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i search essay sample

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I-Search Paper Format Guide


An I-Search paper is a personal research paper about a topic that is important to the writer. An I-Search paper is usually less formal than a traditional research paper; it tells the story of the writer’s personal search for information, as well as what the writer learned about the topic.

Many I-Search papers use the structure illustrated in this framework:

The Search Story

  • Hook readers immediately. Your readers are more likely to care about your topic if you begin with an attention-getting opener. Help them understand why it was important for you to find out more about the topic.
  • Explain what you already knew about your topic. Briefly describe your prior knowledge about the topic before you started your research.
  • Tell what you wanted to learn and why . Explain why the topic is important to you, and let readers know what motivated your search.
  • Include a thesis statement. Turn your research question into a statement that is based on your research.
  • Retrace your research steps. Tell readers about your sources – how you found them and why you used them.

The Search Results

Describe the significance of your research experience. Restate your thesis.

Discuss your results and give support . Describe the findings of your research. Write at least one paragraph for each major research result. Support your findings with quotations, paraphrases, and summaries of information from sources.

Search Reflections

Describe important results of your research. Support your findings.

Reflect on your search . Describe what you learned and how your research experience might have changed you and your future. Also, remind readers of your thesis.

Source: This Writer’s Model has been formatted according to the standards of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers , Fifth Edition | Copyright © by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. All rights renewed.

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I-Search Papers: Home

  • The Interview
  • The Research Process
  • Finding Sources
  • Primary & Secondary Sources
  • Using Resources
  • Research Basics

Sample I-Search Paper

Sample I-Search Paper  

I-Search Guide

  • I-Search Paper Guide

Your I-Search paper has 3 major sections. Use the links above to make your way through!

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Promoting Student-Directed Inquiry with the I-Search Paper

Promoting Student-Directed Inquiry with the I-Search Paper

About this Strategy Guide

The sense of curiosity behind research writing gets lost in some school-based assignments.  This Strategy Guide provides the foundation for cultivating interest and authority through I-Search writing, including publishing online.

Research Basis

Strategy in practice, related resources.

The cognitive demands of research writing are numerous and daunting.  Selecting, reading, and taking notes from sources; organizing and writing up findings; paying attention to citation and formatting rules.  Students can easily lose sight of the purpose of research as it is conducted in “the real world”—finding the answer to an important question.

The I-Search (Macrorie, 1998) empowers students by making their self-selected questions about themselves, their lives, and their world the focus of the research and writing process.  The strong focus on metacognition—paying attention to and writing about the research process methods and extensive reflection on the importance of the topic and findings—makes for meaningful and purposeful writing.

Online publication resources such as blogging software make for easy production of multimodal, digital writing that can be shared with any number of audiences.

Assaf, L., Ash, G., Saunders, J. and Johnson, J.  (2011).  " Renewing Two Seminal Literacy Practices: I-Charts and I-Search Papers ."  English Journal , 18(4), 31-42.

Lyman, H.  (2006).  “ I-Search in the Age of Information .”  English Journal , 95(4), 62-67.

Macrorie, K. (1998).  The I-Search Paper: Revised Edition of Searching Writing .  Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann-Boynton/Cook.

  • Before introducing the I-Search paper, set clear goals and boundaries for the assignment.  In some contexts, a completely open assignment can be successful.  In others, a more limited focus such as research on potential careers (e.g., Lyman, 2006)  may be appropriate.
  • Introduce the concept of the I-Search by sharing with students that they will be learning about something that is personally interesting and significant for them—something they have the desire to understand more about.  Have students generate a list of potential topics.
  • Review student topic lists and offer supportive feedback—either through written comments or in individual conferences—on the topics that have the most potential for success given the scope of the assignment and the research resources to which students will have access.
  • After offering feedback, have students choose the topic that seems to have the most potential and allow them to brainstorm as many questions as they can think of.  When students have had plenty of time to ponder the topic, ask them to choose a tentative central question—the main focus for their inquiry—and four possible sub-questions—questions that will help them narrow their research in support of their main question.  Use the I-Search Chart to help students begin to see the relationships among their inquiry questions.
  • Begin the reflective component of the I-Search right away and use the I-Search Chart to help students  write about why they chose the topic they did, what they already know about the topic, and what they hope to learn from their research.  Students will be please to hear at this point that they have already completed a significant section of their first draft.
  • Engage reader’s attention and interest; explain why learning more about this topic was personally important for you.
  • Explain what you already knew about the topic before you even started researching.
  • Let readers know what you wanted to learn and why.  State your main question and the subquestions that support it.
  • Retrace your research steps by describing the search terms and sources you used.  Discuss things that went well and things that were challenging.
  • Share with readers the “big picture” of your most significant findings.
  • Describe your results and give support.
  • Use findings statements to orient the reader and develop your ideas with direct quotations, paraphrases, and summaries of information from your sources.
  • Properly cite all information from sources.
  • Discuss what you learned from your research experience.  How might your experience and what you learned affect your choices or opportunities in the future.
  • At this point, the research process might be similar to that of a typical research project except students should have time during every class period to write about their process, questions they’re facing, challenges they’ve overcome, and changes they’ve made to their research process.  Students will not necessarily be able to look ahead to the value of these reflections, so take the time early in the process to model what reflection might look like and offer feedback on their early responses.  You may wish to use the I-Search Process Reflection Chart to help students think through their reflections at various stages of the process.
  • Support students as they engage in the research and writing process, offering guidance on potential local contacts for interviews and other sources that can heighten their engagement in the authenticity of the research process.
  • To encourage effective organization and synthesis of information from multiple sources, you may wish to have students assign a letter to each of their questions (A through E, for example) and a number to each of their sources (1 through 6, for example).  As they find content that relates to one of their questions, they can write the corresponding letter in the margin.  During drafting, students can use the source numbers as basic citation before incorporating more sophisticated, conventional citation.

