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Writing Assignment #1
WRTG 391
Summary of Research Study Findings
Instructions:
In WRTG 391, you will eventually write a synthesis of
sources essay. In writing this essay, you
will conduct significant research for scholarly sources
through the UMUC Library and
Information Services interface.
In many cases, scholarly articles report the findings of a
research study. The article will provide
an introduction to the topic, review previous literature on
the topic, and then explain the
methodology, findings, and conclusions of the study.
The first assignment for this class, the Summary of Research
Study Findings, helps get you
started in finding scholarly articles and, specifically,
research studies. In this assignment, you
will find four articles from scholarly journals. Each of
them will report on a research
study.
You will show the findings of your studies in a format given
to you. When you complete the
form, the information will provide a summary of your
research in locating the four articles.
Please use the format on the following page. You can copy
and paste the information on the
following pages into a Word document and then fill the
information in.
Using the guidelines provided by the video and the template,
please post a rough draft of your
Summary of Research Findings as your instructor directs you.
After receiving feedback from
your instructor on your Summary of Research Findings, please
use the comments from your
instructor in revising the draft.
Your Topic _________________________
Article #1:
Author(s) and title of the article and the name of the
journal:
Key terms in the article (list at least 5 terms):
Focus of study: This can be 3-4 sentences.
Conclusions of the author(s): This can be 1-2 sentences.
Your observations of what you learned about your topic from
this article and from this research study.
Please write 100-150 words for each article.
Article #2:
Author(s) and title of the article and the name of the
journal:
Key terms in the article (list at least 5 terms):
Focus of study: This can be 3-4 sentences.
Conclusions of the author(s): This can be 1-2 sentences.
Your observations of what you learned about your topic from
this article and from this research study.
Please write 100-150 words for each article.
Article #3:
Author(s) and title of the article and the name of the
journal:
Key terms in the article (list at least 5 terms):
Focus of study: This can be 3-4 sentences.
Conclusions of the author(s): This can be 1-2 sentences.
Your observations of what you learned about your topic from
this article and from this research study.
Please write 100-150 words for each article.
Article #4:
Author(s) and title of the article and the name of the journal:
Key terms in the article (list at least 5 terms):
Focus of study: This can be 3-4 sentences.
Conclusions of the author(s): This can be 1-2 sentences.
Your observations of what you learned about your topic from
this article and from this research study.
Please write 100-150 words for each article.

WRTG 391: Writing
Assignment #2 The Critical Annotated Bibliography
Writing Assignment #2
will be a critical annotated bibliography of 12 scholarly sources.
In this assignment you will write a list of at least 12
references in alphabetical order in APA format. In addition, each reference
willbe followed by a short analytical summary of 150-200 words.
At the end of the short summary, you will include a sentence
or two that critically analyzes the source and that mentions distinctive
features about the article and why it may or may not be useful for you in
writing a literature review.
You will use the topic you proposed and I approved in the
“Thinking About Topics” ( “Exercise Can Cut Risk of Pregnancy-Related Diabetes”)
discussion. Keep in mind that your topic should be a topic on which a number of
studies or scholarly articles have been published.
Examples of topics students have chosen in the past or that
would be workable for this assignment are the following:
· The impact of the Internet on research methods of students
and plagiarism in student papers
· The impact of The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act on
primary school education
· The impact of mobile devices on cybersecurity
Overall, in considering a topic, you might consider your
major, topics that will be covered in future classes you plan to take at UMUC,
and your interests.
For example, please examine the following ideas:
· If your major is criminal justice, you might consider
researching criminal behavior among homeless individuals, criminal behavior
among youth, society’s perception of law enforcement, etc.
· If your major is psychology, you might consider
researching counseling strategies, consumer behavior in online shopping,
decision-making in upper-management positions, etc.
· If your major is history, you might consider researching
theories on the Civil War, studies on labor patterns in the United States, an
aspect of military history, etc.
· If your major is social science, you might consider
researching community responses to health care threats, co-parenting patterns
after divorce, etc.
· If your major is graphic communication, you might consider
researching different categories of graphic communication technology, trends in
graphic communication through the years, etc.
Whatever topic you consider, keep in mind that it should be
a topic on which a number of studies or scholarly articles have been published.
You will conduct all or most of your research using UMUC’s OneSearch function
in finding scholarly articles.
