Course Project: Week 4—Defining a Problem

The first stage of the project is to select a topic, begin preliminary research, define the rhetorical situation (subject, purpose, readers, and context of use), and describe the problem. This is a pre-writing assignment designed to help you start researching, gathering, and analyzing information.

After reviewing the possible topic scenarios in Doc Sharing, select a topic to research, watch the tutorials on APA Style and Finding Sources, and use the DeVry Library’s databases to find at least two potential sources that will give you some background on the issue described in the topic scenario. Please also review Chapter 8: Proposals in your textbook for guidance on completing the questions.

Answer the questions below. Base your answers on the information provided in the topic scenario and on what you learned from your preliminary research. Include in-text citations to show when information is coming from a source.

The information you generate here can later be used in the introduction and current situation sections in your proposal. When you write your proposal, you will have completed additional research and will be able to build on this information to demonstrate that a problem exists and needs to be solved.

  • 1-Define the Rhetorical Situation
    • a)Subject: Describe the topic you are writing about. What exactly will the proposal be about? What information must your readers know if they are going to approve your ideas? Why is this issue important?
    • b)Purpose: Write a purpose statement. What is your goal in writing this proposal? You should use verbs such as to persuade, convince, or recommend. See page 204 in your textbook for sample purpose statements.
    • c)Readers: Define the primary and secondary readers of your proposal.
    • d)Context of Use: Identify how physical, economic, political, and/or ethical issues may influence your readers and their company. See pages 204–205 in your textbook for ideas on what to include here.
  • 2-Define the Problem
    • a)Brainstorm a list of possible causes of the problem.
    • b)Brainstorm a list of possible effects of NOT solving the problem.
    • c)Write a few sentences that define the problem clearly. Your goal is to describe how the current situation has created problems that need to be solved.
  • 3-Identify Potential Sources: In APA format, list the two potential sources you found using the DeVry databases.
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