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I-Search Paper versus Research Report

An I-Search paper is a mindful introduction to doing research.

Instead of focusing on finding sources that support a thesis, an I-Search paper is all about the process. Through documentation and reflection, students can compare how their understanding of the pair of objects evolves as their knowledge about it deepens. They can examine their search strategies, to become better researchers in the future.

For experienced researchers, the I-Search paper is a way to reflect and improve upon your current research skills.

How to Write the I-Search Paper

What is an i-search paper.

An I-Search Paper helps you learn the nature of searching and discovery on a chosen topic. Your goal is to pay attention, track this exploration, and LEARN HOW YOU LEARN so that you can repeat the process in other courses.

The I-Search Paper should be the story of your search process , including chronological reflections on the phases of research in a narrative form. The I is for YOU. It's the story of YOUR search and what YOU learned.

Image: Franzi


Step 1. Document Your Research Process

Keep track of the actual search terms and specific databases you used and how you modified your strategy as you went along. You will include those details in your paper. Analyze the results. How many hits did you get? Say how and why you modified your search strategy to get more or less. What did you learn about each database that you tried? What kind of information did you find. Why were the names of the journals or magazines articles were in.

In all your research, include actual facts and theories that you discover about your topic as well as idiosyncratic information such as what surprised you. You could say what you already knew about the topic before beginning the research and how what you knew about that topic may have changed during the research process.

If you have trouble finding relevant materials in the Library, ask a librarian . They have Master's Degrees in research, are more discerning than search engines. Plus, they are happy to assist!

Image: InkFactory

Visual  notetaking.

2. Look Through Art History Survey Sites

Consult reputable online art history sites, such as the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History and smARThistory .

If you are able to physically visit the Library, there are several general art history textbooks ( N 5300 ) available in the Reference section, including Art History by Marilyn Stokstad. They are concise sources for specific art historical contexts for your chosen objects. Some are as e-books.

Many (but not all) of the Wall items are discussed in all of these general art history resources.

Art History

Step 3. Search Wikipedia

What you want to learn is the facts about the object--context, movement, date, etc. To find more about how to appropriately use Wikipedia for college-level research, consult the Research Guide for Wikipedia .

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia which is excellent for background information . Pay special attention to the footnotes and references at the bottom of the page. they may guide you to excellent academic sources.

Step 4. Search the Library Catalog

Next, search OwlCat , the library catalog, for books, ebooks, and articles.

Many of the objects you are researching have articles and sometimes even entire books written about them. If not, you should find some articles. If you cannot find enough items, broaden your search to find a book about the artist, designer, or culture.

Once you find a suitable item, use its call number and browse the shelves for similar items.

OwlCat Extended Search screen

Step 5. Search the Databases

Check out the Databases listed on the Library website. OwlCat's search results may be overwhelming, so it may be easier to search each research database individually.

Art Source is arguably the best for art courses and is tightly integrated into OwlCat. ProQuest Research Library also covers many art and desing publications; however, its results may not show up as much in OwlCat.

Explore our research databases!

Art Source OmniFile

Step 6. Create a Bibliography

You will then create a bibliography of at least 2 sources--books, museum websites, or journal articles. Wikipedia won't really count as one of your sources since it's really just about finding background information or referrals to other sources.

If you include websites in your bibliography, make sure they are educationally oriented. Find out who wrote them and what their credentials are. For instance, museum websites are often written by curators/art historians whose purpose is the educate. Additionally,  Smarthistory , now part of Khan Academy, discusses many iconic works and these are written by PhD. art historians. If you find something on this site, it would be a very good source. Make sure your web sources are Quality Web Sources.

Image: Reasonist Products

The Credible Hulk always cites his sources.

Step 7. Write Evaluative Annotations

You must annotate and evaluate the sources in the bibliography or works cited list. Remember, the annotations must include the credentials of the author and the type of information (scholarly, popular, etc.), and the intended audience of the publication. See:

  • Sample Annotations
  • Annotation Builder
  • Criteria for Evaluating Information
  • Types of Information

Image: FuzzBones


Relevant Databases

Art & Architecture Source

Video: Searching Is Strategic

Locating information requires a combination of inquiry, discovery, and serendipity. There is no one size fits all source to find the needed information. Information discovery is nonlinear and iterative, requiring the use of abroad range of information sources and flexibility to pursuit alternate avenues as new understanding is developed. Depending on the information need and context, the learner may need to consult a variety of resources ranging from databases and books to observations and interviews.

Minimum Requirements

Foundation level competency, c - level information literacy.

