Ms. Gokturk

Writing for the 21st Century

Pre-Research Assignment

You have your general topic already established. Yippee! However, you can't really advocate for your cause unless you know your topic. Your next major project will be to write a 2000 word research essay. Before you can do this, you need to have a better idea of what areas you would like to research.


Today, you start deciding what areas within your topic need addressing. You have been given six index cards. Your task is to find five general subtopics within your cause. These will act as the backbone to your research essay. In other words, these five areas will be sections of your research paper that elaborate on your cause.

You should create one index card for each subtopic. Using Internet sites, paraphrase what you find for each subtopic. Be sure that you cite your sources. If you get information from more than one source for the same subtopic, please use another card (even though it is the same topic). Ms. G has more cards for you.


Search the Internet for sites that address your cause. Go to and conduct searches for your cause. Try different key words, and remember that using your key words in quotation marks allows for more specific results. Then, start surfing the sites you find. Remember to evaluate the credibility and validity of each site before using them. Look for authorship, bias, dates, and domain type (.com, .org., .gov, etc.). [You may also search the databases within the site.]

Once you have found appropriate sites, you must cite them on your first index card using the following MLA style:


Last Name, First Name of the author/editor/ compiler (if available and relevant). "Title of work in quotation marks." Title of Website (underlined). Name of any institution or organization sponsoring or associated with the Web site if available. Electronic address, or URL. Date when the researcher accessed the source.

Gokturk, Valerie. "Pre-Research Assignment." Ms. Gokturk's Cyber English. 3/13/03.



1. Gokturk, Valerie. "Pre-Research Assignment." Ms. Gokturk's Cyber English. 3/13/03.

2. Seegers, Bryan. "Tuition Hikes." Seeger's Guide to Cheap Tuition. 3/13/03.

3. Perdomo, Jessica. "Immigration Concerns." Save Our World. 3/13/03.

4. Brewster, Liz. "Child Deaths." People Against Child Abuse. 3/13/03.

5. James, Ira. "Gay Teen Suicide." GSA. 3/13/03



While you finding appropriate sites, you should also be keeping notes on the subtopics. In other words, you are defining the topics as you go. Your other cards should look like this:

Source Symbol or # SUBTOPIC NAME


PARAPHRASE and/or QUOTATIONS…….Include your observations, facts, and quotes from work. Make a new card for each source. Make cards with similar headings so that you will be able to organize this mess later.




# 3 Perdomo (Death of Illegal Immigrants)


"More than 10,000 people die each year attempting to enter the US."

Often, men, women and children fall victim to harsh circumstances of their home country and are willing to try anything to escape to better conditions. Rafts have been used constructed of litter to cross major bodies of water causing many to perish in the waters.

"Crossing the treacherous deserts is also a means of entering the US. Immigrants do not expect the harsh conditions and are often ill-prepared. Many die from exposure…"

Some cross the borders crammed into tiny crawl spaces and suffocate.