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CORE 1043: Composition I - J. Pittman - Fall 2016: Assignment


Research definition

Citation Help

See the library's citation guide page for common citation style guides, paper formatting examples, and sample annotated bibiographies. 

Final Reseach Essays (FREs)


With the theme of popular culture, the Final Research Essay (FRE) asks you to consider the meeting point of popular culture and academia. In other words, are there topics that are simply not suited for academic study? Conversely, should elements of popular culture--television shows, films, documentaries--be fruitful ground for serious academic study? What about the use of social media in the classroom--is that a good idea or grounds for failure?


Using Graff and Birkenstein's They Say, I Say, select an argumentative topic that incorporates both popular culture and academia. Choose one side of the debate, and write an essay that argues for that side and/or against the other side. You must decide who your target audience is, and choose sources and an argument that will appeal to them. 


  • Preface: 1/2 to 1 full page that briefly details your topic and why you chose it; explain who your target audience is; this is NOT part of the minimum page requirement;
  • Length: 3-5 pages, preferred 4-5 pages;
  • Paper Format: Typed, double-spaced, and with 1 inch margins; MLA header on the left and last name/page number in the upper right corner; 11-pt. Cambria or Calibri or 12-pt. Times New Roman font;
  • Sources: Minimum of 5 credible secondary sources less than 5 years old (NOT written before 2011);
  • Essay: Use templates from Graff and Birkenstein's They Say, I Say, to create clear prose, engage with your sources, use strong verbs and well-defined transitions throughout; read your Final Research Essay Assignment packet for more information;
  • Works Cited: MLA format; this is NOT part of the minimum page length requirement; missing this will result in a 20-point deduction from the final grade;
  • Due Date: Wednesday, December 7

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