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Independent Study Project (ISP) - Initial Research


Modified from materials developed by Mr. Perry and the AHS English Department.

Select three topics that interest you and then select and read one article about each. That's three (3) articles, not one. You will write a personal annotation about each of the three articles. Begin by citing the source using the MLA documentation style shown in the AHS Stylebook. For each article, write one paragraph summarizing the information and opinions in the article and a second paragraph in which you respond to the article in a personal way. Was the article interesting? disappointing? boring? Would you like to further research the topic? Why? Why not?

Sample of Possible Topic Initial Research

The following example is purely fictional. Its purpose is merely to provide you with a model format for your initial research. Be sure to provide enough detail in the summary to prove that you have read the article. Be prepared to provide the actual article upon request. Your paper must be typed in a 12-point font and double-spaced. Note that the example is not double-spaced on purpose so that this handout can be printed on a single page. This assignment is one of five assignments which make up your ISP preparation grade and must be completed successfully before you move forward in the ISP process.


ISP Initial Research

Elmer Fudd - P7

Dufous, Herkimer.  "The Deluge of Disposable Diapers".   Newsweek. 17 August 1995: 22-28.

This article describes the mountains of disposable diapers that are being dumped into California landfills each year. It indicates that the numbers of these diapers are increasing dramatically from approximately 2,300 tons in 1970 to over 4,000 tons annually as of 1995. It goes on to describe the health and sanitation problems that are caused by the great volume and talks about some of the proposed solutions that California Waste Management officials are considering, such as a statewide campaign to alert the public about the problem. This campaign would urge consumers to either use the more biodegradable diaper products or to revert to the "old-fashioned" use of washable cloth diapers. It further goes on to tell how the buying public has been duped into believing that the convenience of disposable diaper use is more important than environmental considerations. The article is loaded with statistics to back up its claims, the most shocking of which states that more communicable diseases are spread by soiled disposable diapers than by sneezes in public.

I found the article quite interesting and enlightening in that I never before thought much about the problem. I considered how I spent my infant years in these diapers, as did my little brother, and I am wondering how much I personally might have contributed to the situation. The statistics, if they are accurate, are indeed alarming and enough to make anyone who reads this article at least think twice before using "Huggies" or "Luvs." Nowhere in the article did the author state absolutely that these diapers should not be used, but he did paint a pretty glum picture of their presence in the state's landfills. This topic has indeed sparked my interest, and I am seriously considering it as a final topic choice.

Note that this will just about fill a typewritten page. You'll write three of them.