Source information is RESTATED to support topic and includes TWO annotations that may be from books, database articles, or academic/museum/ professional websites.

Sources must appear as in‐text citations and on a works cited page

Each annotation must include 3 of the following criteria:

  • Author’s credentials related to topic
  • Description of type of source/audience
  • Discussion of purpose/point of view
  • Discussion of currency of the source
  • Explain why the source is relevant to the assignment.

Complete Foundation Rubric

  • LAS: Foundation level Core Compentency Rubric 3-Outcome Rubric, 2020 version

Do You Need Citation Help?

In addition to this guide, the Library offers a variety of information literacy instruction.

  • Meet with a Librarian one-on-one for help with research, citations, and annotations
  • The Student Learning Center (SLC) also provides drop-in tutoring. Be sure to check their current hours here.
  • Faculty may request an in-class workshop for Annotations and/or Citations by filling out this form .

You may also visit the Library for citation help, or use the Ask a Librarian form on the Library website.

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I Search, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 516

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You are free to use it as an inspiration or a source for your own work.

Prior to researching the legalization of marijuana, I have assumed that there are benefits in which the public could be taking advantage of the drug.  Marijuana has a host of benefits, including physical and psychological ones that are not realized in society. Thus, measures should be taken to realize should benefits.

In my opinion, legalizing marijuana would allow citizens to make their own decisions about the drug.  While every drug has its dangers, I believe and assume that the benefits outweigh the dangers.  I also believe that dangers in other legalized drugs are more severe.

Research Process

The first step in this process was to define a particular research area.  For me, I wanted to look at scientific evidence on the long-term effects of marijuana.  I was especially interested in how marijuana can be taken in a safer manner, allowing citizens to use the drug in a safe manner, if it were to be legalized or allowed in some fashion.

I began with an Internet search on the topic.  However, at first I was not successful.  There were far too many ill-advised websites that were certainly not documented in their findings and views.  If anything, they subscribed to a particular view to the extreme, which was not beneficial for my research.

Instead I tried targeting academic sources.  I limited my search to educational websites, by restricting the domain names in the search.  Thus, I was not subject to the .com websites that could have been written by anyone.  This made quite a bit of difference in being able to target believable sources.

From a research-based website, I was able to locate a couple of sources within an article on the subject.  There I found the two sources that I have used in this brief introduction.  The article used the sources within the article that I read.

What I Learned

The two sources were very interesting to read.  Particularly, it was interesting to read of the disparity between how marijuana was taken.  The studies and research in the sources that I found cleared up some notions regarding what was safe and unsafe in taking marijuana.

The first source was research conducted by Grotenhermen (2001).  From the article I learned that smoking marijuana was the most harmful method to consume marijuana. Apparently inhaling smoke from organic materials, as stated by Grotenhermen (2001), accounted for a number of health problems.

The second source followed up to the original, and was conducted by Vizoso (2007).  It looked at how vaporizers compared to smoking marijuana as a means of consuming marijuana.  Vizoso found vaporizers to be “a safe and effective” system for consuming marijuana (2007).

These articles helped me take into account the long-term risks involved in marijuana.  Apparently alternative methods of consuming marijuana are necessary, due to health concerns.  If marijuana is to be legalized to realize such health and alternative benefits it brings, vaporizers or other methods must be considered.

Grotenhermen, Franzo. 2001. “Harm Reduction Associated with Inhalation and Oral Administration of Cannabis and THC.” Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics 1 (3-4): 133-152.

Vizoso, Abrams. 2007. “Vaporization as a Smokeless Cannabis Delivery System: A pilot study.” Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics 82 (5): 572-578.

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How to Write a Research Paper | A Beginner's Guide

A research paper is a piece of academic writing that provides analysis, interpretation, and argument based on in-depth independent research.

Research papers are similar to academic essays , but they are usually longer and more detailed assignments, designed to assess not only your writing skills but also your skills in scholarly research. Writing a research paper requires you to demonstrate a strong knowledge of your topic, engage with a variety of sources, and make an original contribution to the debate.

This step-by-step guide takes you through the entire writing process, from understanding your assignment to proofreading your final draft.

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Table of contents

Understand the assignment, choose a research paper topic, conduct preliminary research, develop a thesis statement, create a research paper outline, write a first draft of the research paper, write the introduction, write a compelling body of text, write the conclusion, the second draft, the revision process, research paper checklist, free lecture slides.

Completing a research paper successfully means accomplishing the specific tasks set out for you. Before you start, make sure you thoroughly understanding the assignment task sheet:

  • Read it carefully, looking for anything confusing you might need to clarify with your professor.
  • Identify the assignment goal, deadline, length specifications, formatting, and submission method.
  • Make a bulleted list of the key points, then go back and cross completed items off as you’re writing.

Carefully consider your timeframe and word limit: be realistic, and plan enough time to research, write, and edit.

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There are many ways to generate an idea for a research paper, from brainstorming with pen and paper to talking it through with a fellow student or professor.

You can try free writing, which involves taking a broad topic and writing continuously for two or three minutes to identify absolutely anything relevant that could be interesting.

You can also gain inspiration from other research. The discussion or recommendations sections of research papers often include ideas for other specific topics that require further examination.

