The Body of the I-Search Paper

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Part 2: The body of the paper (The Search)

The body of the essay is the narrative of your search for answers and your reflection on this research process.

In the beginning of the project, we will learn about the tools available to you through the WSU library database. You will explore these library tools as you engage in secondary research on your topic.

There are two ways students generally plan the research process:

  • You might begin with the source that is “closest” to you, the one that is easiest to access. Write about what you find there to answer your question and what seems like an intuitive next step for research. Then move on to that next source, and continue to follow the research path.
  • Or, you might have a more concrete research plan in place when you begin. For example, you might plan to look at scholarly articles from three particular journals to answer your question, or you might plan to find the answers to your sub-questions in a certain order.

You will find at least three relevant secondary sources to learn more about your topic. For each source you write about in the body of the essay, you should do the following:

  • Explain how you found that source: What search tools did you use? How did you navigate them?
  • Summarize the information you find in that source as it relates to your question.
  • Reflect on how that source helps you answer your question and/or how it helps you build on the knowledge you’ve found in other sources.

Your narration of the search process and your reflection on and analysis of sources will help you build transitions between your discussion of the sources you discover.

In-Class Activity

Post at least two of your sources and how you found them. What search tools did you use? How did you navigate them?

Summarize the source’s information and how it relates to your question.

Reflect on how that source helps you answer your question and/or how it helps you build on the knowledge you’ve found in other sources.

Your Assignment for Thursday, 22 October

Bring questions you have about finding sources. What have you found difficult or challenging about finding reliable sources? What other research questions do you have about finding quality, sound sources?

Be prepared to ask questions. Be prepared to take notes and have many of your questions answered.

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