Reedley College Problems Resulting from the Use of Social Media Discussion

Research Topic Paper:Social networking/media (facebook, changes to social interaction, privacy issues, live streaming, censorship) final paper needs to be 5-6 pages and the rough draft is 2.5 full pages and the bibliography. I included a document of assistance for the rough draft.

1.A typical college essay is comprised of claims (your ideas/opinionsthat which you are trying to prove) and evidence (what you bring in to support or back up your claims). This is a good time to talk about where our project falls on the claims/evidence spectrum. On one side, a paper with all claims and no evidence is an opinion piece. Lots of ideas but no support here. On the other end of the spectrum, a paper with all evidence and no claims would be a report. Think back to when you wrote a state report or book report in elementary school. Reports are designed to deliver information (inform and educate). I bring this up because sometimes students hear “research paper” and immediately think “report.” Whereas it is true that many research papers are reports, they do not have to be.Our paper is a balanced mix of claims and evidence. You must have a thesis (make a claim/argument) and then work to develop and support it. In this sense, our paper stakes a claim much like one of our previous assignments (think Sullivan). The biggest difference is that our final paper is much bigger and will require formal evidence from multiple sources.

2.Make sure you have selected a topic that lends itself to making an argument and not a report. Ask yourself, can you develop an idea that could become a thesis here? Is there a problem within this topic that I can address?

3.Before you start working on your thesis and subsequently your paper, you need to research your topic. Learn all that you can. You’ll notice that the first assignment in the project is an annotated bibliography. This list of sources reflects your initial research. I call it initial because it’s a good idea to split your research into two phases. In the first phase, the goal is to acquire a handful of sources that will allow you to investigate the topic (general research)learn background, understand the issues, acquaint yourself with preexisting arguments, etc. By completing the annotated bibliography, you’re demonstrating that you’ve researched your topic enough to begin formulating your own ideas. This is where you’ll come up with your thesis but because you’ve done preliminary research on your topic, the hope is that you’ll write a more informed thesis. Once your thesis is in place, you’ll go back to your research and determine which sources work best to help you develop and support your thesis. I call this the second phase of research because it is targeted (specific) research that comes after you’ve established your thesis and claim structure for your paper. This is why the bibliography has a greater number of sources than what is required to actually use in the paper. I want you to demonstrate that you can make a cut and narrow your sources to the ones that work best in the paper (not just because they’re on the same topic).

4.Research. Once you’ve selected a topic, it’s time to start researching. Use the library and Internet. I should also point out that if you want to interview someone (who has first hand knowledge of your topic), you can use them as a source (just list them in your bibliographyfollow the appropriate format). Of course, you’ll want a mix of sources so limit the interviews to just one or two. More importantly, I recommend you go to or… to find information. You can access many periodical databases from the (RC) school’s library homepage and print articles (access from home may require student ID# as login and password). Use online periodical databases for articles from journals, magazines, and newspapers. As for the Internet, search engines are fine but make sure you know which sites you’re being directed to. There is a lot of information out there but not all of it is “credible.” Identify your sources before using them in your bibliography. Also you can go directly to major news sites such as,,, etc. as well as the many government (.gov) and education (.edu) sites that may have information as well.

5.Make sure that you have three sentence (count them) annotations for each of your sources listed in your bibliography. The annotations are a brief description/summary of the source and they must be in your own words.

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