Background Information Essay

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The purpose of this essay is informational NOT argumentative.

In this exploratory essay you will present background information relating to your proposed (narrowed) topic, including relevant history; statistics; laws and/or policies; organizations and programs (that address past and current needs and problems); current debates, disagreements, and controversies (pay attention to different stakeholders, but don't take sides or give your own opinion); etc.

As they write the essay, they should use transitions to connect the steps and ideas together.

They may want to use sequence words such as We recommend watching the Writing a Paragraph movie together as a review.

Avoid scholarly journal articles for the BE; if you do use one for information (rather than a report of current research), you should also make sure you have the other three required source TYPES listed above.

***You are encouraged to find as much relevant background information on your topic as you can, so look far and wide at many different kinds of sources, but the bulk of your information should come from the three source types above.

You will create a list of citations in APA format for the sources you used in your paper.

Some important features of APA format for your References page (bibliographic entries) include alphabetization by last name (or article title if no author is available); indentation after the first line of each entry; rules for use of capitalization, italics, and quotation marks; full last names only with first and middle initials (without listing credentials); inclusion of secondary title (e.g., article title AND name of magazine or website name); and inclusion of doi (digital object identifier), name of database, or url (website address) for electronically retrieved articles.

***Note the difference between magazine articles (where the audience is the general public, as in Newsweek, or a particular segments of the public, as in Popular Photography) vs.

academic journal articles (where the audience is made of scholars, such as Journal of Popular Culture or Journal of American History).

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