Writing Assignment: INDUCTION ESSAY

Assignment: Because of the extra work required (i.e. data gathering and the completion of a worksheet), this essay will count 1 1/2 times as much as the regular essays we have done. Your assignment is to do a survey on a topic of your choice and then to present your results in an argumentative essay. Possible topics include investigating political, religious, or geographic backgrounds of a sector of the University of Akron student body; attitudes or opinions about sports, drugs, music, sex, TV, or other topics; choices concerning clothing, hair styles, or cars; availability of services or entertainment; in short, anything you can come up with that is interesting and easily surveyable.

Audience: The other students in our English 112 class.

Length: 600-900 words, plus relevant charts, graphs, or tables.

Format: The copy you submit to me should be double-spaced and printed off or typed on regular 8 1/2" x 11" unlined paper. Do not use onion-skin paper or erasable bond. Margins for the text should be approximately 1" on all sides. Use the MLA style for pagination, and fasten completed sheets with staple or paper clip in upper left-hand corner.

Due Date: Monday, April 21.


  1. Be certain to limit the "population" you are going to investigate to a manageable size.
  2. Decide on your method of gathering information. Try to estimate how much evidence you can handle in your paper. If you plan to use a questionnaire, don't indulge in biased questions (e.g., "How stupid do you think Perot supporters are?")
  3. Make an accurate record of your evidence.
  4. Make generalizations based on your evidence.
  5. Write the paper and make up the illustrative charts, graphs, and so on.


The paper itself should include the following:

  1. An accurate title.
  2. An introduction explaining why you believe your topic to be worthy of investigation and why your audience should be interested in your topic.*
  3. Definitions of key terms (e.g. University of Akron students, grocery store, Baptist).
  4. The process by which you gathered the information.
  5. Problems you encountered in gathering information.
  6. Presentation of the evidence itself, in both written and chart form. (You may put all illustrative material at the end of the paper).
  7. Generalizations drawn from the evidence.
  8. Conclusion to paper: limitations of your conclusions and possible areas or directions for further investigation.

*If you wish, you may include your generalization in your introduction as well as at the end.


Due Date: Monday, April 14. NOTE: Failure to complete and submit this worksheet on the due date will affect your overall grade for the essay.

1. a. General field of interest:

b. Specific topic I will survey:

2. Why is this topic worthy of consideration? (i.e., Why should my audience be interested in this topic?)

3. What is my projected conclusion about this topic?

4. What are some terms I will need to define?

5. Whom or what will I survey?

6. How will the sample be chosen and why?

a. How will the sample be stratified?

b. How will selection be made random?

7. How will data be gathered?

a. Medium used?

b. Place(s)?

c. Time(s)?

8. If taking a poll, what questions will I ask?