- Due: Wednesday 10/24: bring a “working hypothesis” to class
- Due: Sunday 10/28 by 8pm—Research Proposal (Blog) & bring hard copy to class on Monday as well
- Due: Wednesday 10/31: Revised Thesis Statement (hard copy)
- Due: Friday 11/9 by 8pm–Complete Rough Draft via Oaks dropbox
- Due: Sunday 11/18 by 10pm–Blog your highly polished introductory sections with a gesture towards the conclusion
- Due: Monday 11/19 by start of class: RBA Final due in Oaks drop box
What is the RBA?
This final Research-Based Argument (RBA) will allow you to further explore your chosen topic while crafting a solid piece of writing that you might continue to work on and even publish at some in your time at the College. The key here is to develop a specific argumentative position from which you can engage, extend, critique and/or apply (to a new cultural or disciplinary arena) the research you have collected and situated in your TIC.
The final product will be (roughly) 10-12 page Research -ased Argument with 6-8 strategically chosen sources. The RBA assignment will give you the opportunity to apply all the skills you’ve learned this semester as you (1) offer objective and critical summary, (2) engage your sources analytically, and (3) orchestrate a critical “conversation” amongst your sources. This assignment, of course, also asks you to take that next step as you devise your own unique argument in relation to that conversation.
You might find it helpful to keep the following tips in mind to guide you in your writing and research:
- Establish a strong, unique, specific, manageable, and compelling thesis. Although your thesis will definitely evolve as you move through the writing and drafting process, arriving at a specific and unified working thesis by the proposal stage will really help.
- Your RBA is not intended to be—and should not become—a narrative of your research process or a mere summary of sources. It is your unique argument, woven through a web of other voices all confronting the same set of issues. As in your TIC, parts of which might migrate over to your RBA, you must organize these voices and control them with your authorial voice and persona.
- Source Integrity: in the TIC, I was mostly concerned with the fundamentals of the critical conversation. From this point forward, I will be paying more attention to the quality of your sources. Just having a source is no longer enough; you need to find the best possible source for your argument. Remember that 2-page source that was more of a summary of other research, or a journalistic gloss on a complex subject? It’s time to dig deep for what we might call “The Source Itself.” The goal here is to get to the root of the conversation.
- As always, document your sources as you go and format your paper according to MLA guidelines. You need to include the MLA works cited list in your RBA rough draft as well.
- Make sure you keep this project highly organized, taking notes on new sources as you find them, and making sure you set aside ample time (in shorter segments) for writing the RBA. This is not an all-nighter!