bedford-St. Martins Guide (good guide to MLA or APA citation styles)
- Georgetown University Library Citation Guides
The Web Space for Your Essay
I will set up an individual “page” for your final project. Read other students’ essays from earlier semesters for good models: the essays that stand out will be those with a good structure to the argument and good use of research material and sources. You may also find references that you can use in your own research.
Using and Maintaining Your Essay After You Finish the Course
Your essay and the fixed URL for your page will remain available for reference, for linking (blogs, social media), and for job or academic applications in the future. You will be able to update and revise your essay for as long as you have access to the Georgetown Digital Commons with your GU NetID and password.