Help for the Undecided Student

In order to improve your future academic and professional success, you will research your path to success. Your final essay, which will utilize both secondary and primary sources, will be on one of the below two topics.

If you are undecided on your ideal career/job or if your job will be in another country, your essay will focus on your major. If you are undecided on your major, research the one you are leaning towards. While your topic selection is personal, the essay will not be personal. In other words, do not use first-person pronouns such as “I.”

Your essay will persuade university students to take your advice on how to prepare and succeed in the selected major. Always remember that you should help an audience understand “why” before “how.” Therefore, your essay will explain the benefits of the major (why it is worth pursuing) before you explain the necessary skills, schedule, attitude, etc. (how to succeed).

To be persuasive, you need to be credible. Therefore, you will research your topic thoroughly. Your essay will provide cited support (quotes, paraphrases, examples, etc) for all assertions. You have learned how to find secondary sources, such as books, articles, and credible online pages. For this assignment you will add primary research to the mix. Primary research requires that you go directly to the source rather than getting the information second-hand. Examples of primary sources are experiments, surveys, and interviews. For your “major” essay you may conduct a survey of students in the major. However, the best primary source for this essay is an interview with an expert in the major. Therefore, while the survey is optional, the interview with a department chair and/or professor is required.

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