Writing Assignment: A Spark

At this point you are not married to your research topic yet. You are in the dating stages, and if things are not going well, you can look for a new topic or give this one another chance. The work you are doing in this assignment is like dating your topic. You are seeing if you like it and if there is enough substance to take this topic further.

This assignment will give you a little preview of how the project will go and give your instructor enough information to guide you toward successful discovery.

  • First, download the Writing Assignment Worksheet
  • Second, complete the chart on the worksheet that presents your main research question and the series of questions you will explore in relation to the main question. Feel free to add as many additional squares as you like in the middle levels. In addition, you may want to complete more than one chart if you are considering more than one topic or more than one direction in the same topic.


Topic Video Games
Main (General) Discovery Question Does playing violent video games lead to violent behavior?
Focused Discovery Questions Which video games are considered violent? How do psychologists study the relationship between violent behavior and influences? What is violent behavior?
Specific Discovery Questions What kind of violence is portrayed in these games? Which demographic purchases or plays this game? What studies have been done on this subject? How can psychologists be sure that violence they observe is actually caused by games? Is the violent behavior anything to be concerned about, or is it minor violence? Are the violent behaviors exhibited immediately, or are they long term?
Follow up Question What could/should be done about this if it really is a problem?
  • Third, use the graphic organizer included as part of the Writing Assignment Worksheet to complete at least 3 source cards on your topic. Source cards will be used to create your Works Cited page and help you assess how successful your research will be. Create as many source cards as you like.
  • Finally, submit your completed writing assignment (including: the topic table, the discovery questions drill down table, and at least five source cards) to the Writing Assignment: A Spark assignment link for grading.
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