Once you have a broad subject area, narrow it down to choose a topic that interests you, m eets the criteria of your assignment, and i s possible to research. Aim for ideas that are both original and specific:

  • A paper following the chronology of World War II would not be original or specific enough.
  • A paper on the experience of Danish citizens living close to the German border during World War II would be specific and could be original enough.

Note any discussions that seem important to the topic, and try to find an issue that you can focus your paper around. Use a variety of sources , including journals, books, and reliable websites, to ensure you do not miss anything glaring.

Do not only verify the ideas you have in mind, but look for sources that contradict your point of view.

  • Is there anything people seem to overlook in the sources you research?
  • Are there any heated debates you can address?
  • Do you have a unique take on your topic?
  • Have there been some recent developments that build on the extant research?

In this stage, you might find it helpful to formulate some research questions to help guide you. To write research questions, try to finish the following sentence: “I want to know how/what/why…”

A thesis statement is a statement of your central argument — it establishes the purpose and position of your paper. If you started with a research question, the thesis statement should answer it. It should also show what evidence and reasoning you’ll use to support that answer.

The thesis statement should be concise, contentious, and coherent. That means it should briefly summarize your argument in a sentence or two, make a claim that requires further evidence or analysis, and make a coherent point that relates to every part of the paper.

You will probably revise and refine the thesis statement as you do more research, but it can serve as a guide throughout the writing process. Every paragraph should aim to support and develop this central claim.

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A research paper outline is essentially a list of the key topics, arguments, and evidence you want to include, divided into sections with headings so that you know roughly what the paper will look like before you start writing.

A structure outline can help make the writing process much more efficient, so it’s worth dedicating some time to create one.

Your first draft won’t be perfect — you can polish later on. Your priorities at this stage are as follows:

  • Maintaining forward momentum — write now, perfect later.
  • Paying attention to clear organization and logical ordering of paragraphs and sentences, which will help when you come to the second draft.
  • Expressing your ideas as clearly as possible, so you know what you were trying to say when you come back to the text.

You do not need to start by writing the introduction. Begin where it feels most natural for you — some prefer to finish the most difficult sections first, while others choose to start with the easiest part. If you created an outline, use it as a map while you work.

Do not delete large sections of text. If you begin to dislike something you have written or find it doesn’t quite fit, move it to a different document, but don’t lose it completely — you never know if it might come in useful later.

Paragraph structure

Paragraphs are the basic building blocks of research papers. Each one should focus on a single claim or idea that helps to establish the overall argument or purpose of the paper.

Example paragraph

George Orwell’s 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language” has had an enduring impact on thought about the relationship between politics and language. This impact is particularly obvious in light of the various critical review articles that have recently referenced the essay. For example, consider Mark Falcoff’s 2009 article in The National Review Online, “The Perversion of Language; or, Orwell Revisited,” in which he analyzes several common words (“activist,” “civil-rights leader,” “diversity,” and more). Falcoff’s close analysis of the ambiguity built into political language intentionally mirrors Orwell’s own point-by-point analysis of the political language of his day. Even 63 years after its publication, Orwell’s essay is emulated by contemporary thinkers.

Citing sources

It’s also important to keep track of citations at this stage to avoid accidental plagiarism . Each time you use a source, make sure to take note of where the information came from.

You can use our free citation generators to automatically create citations and save your reference list as you go.

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The research paper introduction should address three questions: What, why, and how? After finishing the introduction, the reader should know what the paper is about, why it is worth reading, and how you’ll build your arguments.

What? Be specific about the topic of the paper, introduce the background, and define key terms or concepts.

Why? This is the most important, but also the most difficult, part of the introduction. Try to provide brief answers to the following questions: What new material or insight are you offering? What important issues does your essay help define or answer?

How? To let the reader know what to expect from the rest of the paper, the introduction should include a “map” of what will be discussed, briefly presenting the key elements of the paper in chronological order.

The major struggle faced by most writers is how to organize the information presented in the paper, which is one reason an outline is so useful. However, remember that the outline is only a guide and, when writing, you can be flexible with the order in which the information and arguments are presented.

One way to stay on track is to use your thesis statement and topic sentences . Check:

  • topic sentences against the thesis statement;
  • topic sentences against each other, for similarities and logical ordering;
  • and each sentence against the topic sentence of that paragraph.

Be aware of paragraphs that seem to cover the same things. If two paragraphs discuss something similar, they must approach that topic in different ways. Aim to create smooth transitions between sentences, paragraphs, and sections.

The research paper conclusion is designed to help your reader out of the paper’s argument, giving them a sense of finality.

Trace the course of the paper, emphasizing how it all comes together to prove your thesis statement. Give the paper a sense of finality by making sure the reader understands how you’ve settled the issues raised in the introduction.

You might also discuss the more general consequences of the argument, outline what the paper offers to future students of the topic, and suggest any questions the paper’s argument raises but cannot or does not try to answer.

You should not :

  • Offer new arguments or essential information
  • Take up any more space than necessary
  • Begin with stock phrases that signal you are ending the paper (e.g. “In conclusion”)

There are four main considerations when it comes to the second draft.

