Online Research Article: Assignment Description English 1120 Spring 2017 Dr. Hercula
Online Research Article: Assignment Description
After viewing some TED Talks and reading some examples of online research articles, studying the genre and its
rhetorical situation, you will write an online research article in which you describe a new technology, product,
item, or person that you think will change the world for the better and/or have a lasting, positive impact on
people’s lives by tackling a pervasive societal problem in a unique way. You will develop a strong argument about
your topic, and, after researching the topic thoroughly, you will write an article in which you use information from
several sources to convince your readers of the importance and potential positive impact of the topic you have
chosen. You will publish your article on a webpage, ultimately submitting a URL rather than a file.
The steps to write your article:
1. Watch these two TED Talks: This app makes it fun to pick up litter by Jeff Kirschner and A temporary
tattoo that brings hospital care to the home by Todd Coleman. In each of these talks, the speaker makes a
compelling case for how the new technology/product he discusses has the potential to change the world
and to improve people’s lives for the better, not only in terms of the outcomes of use of the product but
also because these products tackle each problem using a unique, specific, compelling approach.
2. After watching the talks, you will come up with your own similar topic: you must identify a current/new
product, invention, technology, or even a living person and then make a compelling argument for how
and why you think that product/person will change the world for the better by using a unique approach to
solving an important problem in the world. You must develop a strong argument in favor of the
product/person, writing a concise thesis statement that explains why you think this new product or
person will have a positive, lasting impact on people’s lives and/or make the world a better place.
3. After identifying your topic, you will do some research on the product/person you have chosen, finding at
least four credible, varied sources that you will cite in your paper to explain the product/person and
support your argument. You will need to identify sources that will enable you to use a balance of logos,
pathos, and ethos in your paper while avoiding the use of any argumentative fallacies.
4. You will also need to do some research to identify the counterargument/opposing argument against your
topic—you must find out why some people might not support the product/person you’ve chosen (identify
any potential weaknesses in the product/person) and be prepared to address and argue against that
perspective in your paper.
5. After developing your thesis and conducting research, you will write your article, including:
a. an introduction with a compelling hook
b. a strong thesis statement that summarizes your main argument
c. discussion of the background information on your topic—how the product works or who the
person is (using evidence/examples from sources, cited in MLA format)
d. strong, compelling support for why you think this product/person will change the world positively
(using evidence/examples from sources, cited in MLA format)
e. a discussion and refutation of the counterargument/opposing argument regarding the
weaknesses of the product/person (using evidence/examples from sources, cited in MLA format)
f. a strong, compelling conclusion
6. Once you have finished drafting, you should revise, edit, and proofread your article.
7. As you are writing, you should also work on creating the webpage on which you will ultimately display
your article. You can use wordpress.com or some other free website creator to develop a website in
which you will publish your article to turn it in, though you need not make the page public.
8. You will also need to find or create at least one image or picture to use in your article. The image should
be effective in helping to express/visualize some part of your argument/topic. The image must be one you
have permission to use (you will have to check the copyright information and cite the image
appropriately, giving credit to the person who created the image/took the picture, etc.), and you will also
have to include a caption for the picture, explaining to your reader what the image shows.
9. Finally, you will insert your content on your webpage, develop a Works Cited list for the end of your
article, and make all final decisions regarding the effective design of your webpage.
• Length: minimum of 1000 words
• Create a unique, catchy title for your article
• Your article should include the date and a by-line (with your name) near the title
• Your article must contain at least one image with a caption and a citation/photo credit
• Your article must include correct MLA-style in-text citation and an MLA-style Works Cited page at the end
• You should make choices about font size, font style, colors, margins and other design features in order to
create an appropriate, visually appealing, and user friendly webpage design
A few more details:
1. Topic. You may choose any topic for your article as long as it is a new product or technology or a living
person that you think will have a positive, lasting impact on the world and/or on people’s lives. You
should choose a topic you feel passionate about so that you can make a compelling argument.
2. Thesis Statement. Your thesis should be one sentence that clearly names the product/person and why
you think that product/person will have a lasting, positive impact, identifying the unique approach you
think that product/person takes to tackle the problem/challenge it is designed to address.
3. Organization. Your article must be well organized. You may wish to place your thesis statement at the
beginning of the article and then organize your supporting points throughout the rest of the piece. Or you
may wish to build your evidence throughout the piece, leading up to your thesis statement that appears
toward the end of your article. In either case, you should also provide an explanation of the background
information needed for your readers to understand the product/person. You should also think carefully
about how to begin and end your article effectively.
4. Evidence/Sources. You must support your argument with sufficient evidence to back up your position.
You should use a balance of ethos, pathos, and logos in your evidence. You should also draw support from
at least four credible sources (e.g., journal or magazine articles, credible websites, books, etc.), and you
should use a variety of sources to establish the validity of your claims (not just three websites, for
example). You also need to address possible counterarguments/opposing arguments against your
product/person (for example, perhaps the product is expensive to produce or the person has a negative
reputation in some area of his/her life) and explain why those arguments are less valid than yours.
5. Citation. You should use citation in a few different ways in your article. As appropriate, you should use
links in your article to provide direct citation to websites or articles. You should also quote or paraphrase
from your sources within your article, using proper MLA-style in-text citation, as evidence to support your
argument, giving credit to the authors of your sources by referencing their names and credentials in the
text of your article (for example, “According to economist James Smith…” or “As Amanda Jones, author of
Book About My Topic, suggests…”). Finally, you must also create a Works Cited list to include at the end of
your article with all of the bibliographic information on each of your sources.
6. Publication. You will turn in your assignment by providing me with a website URL. So, you must choose an
online website builder and create a simple website to “publish” your article, though you do not need to
make the website public. In addition to your content, then, I will grade you based on your use of
appropriate design features for an online article on a webpage.
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