This assignment will be an analytical/critical annotated
bibliography. The difference between the descriptive/informative annotated
bibliography and the analytical/critical annotated bibliography is explained in
the following video:
http://www.umuc.edu/library/tutorials/bibliography/bibliography.shtml
The transcript is at
http://www.umuc.edu/library/libhow/bibliography_tutorial.cfm#transcript.
The following are some links to sample Annotated
Bibliographies. Some of them give examples in APA format. You may want to
observe these examples and perhaps model your work after them.
· A variety of samples from The University of North Carolina
Writing Center, including these specific examples of APA-style annotations.
· Some instruction from Cornell University. The website also
provides more information on the process of writing an annotatedbibliography.
· Some samples from Memorial University in Newfoundland.
Some instruction from East Carolina University.
The following is a suggested rubric for this assignment.
Your instructor may modify this rubric.
12 sources are listed in alphabetical order by last name
5
Sources are articles from scholarly journals or chapters
from scholarly books
20
Summaries are thorough with each source’s thesis/argument
identified
40
Evaluative sentences are clear and effective
5
Grammar and mechanics are accurate
20
APA format is used

WRTG 391
Writing Assignment #3
Synthesis Essay
(sometimes called a Literature Review)
Writing Assignment #3 will be a synthesis essay, a format
that is sometimes referred to as a literature review.
Please click here for a video that briefly describes and
outlines this writing assignment.
Organization:
Your synthesis essay should be organized in the following
manner:
•Introduction: Write one or two paragraphs in which you
introduce the reader to your topic.
•Body-the categories into which you are dividing the
literature: Divide your sources into a few
categories. A suggestion is that you divide them into three
to five categories.
•Conclusion: Summarize what the literature says on your
topic.
Approach:
This semester, you have constructed a table of research
findings of four articles that discussed research studies.
You have also critically evaluated several articles in the
annotated bibliography. In this assignment you will
synthesize the ideas of several authors in a synthesis
essay, or literature review.
For your annotated bibliography, you selected a topic based
on your interests and, possibly, your major. You
constructed a list of 12 references and summarized and
critically analyzed them in 150-200 words each.
Through this process, you may have seen patterns in the
scholarly literature in the topic on which you conducted
research. For example, consider the following examples:
•You may have researched studies in criminal justice and
found that there are varying opinions on
how to respond to criminal behavior among youth.
•You may have researched studies in psychology and found
that counseling strategies for victims of
domestic abuse tend to fall into four categories.
•You may have researched graphic communications and
discovered that the integration of graphics in
business report writing has evolved from the 1970s to the
present because of advancements in
technology.
•You may have researched articles on gerontology and found
studies that answered three basic
questions on how older adults respond to training for
physical performance.
In the synthesis essay, you will focus your research efforts
in a particular area, perhaps as a response to what you
found while writing the annotated bibliography. You will
then conduct more research and synthesize your
findings in this synthesis essay.
Please note that the annotated bibliography was the
beginning, not the end, of your research. You might decide
to disregard several of the articles you analyzed in the
critical annotated bibliography because they don’t speak
to the specific area on which you have decided to write your
synthesis essay. You might select one article that
you analyzed in the critical annotated bibliography, look up
the articles cited in that article, and “snowball” your
research in that way.
In other words, this process is a recursive one. You might
find reasons to hone in on and narrow your topic even
further after you have written the annotated bibliography.
How to organize the synthesis essay:
When you have focused on your topic, determine how you will
divide the literature. In other words, consider the
following examples we described above:
You may have researched studies in criminal justice and
found that there are varying opinions on how to
respond to criminal behavior among youth.
You might divide the paper as follows:
Introduction
Body
•Category 1: “A” view on responding to criminal behavior.
•Category 2: “B” view on responding to criminal behavior.
•Category 3: “C” view on responding to criminal behavior.
•Category 4: “D” view on responding to criminal behavior.
Conclusion
You may have researched studies in psychology and found that
counseling strategies for victims of domestic
abuse tend to fall into four categories.
You might divide the paper as follows:
Introduction
Body
•Category 1: “A” counseling strategy for victims of child
abuse
•Category 2: “B” counseling strategy for victims of child
abuse
•Category 3: “C” counseling strategy for victims of child
abuse
•Category 4: “D” counseling strategy for victims of child
abuse
Conclusion
You may have researched graphic communications and
discovered that the integration of graphics in
business report writing has evolved from the 1970s to the
present because of advancements in technology.
You might divide the paper as follows:
Introduction
Body
•Category 1: graphics in business report writing in the
1970s
•Category 2: graphics in business report writing in the
1980s
•Category 3: graphics in business report writing in the
1990s
•Category 4: graphics in business report writing from 2000
to the present
Conclusion
You may have researched articles on gerontology and found
studies that answered three basic questions on
how older adults respond to training for physical
performance.