  • Check how your vision of the paper lines up with the first draft and, more importantly, that your paper still answers the assignment.
  • Identify any assumptions that might require (more substantial) justification, keeping your reader’s perspective foremost in mind. Remove these points if you cannot substantiate them further.
  • Be open to rearranging your ideas. Check whether any sections feel out of place and whether your ideas could be better organized.
  • If you find that old ideas do not fit as well as you anticipated, you should cut them out or condense them. You might also find that new and well-suited ideas occurred to you during the writing of the first draft — now is the time to make them part of the paper.

The goal during the revision and proofreading process is to ensure you have completed all the necessary tasks and that the paper is as well-articulated as possible. You can speed up the proofreading process by using the AI proofreader .

Global concerns

  • Confirm that your paper completes every task specified in your assignment sheet.
  • Check for logical organization and flow of paragraphs.
  • Check paragraphs against the introduction and thesis statement.

Fine-grained details

Check the content of each paragraph, making sure that:

  • each sentence helps support the topic sentence.
  • no unnecessary or irrelevant information is present.
  • all technical terms your audience might not know are identified.

Next, think about sentence structure , grammatical errors, and formatting . Check that you have correctly used transition words and phrases to show the connections between your ideas. Look for typos, cut unnecessary words, and check for consistency in aspects such as heading formatting and spellings .

Finally, you need to make sure your paper is correctly formatted according to the rules of the citation style you are using. For example, you might need to include an MLA heading  or create an APA title page .

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Checklist: Research paper

I have followed all instructions in the assignment sheet.

My introduction presents my topic in an engaging way and provides necessary background information.

My introduction presents a clear, focused research problem and/or thesis statement .

My paper is logically organized using paragraphs and (if relevant) section headings .

Each paragraph is clearly focused on one central idea, expressed in a clear topic sentence .

Each paragraph is relevant to my research problem or thesis statement.

I have used appropriate transitions  to clarify the connections between sections, paragraphs, and sentences.

My conclusion provides a concise answer to the research question or emphasizes how the thesis has been supported.

My conclusion shows how my research has contributed to knowledge or understanding of my topic.

My conclusion does not present any new points or information essential to my argument.

I have provided an in-text citation every time I refer to ideas or information from a source.

I have included a reference list at the end of my paper, consistently formatted according to a specific citation style .

I have thoroughly revised my paper and addressed any feedback from my professor or supervisor.

I have followed all formatting guidelines (page numbers, headers, spacing, etc.).

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I-Search Narrative Essay example

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I-Search Narrative At the tender age of two I moved from a development in the town of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania to the vast stretches of farmland that make up the area between Mechanicsburg and the neighboring town of Dillsburg. It was not a big move distance-wise, but it would forever change my life. If I would have stayed where I was I would have went to a different high school, had a different set of friends, and who knows where I would be today. While I did not know it at the time, (I was only two, cut me some slack.) my family and I moved within earshot of one of the most prestigious dirt tracks in the country. Each and every Friday night from early spring to late autumn thousands of people congregate at this track surrounded …show more content…

I also know that twice each year The Outlaws come to town, and it is an incredible party. The Outlaws are a group of the best sprint car drivers in the country that tour around to different tracks all around the United States. Whenever they come to the Grove it is usually their only stop in the midstate and they race against each other and the local drivers who band together into what is known as the Pennsylvania Posse. In our local paper they usually have a write up about The Outlaws whenever they come to town, so this is where most of my basic information comes from. For living so close to the track I should probably know more than I do, but that’s about the extent of my knowledge. In my quest for knowledge my first stop was pretty easy to find. I went to the Williams Grove website because it seemed like a logical place to start my search. On this website I found a lot of information on drivers, tickets, past grove winners and many other topics. One section of the website that was particularly interesting to me was the page with sprint car specs on it. These specs are what Williams Grove requires if you are going to race there so this seemed as good a place to start as any. According to Williams Grove’s website a sprint car is defined as “a racing vehicle of single seat design, built upon a racing chassis and mounted on four racing wheels.” Specifically for Williams Grove all cars

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NASCAR was founded in 1947, it has grown to become the premier motorsport organization. NASCAR stands for The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. “NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. Known for its passionate fan base, one-of-a-kind playoff format, development of the modern sports sponsorship and commitment to enhancing auto racing through technology, NASCAR produces many of the most highly attended sporting events in the world.” Internships provided by NASCAR are designed for college students year round in most office, either part time or full time. These unique opportunities allow students to work in a hands-on environment with the fastest

Literacy Narrative Essay example

At this point in my life I find myself in an interesting predicament regarding my attitudes toward reading and writing; more so towards reading. Years ago I used to love reading books for pleasure but nowadays I find myself reading things that little to no effort to digest. This includes the very basic posts on facebook expressing one’s opinion on something or articles and threads on reddit discussing topics I find intriguing. Perhaps it’s the severe senioritis that has overcome me as I enter my last semester at Chapman University. As I’ve gotten lazier I can see it start to reflect in my everyday life. Deep down I still love to read but I rarely find myself getting truly invested into the action unless it relates to something I am very

Narrative Essay for English 101

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Persuasive Essay On Dirt Track Racing

Have you ever been to a dirt track race? If not than I will show you the basics. Dirt track race tracks are clay ovals that are ⅕ mile to ½ mile tracks that have a 10 degree to 20 plus degree banks on turns. You have over 9 divisions to choose from including modified and super late model. An average race will last about 10-20 minutes but can't go past 35 otherwise they stop the race and whoever's leading wins. Usually features are around 20 laps but some specials can go all the way to 100 laps.

