I’m willing to bet that most people are pretty terrified of research papers or at least a little apprehensive about them. I know I am which is why I was ready to run out the door when I realized that WRD 104 was centered around a research paper. I didn’t run out the door because it’s a required class. But I’m certainly glad because I’ve learned a lot and I’m not so scared of a little research anymore.
Because I spent two years in community college before coming to DePaul, I got most of my general studies classes out of the way. WRD 104, however, was not one of them. WRD 104
is Composition and Rhetoric II, part of the first-year program and based on argumentation and rhetorical analysis. Basically, the main point of the class is to write a research paper. I didn’t exactly know that when I signed up for it so I was not too pleased when I read the syllabus for the class. But I figured I had to stick it out because I need to pass this class to graduate.
Luckily, I can honestly say that this class has been SO informative for me. It’s a lot of work but I’ve learned a lot about how to tailor my personal writing style to writing a more formal research paper and also how to break it all down into smaller stages in order to make the process less painful. I had the freedom to pick my own topic, anything that was arguable, so I made sure to choose something interesting to me so I wouldn’t be sick of it halfway through the quarter. I’m writing about Internet addiction (a possible case study of myself…) and my research has been really interesting, sometimes shocking. Throughout the quarter, my class has been doing smaller assignments that help build upon the final paper, which has definitely made the 8-10 page research paper less daunting.
The library and the Writing Center have become my closest friends throughout the process of this paper. The library’s
databases offer a ton of resources for research, both academic and non-academic. DePaul subscribes to so many databases that it’s impossible to not find something you’re looking for. I thought that my topic wouldn’t have a lot of academic research because it’s still pretty current but I’ve gotten an overwhelming amount of research. Most databases can be accessed from anywhere as long as you have your Campus Connection login info which is very convenient. The Center for Writing-Based Learning
, the Writing Center, is another great resource that I am taking advantage of this quarter for my paper. The Writing Center offers one-on-one appointments with peer writing tutors who will work with students on any writing issue. The tutors will help with anything under the sun, so why not?!
Even if WRD 104 wasn't a requirement, I would highly recommend it to any DePaul student. It has been a highly informative class for me and it is not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Research papers have always been horrifying for me (and I don’t think I’m alone in that…) but this class has made me much more confident in my writing abilities.