Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
WR 222
Course Title:
Writing Research Papers
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

This course uses extensive research writing to develop skills in critical analysis and documented argument. Students synthesize their considered response to designated text(s) and/or issues with the reactions of other writers. Students gain experience locating and using sources via library catalogs, professional databases and other forms of research. Includes paraphrasing, summarizing, quoting, and documenting, using style appropriate to discipline researched. At least two conferences required. Prerequisites: Completion of WR 122 with a grade of "C" or higher. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Outcomes for this course require working through multiple drafts of several pieces of writing with time to separate the acts of writing and revising; in addition, the reading outcomes require time to read, reread, reflect, respond, interpret, analyze, and evaluate.
Upon completion of WR 222 with a "C" or better, student will be able to:

  • Successfully organize and manage an extended, research-based, thesis-centered essay of 3500-5000 words (or an equivalent wordcount in shorter essays) using MLA, APA, or other appropriate documentation styles
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and problem-solving in the context of research by showing observational skills, drawing reasonable inferences from a variety of sources, perceiving and establishing relationships among multiple sources, as well as evaluating and analyzing the structure and organization of sources and own writing
  • Independently locate, examine, select, evaluate, and use various primary and secondary sources (including academic, printed, electronic, and interview-based)
  • Practice and demonstrate skills necessary to research writing, such as paraphrase, summary, direct quotation, citation and documentation
  • Understand the ethics of research and avoid plagiarism
  • Suit writing style and research material to intended audience and purpose
  • Demonstrate control of research and voice to make an original claim

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Reading and writing assessment tasks will include the following:

  • At least one research-based, thesis-centered, appropriately documented essay of 3500-5000 words (or an equivalent wordcount in shorter essays)
  • An annotated bibliography (or equivalent)
  • Two conferences with the instructor
  • Class discussion

Other assessment tasks may include the following:

  • Shorter essay(s)
  • Study questions and exercises to support the techniques of research and research-based writing
  • Research journal used as a foundation for the research project
  • Responses to assigned text(s), in or out of class
  • Oral presentation
  • Group collaboration and participation
  • Personal and/or email interviews
  • Abstracts

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • Examine and discuss issues of plagiarism, ethics of research writing, credibility, authority, and self-directed learning
  • Advance the concepts of independent study and research, self-knowledge, and the ability to assess own work critically
  • Engage in inference, analysis, synthesis
  • Solve problems involved in an extended writing project
  • Perceive, connect, and integrate a variety of sources and positions, and establish own ideas in such a context
  • Demonstrate an awareness of audience
  • Recognize the distinction between scholarly (or peer reviewed), professional, commercial, and other forms of writing and resources

Competencies and Skills

  • Awareness of audience and voice in the context of research writing
  • Increased expertise in the process of research
  • Proficient time management
  • Engagement with scholarship and participation in a community of scholars
  • A sense of responsibility for own ideas and progress
  • Ability to analyze, select, edit, and place paraphrased information and
    quotations with appropriate context
  • Ability to use library databases to access academic and nonacademic  sources
  • Evaluate relative authority of print and electronic resources

Some sections may:

  • Focus on particular disciplines
  • Link to other courses
  • Incorporate service learning component
  • Focus on community-based primary sources such as interviews, local information and historical data

Possible Texts:

Bruce Ballenger, The Curious Researcher (Pearson Longman)