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The Search Essay

with that case in the papers, the Dean Brown thing. This S.O.B. killed not only

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I-Search Topics

I-Search is a project that we present in early November and the students work on until mid-December.  Our goal is to teach students to use research tools to find answers to questions.  Each student comes up with a question and hypothesis and works to find the answer, if there is one.  We find that by having students work on a topic of interest, they learn the tools of research more easily.

Here are some ideas to think about:

Ideas for I-Search topics

How do humans’ ability to smell differ from dogs? / Why are dogs senses more acute than human    


    How and why do optical illusions work?

How does flavor affect our eating habits?

    What is colon cancer?  What are colon cancer’s cure possibilities?

How do GPS systems work?

    Do helmets protect your brain sufficiently while playing contact sports?/ How can football   

          equipment prevent concussions?

What are deep sea animals adaptions to an underwater environment?

    How do computer viruses spread and in what ways do they affect computers?

How does pressure and lack of light affect deep sea creatures senses?

    How do our eyes and brain turn pictures into movies?

Why do people get freckles?

    How are gems classified?

Why and how has Batman changed over the decades and how?

    Why and how was Stonehenge built?

What are black holes?

    How are cheeses from the milk of a cow made to taste, look and feel differently?

What would be the effect of krill extinction on the ocean ecosystem?

    How does smell affect people? / How do advertisers use smell?

How did Cleopatra come to power in Egypt and what did she do during her reign?

    What causes dreaming? / What influences dreams and can they be controlled?

What is life like in a beehive? / What is causing beehive collapse? / Why are bees important?

    Why did Qin Shi Huang Di build such a large tomb?

What do people do when they get scared both inside and outwardly?

    How does the shape of a boat’s hull affect how much weight it can hold?

What is the life like of a minor league baseball player?

    How did James Cameron create the set for the movie, “Titanic?”

How are ads constructed to appeal to people?

    How do jellyfish survive in open waters?

How does caffeine affect the brain?

    How have the uses and preparation of coffee changed throughout time?

I s nuclear power safe for the environment?

    What are the benefits and drawbacks of wind power?

What influences dreams and can they be controlled?

    How does how you throw a baseball affect its speed?

How does the flex of a hockey stick affect ones shot?

    How does texting affect literacy?

How did sailors in ancient times navigate?

    What are the major theories explaining the disappearance of dinosaurs?

How do advertisers use music to affect sales?

    When does synesthesia develop and how long does it last?

How are energy drinks supposed to work?  Are there problems with energy drinks?

    Why do people get a brain freeze and what causes it?

What causes one to yawn and why are yawns contagious?

    How does color affect mood?

How do dogs communicate with each other and with humans?

    How do vaccinations work and what are the benefits and risks?

How are video games beneficial to children? / What effects do video games have on your brain         and body?

How does the brain remember information?

    What technologies are there for people to save energy in their homes?

How have penguins adapted to survive in various environments?

    Are there Earth-like planets and how do we find them?

Do lie detectors accurately determine truthful statements?

    How does color affect consumer decisions?

How does a hybrid car save energy?

    How do orcas act in captivity?

How does video game music affect the game?

    How is ultrasound used?

How effectively does the baseball statistic WAR (Wins Above Replacement) assess a ballplayer’s     overall performance?

How does chocolate affect mood? / How does chocolate affect your brain and body?

    How did the I-phone change the world?

What are some common sleep disorders, why do they happen, and how are they treated?

    How does dance affect your mind?

What are the theories and truths about crop circles ?

    How does movement affect learning?

Why do humans need sleep?

    What places in a batting order are given to the best batters and why?

How does the spin on  a baseball effect the trajectory? / How does holding a baseball effect how it  


How does hypnosis work?

    How do octopi defend themselves?

Why do birds sing? / How do birds adapt to their environments?

    How are coral reefs formed and what harms them?

Have have concussion tests and treatments changed?

    How does exposure to sun effect the skin?

How do gravity and magnetism relate to each other?

    How does stealth technology shield aircraft from radar?

How does climbing Mt. Everest affect your body?

    When were traffic lights invented and how have they helped and hindered drivers in society?

What causes tornados and water spouts?

    What are our physical reactions to emotions and why do we have them?

Does listening to a specific type of music affect intelligence?

    Why do we like sweets?

How does night vision work?

    How do tablets (and or handheld devices) affect children’s learning?

How does pressure affect how rocks form and erode?

    How do planes fly?

What animals have pass the mirror test and why does it show self-awareness?

    What are the good components of a good baseball swing. 

How does playing with Legos affect the brain?

    How do ant’s colonies work so well even though ants are so small?

What are the causes of sleep walking?  Is it curable?

    How can bio-mimicry effect our lives? / What are the uses of bio-mimicry for people?

How do dolphins communicate?

    What are different coding languages and how are they used?

How does proximity to light speed affect you?

    How do amusement park lines affect customer enjoyment?

What is a peanut allergy?  Can it be cured?