You might divide the paper as follows:
Introduction
Body
•Question 1
•Question 2
•Question 3
Conclusion
In order for you to see this concept with a real-life
example, you can access a sample synthesis or literature
review from a psychology student by clicking here. The
student writes her paper on the following topic:
Emotional Eating: The Perpetual Cycle of Mood-Food
Influence. She divides her literature into the following
categories:
•Influence of Mood on Eating Behavior
•Gender Differences
•Influence of Eating Behavior on Later Moods
•Chronic Stress Response Network
Notice how she synthesizes and integrates the research into
the different categories.
Approach and Requirements
Your synthesis essay, or literature review, should be
2000-2500 words, not including your “references” pages at
the end of the review. In other words, the text of the paper
should be 2000-2500 words.
In addition your synthesis essay should include at least 10
scholarly sources in the “references” section. As
stated above, this means that you may decide not to use all
12 sources that you summarized in your annotated
bibliography. You are free to use all 12 of them. However,
it is possible that your experience in writing
summaries of the 12 sources led you to conclude that a few
of them will not be as helpful to your topic as you
had originally thought. You may decide not to include such
sources in the synthesis essay. This is totally up to
you. Moreover, you might find other sources that you would
like to include in your synthesis essay that were not
included in your annotated bibliography. You may use such
sources in your synthesis essay as well.
Some helpful tutorials and guides from UMUC’s Effective
Writing Center:
• Click herefor a tutorial that features two short videos on
writing a literature review.
• Click here for a tutorial on principles in synthesizing
multiple sources.
In synthesizing your research, you are analyzing the topic
on which you have conducted research. Click here for
a helpful tutorial on analyzing a topic.
Some helpful guides from other universities:
• Some very systematic advice from The University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill can be accessed
by clicking here.
• Some helpful advice from the University of
Wisconsin-Madison can be accessed by clicking here.

Writing Assignment 4 WRTG
391
Final Project
Statement of Research Gaps or Unanswered Questions
The final project for WRTG 391 will be a statement of
research gaps or unanswered questions.
In this assignment you will describe the topic on which you
wrote your synthesis essay, or literature review.
You will then state what gaps you found in the research on
your topic, areas in which further research
might be appropriate on the topic, or any questions have
opened up for you or remained unanswered as a
result of having researched this topic.
This paper will be approximately 500-750 words.
Organization of the Paper
Introductory paragraph:
In this paragraph, you will explain the topic which you
researched. The final sentence will be a thesis statement
arguing for further research in specific areas.
Body section of 2-3 paragraphs:
This section would describe any one of, or a combination of,
the following. You would want at least two areas in
which you felt there were gaps, needs for further research,
or new or unanswered questions as a result of your
research.
-gaps you saw in the research
For example, let us imagine you wrote a literature review on
the effectiveness of one-on-one laptop programs in
high schools. You may have noticed that little research has
been done on how non-native speakers of English
respond to one-on-one laptop programs. No studies analyzed
the effects of such programs on the writing, reading,
and critical thinking development of non-native speakers of
English. This could be a gap in the research that you
would point out in your paper.
-areas in which further research could be conducted that
would shed more light on an issue
For example, let us imagine you wrote a literature review on
the effectiveness of one-on-one laptop programs in
high schools. You may have noticed that research has been
conducted on the impact of such programs on the
writing skills of non-native speakers of English. However,
the studies did not focus on particular language
groups. You feel that further study specifically on Chinese
speakers and further study specifically on Spanish
speakers is warranted. This could be an example of an area
in which further research would be warranted that
you would point out in your paper.
-questions that remained unanswered for you or new questions
that opened up for you as you read the
current literature on your topic
For example, let us imagine you wrote a literature review on
the effectiveness of one-on-one laptop programs in
high schools. You noticed that, as you were reading through
the literature, you had questions on how schools
determined what types of laptops to purchase. Did they
purchase Hewlett-Packards computers, Dell computers,
Toshiba computers, Acer computers, or computers from some
other vendor? You found yourself wondering how
business decisions with vendors are made when implementing a
one-on-one laptop program. This could be an
example of a question that opened up for you as you read
through the literature. You could note this question in
your paper.
Conclusion:
In one paragraph, summarize your points in the body section.
Re-state and succinctly explain any gaps, areas of
further research, or unanswered questions.

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