Paper #2: “I”-Search Research Paper and Credibility of Sources

 Paper #2: “I”-Search Research Paper and Credibility of Sources



Paper #2 is a written record of your research process as you gather information you will use to write Paper #3

Use “The Value of Writing an Essay” in The NHT Eye as a model for Paper #2




(1) Choose a topic: Think carefully about the topic you choose for this paper. Make sure you are very interested in it or, ideally, passionate about it.


(2) Form a research question: Once you have a topic, come up with a research question that requires research to answer. It should be one that requires not only research to answer but the interpretation of information. Avoid questions that have an obvious answer and only require one source, such as, “What is the current world population?” Ultimately, you need to use five sources, so your research question should require information from at least five sources to answer.


(3) Conduct research: Conduct research in an effort to modify and/or answer your research question. Take notes. Keep track of where you got the information so you can cite it later. As you conduct research and write, be on the lookout for the following:


(A) ways to modify your question to make it more insightful and/or to fit available information


(B) a central conflict, issue, or mystery that you will address in Paper 3


(2) an insightful thesis statement that sheds light on that central conflict, issue, or mystery


(C) information gathered through research and interpretive logic that support your thesis


Remember, you want to form the most insightful research question, central conflict, and thesis statement that you can. Use the process explained here: Research Process.pdf


Download Research Process.pdf

Keep track of your thought process as you conduct your research. Write it down. This “I-search” paper will be a record or your efforts to answer your research question.


(4) Write Paper #2: Include information such as the following:


Your topic and why you chose it

Your original research question and why it seemed important or interesting

What information you found initially

What questions that information raised for you

Where/how you attempted to find the answers to those questions

Whether you were successful in finding answers

What new questions arose

Whether you modified your research question and, if so, to what

Whether you discovered a central conflict you can use for Paper #3 and, if so, what it is

Whether you developed a working thesis based on the information you found and, if so, what it is

What information you found that supports your working thesis

Where you plan to go from here with your research




Important: Be sure to avoid plagiarizing. You can fail the paper or even the course, whether the plagiarism is intentional or accidental. See “Avoid Plagiarism” in Final Paper Requirements section below.


Check your plagiarism report in Canvas to help make sure you did not plagiarize. See instructions in Final Paper Requirements section below.


Your report will show you sections of your paper that are similar or identical to wording from other sources. In such situations, check to be sure you have surrounded exact wording with quotation marks and that you have cited the source. If the wording isn’t exactly the same, find a way to put it in your own words even more than it is—and cite the source.




Consider using headings for each section above, and follow MLA formatting guidelines if you do:


According to OWL, “MLA recommends that when dividing an essay into sections you number those sections with an Arabic number and a period followed by a space and the section name.” Here are some examples:

  1. My Topic and Why I Chose It
  2. My Original Research Question and Why it Seemed Important/Interesting




Final Paper Requirements:


Must be at least five pages long in its final form and no longer than 10 pages.

Must include information from at least five sources.




Format and Citation Requirements & Instructions:


Click here.




Credibility Questions:


For each of the sources included on your Works Cited page, answer the following credibility questions underneath its citation, paragraph style (see student sample below):

Do you know who the source is, or was it created by a common or well-known source? Example National Geographic, Discovery, etc.

How does it compare to what you already know?

Does the information make sense? Do you understand the information?

Can you verify that the information agrees with three or more other sources that are also reliable?

Have experts in the field been connected to it or authored the information?

How current is the information?

Does it have a copyright?




Click here to view and read a Student Sample


Download Click here to view and read a Student Sample.


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