The great escape – the good and bad of escapism in modern society
Write a five-to-seven page research essay based on personal inquiry (plus works cited, reference page, or bibliography). Papers should be typed, double-spaced with one-inch margins (top, bottom, left, right), 12-point serif font (e.g., Times New Roman, Garamond). NOTE: Late papers will be marked down a letter grade.
The I-Search paper puts the search back into research. Ken Macrorie states: “A person conducts a search to find out something [they need] to know for [their] life and writes the story of [their] adventure.” The origin of the form researches and documents how one arrived at this knowledge: revealing how the writer is the authority of their own experiences and ideas; sharing the frustrations, missteps, failures, discoveries, and joys of the process; providing the context of the work, the writer’s life, and the intersection with experts in the field.
Contemplative. Search. Write.
Our i-Search paper will vary Macrorie’s form somewhat. Begin with personal inquiry (e.g., description, narrative, critical discussion post, or a new thought/query) that invites further exploration. Contemplate a question or idea that you want to learn more about. Let your curiosity drive the process. This i-Search essay embraces the I: Who are you? Where are you? What brings you to this topic or line of thinking? How might you take your personal inquiry further? What are your Search questions? What is your search process? What kinds of resources best suit your project? What have you learned? Why does this matter to you? In searching for answers, discoveries may occur, ideas may change, surprises may surface. Additionally, how might you embrace these unexpected trajectories and include them in your writing? That is, as you document your search process, consider which details/aspects might enrich the narrative. Write into the energy of your i-Search paper. Consider the Japanese definitions of KI 気, which means energy, but also mind, spirit, heart, intention, breath, air, life force. As your write, how might you find forms that align with your content, deepen it in some way? While traditional/academic research essays often remove the I under the pretext of objectivity, how can you integrate your subjectivity as dynamic textures in your work? The writing (and the thinking in the work) is a living, breathing entity: not static, but open and fluid.
Research might include
Books, articles, newspapers, multimedia, experiments, field work, site visits, interviews. Note: some interviews must be approved by Naropa’s Institutional Review Board (IRB); check in with your instructor.
Employ artistic expression/creative practice for inquiry and communication.
Develop an insightful, complex focus/thesis and formulate provocative questions.
Employ credible/relevant examples/evidence/research using a variety of sources: 5 sources minimum.
Analyze, interpret, and synthesize evidence with reference to the focus.
Demonstrate a clear organization by employing cohesion and coherence.
Examine claims, counter claims, assumptions, biases, interrelated thinking, and social location as warranted.
Develop audience awareness and purpose with meaningful attention to the discourse community.
Attend to conventions: grammar, punctuation, mechanics, documentation, etc.
Cite all sources when quoting or paraphrasing according to the MLA, APA, or CMS documentation style and include a works cited, bibliography, or reference page.