Exploratory Research Essay
Our final unit for this course will be an open-topic MLA Researched Essay. The goals of this essay are to get you writing in a research-based environment without a lot of restrictions on topic, type of research, or formality. Let’s look at the basic requirements of the essay:
While it may be tempting to pick a large or controversial topic for a paper (these often seem “easy” to find sources for and write on for several pages), it’s actually difficult to do justice to such topics (global warming, death penalty) in only a few pages. It’s better to pick something that really engages you—whether that be exploring Star Trek‘s influence on the development of a particular piece of technology or researching how the state decided to work on your road at the least convenient time possible. If you are legitimately interested in a large topic, think about ways of narrowing it, perhaps by tying it to a local issue. If you’re interested in environmental issues, for example, you might look into issues of emissions testing in Ada County or something along those lines.