    How do babies learn really quickly?

Why do we sleep?

    How can computers be used to help people with....(any of various disabilities)?

How does having a pet affect your mood and life span? Do different types of pets affect life     differently?

How do estuaries and wetlands affect the environment?

    How has Apple changed the world?

How does music affect Alzheimer’s disease?

    What are the risks of climate change and global warming on ......?

How does music affect the human brain?

    What are sinkholes and how are they formed?

Can dogs catch sicknesses and diseases from humans?

    Why are insects attracted to light?

What are the theories behind the Bermuda Triangle?

    How are jaguars (or any other animal) adapted to their environment?

How does drinking soda affect a person’s health?

    How has ballet hanged since it started?

What causes stress and how do we resolve it?

    How does a search engine work?

Why is laughing contagious and how does laughing affect your mood?

    How do people use sign language?  What are its origins?

Does the celebration of holidays effect people”s behavior, mood and beiefs.

    How and why did the Van Sweringen brothers establish Shaker Heights?

What causes fear and what are the body’s reaction?

    Why and how do touch screens react to certain surfaces?

What causes bioluminescence and how does it help the creatures who exhibit it?

    How will aquaponics affect the future of farming?

What is the relationship of major league baseball teams and farm league teams?

    How have swimsuits changed over time and how does that effect how fast people swim?

What are allergies and how do they differ in various parts of the world?

    What are the effects of steroids on the human body?

How are vitamins made and how do we digest them?

    What is the “cloud” and how are things stored there?

How are marine animals affected by water pollution?

    How is snow formed?

How do injuries affect a player’s performance in baseball?

    Why does the Earth move and we don’t feel it?  How do we perceive motion?

How do cats communicate with each other and humans?  What body parts to they use?

    Does smiling affect life span?

How do vocal cords work and how can one’s pitch go higher and lower?

    How has angling changed over the years and what is the effect of equipment?

What are phobias and how does the body react to them?

    How do elephants mourn their dead?

How do mood rings/necklaces change color and do they really tell how you are feeling?

    How does birth order affect the personalities of children?

How does the ear work and why can some people hear better than others?

    How does Lake Erie water pollution hurt northeastern Ohio?

How does sugar affect the body?

    What factors affect good sleep?

How do different seahorses adapt to their surroundings?

    How was the skateboard invented and how has it changed over the years?

Are redheads going extinct?

    What does fear do to the body?

What is military surveillance like today?

    How do arthropods sense the world?

How does coffee get from the plant to the beans we buy?

    How does leukemia affect your body?

How does being bilingual affect the brain?

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17 Tips to Take Your ChatGPT Prompts to the Next Level

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ChatGPT, Google Gemini, and other tools like them are making artificial intelligence available to the masses. We can now get all sorts of responses back on almost any topic imaginable. These chatbots can compose sonnets, write code, get philosophical, and automate tasks.

However, while you can just type anything you like into ChatGPT and get it to understand you. There are ways of getting more interesting and useful results out of the bot. This "prompt engineering" is becoming a specialized skill of its own.

Sometimes all it takes is the addition of a few more words or an extra line of instruction and you can get ChatGPT responses that are a level above what everyone else is seeing—and we've included several examples below.

While there's lots you can do with the free version of ChatGPT, a few of these prompts require a paid ChatGPT Plus subscription —where that's the case, we've noted it in the tip.

ChatGPT can give you responses in the form of a table if you ask. This is particularly helpful for getting information or creative ideas. For example, you could tabulate meal ideas and ingredients, or game ideas and equipment, or the days of the week and how they're said in a few different languages.

Using follow-up prompts and natural language, you can have ChatGPT make changes to the tables it has drawn and even produce the tables in a standard format that can be understood by another program (such as Microsoft Excel).

If you provide ChatGPT with a typed list of information, it can respond in a variety of ways. Maybe you want it to create anagrams from a list of names, or sort a list of products into alphabetical order, or turn all the items in a list into upper case. If needed, you can then click the copy icon (the small clipboard) at the end of an answer to have the processed text sent to the system clipboard.

Screenshot of ChatGPT

Get ChatGPT to respond as your favorite author.

With some careful prompting, you can get ChatGPT out of its rather dull, matter-of-fact, default tone and into something much more interesting—such as the style of your favorite author, perhaps.

You could go for the searing simplicity of an Ernest Hemingway or Raymond Carver story, the lyrical rhythm of a Shakespearean play, or the density of a Dickens novel. The resulting prose won't come close to the genius of the actual authors themselves, but it's another way of getting more creative with the output you generate.

ChatGPT can really impress when it's given restrictions to work within, so don't be shy when it comes to telling the bot to limit its responses to a certain number of words or a certain number of paragraphs.

It could be everything from condensing the information in four paragraphs down into one, or even asking for answers with words of seven characters or fewer (just to keep it simple). If ChatGPT doesn't follow your responses properly, you can correct it, and it'll try again.

Another way of tweaking the way ChatGPT responds is to tell it who the intended audience is for its output. You might have seen WIRED's videos in which complex subjects are explained to people with different levels of understanding. This works in a similar way.

For example, you can tell ChatGPT that you are speaking to a bunch of 10-year-olds or to an audience of business entrepreneurs and it will respond accordingly. It works well for generating multiple outputs along the same theme.

