ILR260: Week One: Project Introduction Assignment Instructions

Length: 100-200 words (not including citation and any quoted matter that you may choose to include)

Due: End of Week One. Submit your work through the Assignments link in the drop-down menu in the “Course Work” tab on the top-frame navigation bar in the course.

Preparation: Please first review the Final Research Project assignment and any feedback you received from your instructor and your peers on your project plan (submitted in the Week One: Discussion 1: Research Project Planning discussion forum). Please also complete the News Search practice activity (optional, but recommended) and the Web Search Activity (an assignment also due in Week One), and review the materials in the Week One lectures and tutorials on identifying sources. ( ).

Purpose: The goal of this writing assignment is to help you develop and communicate an introductory knowledge of your topic. In writing the Project Introduction, you will strengthen your own sense of the inquiry you are conducting, and you will develop a piece of introductory writing that you will likely be able to revise and re-use in later versions of the project.

Writing: This writing assignment will serve as your first submission of edited prose in ILR260. Use complete sentences, correct spelling and punctuation, etc.

Contents: Your submission for this assignment should consist of a single paragraph that introduces your topic and research question. Within this paragraph you will concisely reference a web or news source that helps you set up your question for readers. You will also provide a correctly formatted APA citation for this source (if you are a humanities major—for example, English, Philosophy, Art, etc.— use MLA ).

The type of source you reference is up to you. A news source can provide you with data to help establish the scope or significance of the question you are pursuing. A reliable website can provide similar data, or an expert opinion, or some key terms. Even an unreliable website can be useful in an introduction: for example, it might provide you with an example of a type of misinformation or fear-mongering that swirls around your topic.

Checklist tool: Here is a checklist you can use to construct your introduction one step at a time:

•        Write at least one sentence introducing the general topic.

o   Note: Be careful not to make #1 overly broad (“The Internet has brought many changes to American society”).

o   Note: Avoid clichéd openings (for example: “In today’s society…,” “Throughout history…”).

•        Write at least one sentence introducing the narrowed topic.

•        Write at least one sentence in which you reference a news source or web source.

o   Note: Remember that in this class we are using a combination of academic citation and journalistic/everyday citation, so do not simply drop a parenthetical citation into the introductory paragraph. There should be something in the actual sentence or sentences leading up to the citation that identifies the source. (Examples appear farther down on this page. See also this week’s reading on identifying sources.)

o   Note: It’s up to you where this appears in the paragraph. In the examples below the source reference appears around the middle of the paragraph, but a source reference might also work well as an attention-grabbing paragraph opener.)

o   Note: The opening paragraph of a research paper needn’t always contain a source reference. This requirement has been built into the Project Introduction assignment because 1) a source reference is often a useful addition to an introduction, and 2) source-integration is challenging, so we need to begin practicing this skill early in the course.

•        Present your research question.

•        Include a complete and correct citation for the source you’ve cited  o Note: We will practice news source citation (optional activity) and web source citation during Week One. If you’re unsure of how to cite a source, ask! One of the purposes of ILR 260 is to help you navigate the complexities of academic citation.


Here are two examples of Project Introductions:


Sofia Student ILR 260

The first video games emerged in the late 1970s with poor graphics and a low amount of depicted violence. Since then, video games have become much more violent with far more sophisticated graphics making the games seem almost lifelike. This has prompted concerns from the media and mental health professionals–concerns that frequently resurface in the wake of school shootings. For example, following a 2006 school shooting in Montreal, the Associated Press reported that the shooter had been “fascinated” by the video game “Super Columbine Massacre” (“Columbine game ‘fascinated killer,’” 2006). Did violent video game play lead this young man to go to school with a gun? Is there a cause- and-effect relationship between video game violence and real-life violence and aggression?

Columbine game ‘fascinated killer’. (September 15, 2006 ). Yorkshire Post. Retrieved from


Sam Student ILR 260

Media consumption has changed: Train and airline passengers are now more likely to be watching a video or tapping out messages on a phone than reading a book or newspaper, and the traditional letter is a historical artifact, replaced by email, which itself seems increasingly fusty compared with texting. Many internet users have begun to experience the uncomfortable sense that the internet is affecting not just how they access information, but their capacity for sustained and careful attention. Is it possible that the increasing dominance of short-form and visual types of communication in our daily lives is weakening our capacity for creating and comprehending lengthier and more substantive forms of communication, such as in-depth articles, historical novels, and detailed reports? In a muchdebated 2008 article the media critic Nicholas Carr posed this provocative question: Is Google making us stupid? Google does not represent the entire internet, and “stupid” is a strong word. But the question remains: Is the internet reducing our attention spans and thereby reducing our capacity for deep thinking?

Carr, N. (2008, July 1). Is Google making us stupid? The Atlantic. Retrieved from stupid/306868/

Submitting your work

Please submit your work as a file attachment. Be sure to submit your file in .doc/.docx format. This format remains the standard for sharing word-processing files in school and most workplaces. If you’re using a program other than Microsoft Word and are not sure how to save in .doc, do a quick web search for help. For example, search for Pages save as .doc or Google Docs save as .doc). Don’t forget to include your name at the top of your document.

Grading Information

*Note: Points will be deducted for deviations from assignment requirements/specifications. Greater deviations will result in greater deductions. Per course policy, scores of 50% and higher are reserved for submissions that attempt to meet assignment requirements/specifications. (See descriptions of levels of achievement on the required criteria for this assignment below).



A range

B range

C range


F range

concise, and compelling introduction of topic and research question.

introduction of topic and research question.

is overly general or somewhat unclear. It may not fully align with the
ersearch question.

presents more than one research question, or is written in a way that makes
the topic and/or research question hard to understand (e.g., there may be
internal contradictions, or the various parts of the paragraph may point in
different directions.)

problems with presentation of topic and research question.

of news or web source follows assignment specifications in every detail and
is correct, clear, precise, and succinct.

of news or web source follows assignment specifications and is correct,
clear, and targeted.

of news or web source mostly follows assignment specifications;
identification is partially incorrect, imprecise, or confusing.

of news or web source follows only some assignment specifications;
identification is incorrect, imprecise, or confusing.

Identification of
news or web source deviates from assignment specifications. (E.g., source is
identified only parentheticall



of news or web source follows assignment specifications in every detail and
is smoothly and elegantly handled.

of news or web source follows assignment specifications and is competently

Integration of news or web source mostly follows
assignment specifications;

is somewhat awkward

(e.g., it may disrupt the progression of the
introduction rather than functioning as part of that progression).

of news or web source follows only

assignment specifications; handling is confusing, or exhibits other
significant problems.

of news or web source completely deviates from assignment specifications.

is correct and complete in every detail.

Citation exhibits only one or two very minor deviations
from the expected format.

contains more-than- minor deviations from the expected format.

Citation is missing one or several key components and
may deviate in parts from the expected format.

Citation is missing most key components and completely
deviates from expected format.

Demonstrates high confidence in
use of

English; language reflects a practiced and/or refined understanding of
syntax, phrasing and word use.

Conveys a good grasp of Standard English; the writer

is clear in
their attempt to

ideas, but may demonstrate moments of “flat” or unrefined language.

of sentence-level errors and awkwardness of expression, but not of such
frequency and severity as to significantly impede comprehensibility.

expression and sentence- level errors occur frequently, often impeding

expression and sentence- level errors occur throughout and

significantly impedes comprehensibili ty.


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