Assignment 2: Research Simulation Value


This assignment is designed to help you hone your research and critical thinking skills. Through a simulated research, you will deepen your understanding of your chosen topic and learn to articulate and defend your arguments effectively using appropriate sources.

The objective of this assignment is for you to develop a rigorous research question from a topic selected from a list, conduct scholarly research, assess your sources, and then explain in conversation why and how each source is valuable to your project. The goal in conversing with an AI will be to develop arguments in anticipation of writing the Annotated Bibliography and Critical Analysis Essay (Assignments 2b and 2c).

Because part of the rationale for this assignment is increasing media literary, the sources must be credible, demonstrating your understanding of when and why it is appropriate to rely on scholarly and peer-reviewed research, authoritative research, and other forms of research that meet the STAR quality criteria.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this assignment, you will be able to:

• Identify and select credible sources that adequately support your research question.

• Engage in a critical dialogue where you can defend your research question and the sources selected.

• Understand the nuances of your selected sources and articulate how they will support your essay.

Required Components

Research Question

The research question will be developed from a list of pre-selected topics (in Moodle). The research question should be specific and precise, prompt you to take an original position in your essay, and clearly relate to the sources you have selected. It must be argumentative, meaning the answer will not be a straightforward, agreed-upon fact (what are the ratios by volume of atmospheric gases?) but need to be answered through synthesis of evidence and presentation of argument (how might we balance medical progress with bodily autonomy in the case of the ‘HeLa’ cells?). This course focuses on bioethics / ethics in research and, therefore, your research question will be concerned with an issue related to ethics in research.

Three Credible Sources

ENGL 2550: Introduction to Composition

From your research, identify three sources that will help you to answer your research question. Your sources must be credible and meet the STAR quality criteria. Credible sources can include information from Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers, peer-reviewed articles and other scholarly texts, data from government websites, and other authoritative sources.

Simulated Conversation

When you are ready, having read and thoroughly understood your sources, you will access the AI chatbot through Moodle. The AI will ask you questions about your topic and sources and guide you to thinking more deeply about them.

The quality of your research question and your ability to select sources, demonstrate knowledge of your sources, and demonstrate ability to utilize these sources will be graded. Once you have explained your research question and each of your sources will submit a copy of the transcript for grading.

You may access the AI chatbot now, and have as many conversations with it that you like. You may delete the ones you do not want to present for grading and submit only the one(s) you do.


1. Review the assignment instructions. Read these instructions in detail, as well as the instructions for the Annotated Bibliography and Critical Analysis Essay (Assignments 2b and 2c), and ensure you contact the instructor with any questions not answered in the course materials. In addition, consult the NorQuest Library’s guide to research.

2. Choose a topic. From the list of pre-selected topics in Moodle, choose a topic that piques your interest. This should be a topic you are eager to explore in-depth. Pre-selected topics are very general and will need substantial refining as you develop a research question from your selected topic.

3. Refine your research topic into a research question. From your topic, formulate a nuanced research question that seeks to explore a specific aspect of your chosen topic. Consult the NorQuest Library’s guide to developing a research question to help you refine your topic into a question. This research question must be argumentative.

4. Highlight key words in your research question. Consult the NorQuest Library’s guide to using key words, then brainstorm how you can narrow down your selected topic to a more precise version. For instance, can you focus on a specific location or demographic, or suggest a specific solution to the issue named in the topic?

5. Conduct research using the NorQuest Library’s online academic databases. Limit your search to credible sources. Do not use the course readings as sources for this assignment. Acceptable sources include information from Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers, peer-reviewed articles and other scholarly texts, data and statistics from government

ENGL 2550: Introduction to Composition

websites, authoritative sources, and—in some cases—“grey literature.” Note: limit your use of grey literature to only one of your three sources.

6. Further refine your research question and do more research as necessary. Follow the research. What questions are researchers asking and answering? Find what the ‘hot topics’, in other words the debates or points of interest and contention, are and refine your question to address one of these.

7. Select your sources. From all of the research you have conducted to this point, choose the three sources that will best help you to answer your research question. Your sources must be credible and meet the STAR quality criteria. These sources should be selected thoughtfully, with an eye to how they will support your position.

8. Understand your sources. Thoroughly read (and re-read as necessary) your sources, making note of their main arguments and the specific parts of the papers you will ultimately use for your critical essay (Assignment 2c). Use the skills developed through Assignment 1.

9. Upload your sources to Moodle. Prior to the conversation, upload your sources to Moodle. Upload the actual articles (or other source-types) you have read, not a bibliography listing them. These sources must be in PDF format. If PDF is not an appropriate format, please contact me.

10. Simulated Conversation.

a. Preparation: Prepare to present your research question and introduce your sources to the AI. Prepare to present concrete evidence from your sources in support of your argument. Think deeply about possible questions the AI might pose and be ready to respond effectively.

b. Engagement: Engage in a stimulating conversation with the AI, illustrating a robust understanding of your topic and demonstrating how your selected sources will assist in answering your research question.

11. Submission. Submit a transcript of your simulated conversation.

ENGL 2550: Introduction to Composition

Marking Guide for Assignment 2a Simulated Conversation

Quality of responses

• Responses are well-thought-out, detailed, and demonstrate a deep understanding of the topic

• Responses are clear (grammatical, communicative)

Sources are valid, credible, and meet STAR criteria

Knowledge of sources

• Demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of the sources

Utility of sources

• Clearly explains how the sources will support the argument in the essay

• Shows critical thinking

Research question refinement

• Research question is refined and deepened substantially through the conversation, showcasing a sophisticated engagement with the topic.

Marking Guide Notes

0 = does not meet expectations/missing 3 = satisfactory

1 = meets minimum expectations 4 = good

2 = needs improvement 5 = excellent

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