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Tell ChatGPT the audience it's writing for.

ChatGPT is a very capable prompt engineer itself. If you ask it to come up with creative and effective inputs for artificial intelligence engines such as Dall-E and Midjourney , you'll get text you can then input into other AI tools you're playing around with. You're even able to ask for tips with prompts for ChatGPT itself.

When it comes to generating prompts, the more detailed and specific you are about what you're looking for the better: You can get the chatbot to extend and add more detail to your sentences, you can get it to role-play as a prompt generator for a specific AI tool, and you can tell it to refine its answers as you add more and more information.

While ChatGPT is based around text, you can get it to produce pictures of a sort by asking for ASCII art. That's the art made up of characters and symbols rather than colors. The results won't win you any prizes, but it's pretty fun to play around with.

The usual ChatGPT rules apply, in that the more specific you are in your prompt the better, and you can get the bot to add new elements and take elements away as you go. Remember the limitations of the ASCII art format though—this isn't a full-blown image editor.

Screenshot of ChatGPT

A ChatGPT Plus subscription comes with image generation.

If you use ChatGPT Plus , it's got the DALL-E image generator right inside it, so you can ask for any kind of photo, drawing, or illustration you like. As with text, try to be as explicit as possible about what it is you want to see, and how it's shown; do you want something that looks like a watercolor painting, or like it was taken by a DSLR camera? You can have some real fun with this: Put Columbo in a cyberpunk setting, or see how Jurassic Park would look in the Victorian era. The possibilities are almost endless.

You don't have to do all the typing yourself when it comes to ChatGPT. Copy and paste is your friend, and there's no problem with pasting in text from other sources. While the input limit tops out at around 4,000 words, you can easily split the text you're sending the bot into several sections and get it to remember what you've previously sent.

Perhaps one of the best ways of using this approach is to get ChatGPT to simplify text that you don't understand—the explanation of a difficult scientific concept, for instance. You can also get it to translate text into different languages, write it in a more engaging or fluid style, and so on.

If you want to go exploring, ask ChatGPT to create a text-based choose-your-own adventure game. You can specify the theme and the setting of the adventure, as well as any other ground rules to put in place. When we tried this out, we found ourselves wandering through a spooky castle, with something sinister apparently hiding in the shadows.

Screenshot of ChatGPT

ChatGPT is able to create text-based games for you to play.

Another way to improve the responses you get from ChatGPT is to give it some data to work with before you ask your question. For instance, you could give it a list of book summaries together with their genre, then ask it to apply the correct genre label to a new summary. Another option would be to tell ChatGPT about activities you enjoy and then get a new suggestion.

There's no magic combination of words you have to use here. Just use natural language as always, and ChatGPT will understand what you're getting at. Specify that you're providing examples at the start of your prompt, then tell the bot that you want a response with those examples in mind.

You can ask ChatGPT for feedback on any of your own writing, from the emails you're sending to friends, to the short story you're submitting to a competition, to the prompts you're typing into the AI bot. Ask for pointers on spelling, grammar, tone, readability, or anything else you want to scrutinize.

ChatGPT cleared the above paragraph as being clear and effective, but said it could use a call to action at the end. Try this prompt today!

Screenshot of ChatGPT

Get ChatGPT to give you feedback on your own writing.

In the same way that ChatGPT can mimic the style of certain authors that it knows about, it can also play a role: a frustrated salesman, an excitable teenager (you'll most likely get a lot of emoji and abbreviations back), or the iconic western film star John Wayne.

There are countless roles you can play around with. These prompts might not score highly in terms of practical applications, but they're definitely a useful insight into the potential of these AI chatbots.

You can type queries into ChatGPT that you might otherwise type into Google, looking for answers: Think "how much should I budget for a day of sightseeing in London?" or "what are the best ways to prepare for a job interview?" for example. Almost anything will get a response of some sort—though as always, don't take AI responses as being 100 percent accurate 100 percent of the time.

If you're using the paid ChatGPT Plus tool, it will actually search the web (with Bing) and provide link references for the answers it gives. If you're using the free version of ChatGPT, it'll mine the data its been trained on for answers, so they might be a little out of date or less reliable.

Your answers can be seriously improved if you give ChatGPT some ingredients to work with before asking for a response. They could be literal ingredients—suggest a dish from what's left in the fridge—or they could be anything else.

So don't just ask for a murder mystery scenario. Also list out the characters who are going to appear. Don't just ask for ideas of where to go in a city; specify the city you're going to, the types of places you want to see, and the people you'll have with you.

Your prompts don't always have to get ChatGPT to generate something from scratch: You can start it off with something, and then let the AI finish it off. The model will take clues from what you've already written and build on it.

This can come in handy for everything from coding a website to composing a poem—and you can then get ChatGPT to go back and refine its answer as well.

You've no doubt noticed how online arguments have tended toward the binary in recent years, so get ChatGPT to help add some gray between the black and the white. It's able to argue both sides of an argument if you ask it to, including both pros and cons.

From politics and philosophy to sports and the arts, ChatGPT is able to sit on the fence quite impressively—not in a vague way, but in a way that can help you understand tricky issues from multiple perspectives.

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