Final Project Assignment
Background: In college and beyond, you will be expected to know how to familiarize yourself with a range of viewpoints and evidence about a particular topic in order to determine your own thoughts about the topic—and possibly even to convince others to agree with you. Doing this well involves several steps: knowing where to find that range of views and determining which are credible, being able to synthesize information from various types of sources with one another and with your own ideas, and talking with others to develop your own unique perspectives on the topic, just to name a few. The argument-driven, research-supported essay you complete for FYRS will allow you to practice these steps in order to improve your skills of research, argument, synthesis, and source use.
By the end of FYRS, you will have designed and completed a substantive research-driven essay, using sources to help support an argumentative claim for a generalist audience. Each assignment in the class is meant to help you move thoughtfully through a writing process toward the completion of this project. FYRS as a course is intended to help you understand (and have opportunities to practice) a variety of rhetorical moves that are applicable in a variety of majors, workplaces, and community settings.
Specifics: The focus and theme of each project will vary from section to section of FYRS and will be determined by each student’s interests. Research questions and topics will be shaped by conversations between students and instructors and with support from writing center staffers and librarians. Although FYRS is designed so that students can explore a vast range of topics and arguments, each FYRS final project should include/demonstrate the following:
A reasonable argumentative claim that connects, in some way, to the theme of the course section and that works within the scope of approximately 4500 words (~15 pages)
An argument that showcases at least initial understanding of the larger issue(s) that contextualize this argument
A range of well-chosen sources (connected by in-text citations; documented in a works cited page) that help explain the larger context and support your argument
An understanding of how sources are used to shape thoughtful and nuanced conversation
Consideration of how others with reasonable opposing viewpoints might consider your argument
An engaging introduction that showcases how you wish to be perceived as a serious contributor to an already ongoing conversation
An organizational schema for the project as a whole that is clear and well-considered in terms of audience needs
Well-constructed body paragraphs that help move readers toward a better understanding of your argument/topic as a whole
A conclusion that is meaningful, given the goals of your specific argument
A sense of revision throughout the process—in other words, your instructor should be able to see how the initial assignments of the class led to this project, and how this project has developed over time
Again, each project in each section of FYRS will be different by design. However, the criteria listed above (and in the rubric below) provide basic shared expectations.
Resources: Remember that you have many resources available to you: me, CECs, the librarians, other Writing Center staffers, and each other!
articulates a clear, cohesive argument related to the course theme
shows sufficient familiarity with larger conversations and concerns related to topic
considers needs of audience (e.g., provides necessary background, definitions, and explanations; shows attention to their interests, likely objections or confusion, and concerns)
employs effective supporting evidence, distinguishing between own ideas and those of others
integrates quotations, examples, and other evidence effectively
fairly considers alternative views
creates and adheres to logical structure
consistently uses logical transition devices
grammar, punctuation, and syntax fit the context and do not interfere with meaning
consistently employs appropriate citation style
Final Project Assignment