I-Search Research Paper

For this paper students select one of the books we have read, identify one of the "claims" that the book makes about life in Africa, and engage in library and on-line research to investigate what you have been learning in our class.

Each paper should have at least 5 library sources and 5 on-line sources -- more welcome.

The paper will likely focus on a specific country. Your task is to provide evidence about a specific claim presented by the book that you have choosen to look into. You should draw quotations from the text we have read to show what that text presents as the way things are and then quotations as well from your research sources.

You don't have to simply prove that the claim is "true" or "false." Rich, complex answers are preferred. Indeed, the paper should not be in list form, but carefully explore and develop ideas.

This paper should be an "I-Search" paper. You can use "I" and should discuss the process and journey of your research, and the development of your ideas.

You can trace what you found first, what it led to, what you noticed in the library research process, and so on. The I-Search paper is not asking you to write about why you chose the topic as much as how the journey of the research went. Here is a description from one website about I-Search papers:

I-Search reveals the thought processes involved in the search for answers. This allows other members of the learning community to follow the writers' thought processes as their search leads them along the path of discovery. Throughout the I-Search process, students reflect on the information they encounter and make decisions about how to proceed based upon their reflections. This combination encourages the development of metacognitive skills because the students are required to reflect deeply as they analyze the information they uncover and make decisions about its validity. The reader is then able to share the learning process because of the emphasis on the search in writing the I-Search paper.

The I-Search Paper is an interesting variation on the research paper invented by a famous WMU professor, Ken Macrorie!

To do an adequate job with this assignment the paper should be at least 8 pages long. More welcome.

Here are a couple internet additional links that talk more about the I-Search paper:

University of Georgia: I-Search

Make it Happen: The I-Search Unit

Use MLA style.


Al Ascuitto Fall 2012

Diana Baughman Fall 2012

Rachel Barker Fall 2012

Tori VanProoyen Spring 2012

Kenny Jakubas Spring 2012

Created by: allen.webb@wmich.edu
Revised: 11/14