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ENGL 101 - Duclo - Born a Crime: Home

Use this guide to get started on your research centered around Born a Crime

Your Assignment

Based on class discussions of Born a Crime, choose a topic to research and argue for your stance on an issue. Be sure to make a strong and obvious connection between your argument and Noah’s book.  A strong Argumentative essay will include information sources that support your claim(s) as well as acknowledge the opposition. As you write and define specific terms in your essay, consider the fact that the instructor and fellow students are your audience. Remember that your purpose is to persuade an intelligent audience who might be partially resistant to your point of view. 

Sources you'll need: 

  • 3 books (Noah’s book counts as one of these)
  • 2 scholarly journal articles
  • 1 source of your choice (a website, video, book, interview, etc.). 

Step One: Familiarize Yourself With Your Text and Your Issue

Begin your project by doing some background reading on your topic. Preliminary reading helps you:

  • achieve a basic understanding of your issue. 
  • begin to identify interesting specific questions that will form the backbone of your research; and
  • start to acquire vital search terms you need in order to explore your subject more fully. 
Google Web Search

Step Two: Find, Read, and Reflect on Your Sources

Find sources on the topics that you identified in Step 1.

  • Do a comprehensive search utilizing all the sources below; leave no stone unturned
  • Print/save/email the sources you find as you go to avoid backtracking
  • Read your sources several times, highlighting relevant information and making notes as you go.
  • If you find sources that will help others in your team, SHARE THEM.
  • If you have trouble finding the appropriate type or number of sources: MEET WITH A RESEARCH LIBRARIAN

Step Three: Start Writing a Draft

  • Make an appointment with writing center staff at least once. They will help you get started, proceed, and/or finish. This is a free service that you should always utilize to maximize your success.
  • Utilize the MJC Library & Learning Center's FORMAT & CITE page to aid with MLA. A research librarian can provide face-to-face assistance with formatting and citing as well. 

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