Advocacy Project

Research Project Part Two: Advocacy The second half of your quarterlong research project, the Advocacy Project asks that you 1)introduce and evaluate one or more significant efforts to address the problem you described in your Context Project; and then 2) develop an argument about which of the efforts to address the problem work best, explain why, and offer possible next steps; OR make the case that none of the efforts to address the problem works, explain why, and offer possible next steps. Unlike the CP, an expository essay that asks you to use your research to describe the problem, the AP requires you to stake out a clear position in a thesis statement that you must defend through deeply engaged research.

You should have sources that help you answer all of the following questions.

  • Do your sources help establish a trend in the advocacy approaches?
  • Does the source help establish WHO are the advocates involved and what is the purpose of the advocacy?
  • Does the source help establish WHO has a stake in blocking efforts to solve or mitigate the problem?
  • Does the source show how the advocacy has been helped or hurt by public opinion? Or does it describe any common perception about the issue that determines the advocacy approach
  • Does the source show how policy or law or other reform measures have failed?
  • Does the source help define the root causes of failed advocacy?
  • Does the source help establish HOW advocates have been successful in resolving or mitigating the problem?
  • Does the source help establish an evaluation of cost to benefit?
  • Does the source help establish the feasibility of your proposed solutions? (does it establish precedent? Show current action? Efforts at implementation?)
  • Does the source offer a solution to the problem similar to the one you envision? (if so, has there been any action after the work was published? If so, what? If not, why do you suppose that is?)
  • Does the source function as opposition to your proposed solution? Does it show, in other words, what might be problematic about your argument? (you will want real voices with real arguments here).
  1. Make sure your bibliography shows a variety of genres and perspectives that create a sort of “map” for understanding the landscape of your project as defined by its
  2. When you choose to compose a summary, you should select sources that your research project particularly relies on to craft the arguments at stake in your project, the evidence of key findings that help you define and describe the causes and consequences of the problem your research investigates. Note: you can write shorter summaries for sources that help you define particular aspects of the project, but on whose content you only rely in
  3. Full summaries should aim to include the following (use your judgment to determine the order). Note: that the last two are not usually part of a formal summary, but they are useful for keeping a record that you might keep for later:
          • The MLA-formatted citation above the paragraph
          • an account of the author’s profession (e.g., “Journalist Sam Lebovic argues that…” and/or particular area of focus (e.g., “In his capacity as Legal Director of the ACLU, David Cole argues that…”) and his or her main argument or arguments.
          • description of key pieces of evidence the author uses to advance his or her claims, using key phrases from the source (integrate quotations; do not quote entire sentences)
          • description of any counterarguments or obstacles to the author’s argument(s)
          • description of the article’s purpose and how that purpose connects to your project.
          • if applicable, additional information (for the purposes of note-taking) about how you intend to use the source in the context of your project aims.



  1. Does my bibliography show a variety of sources, both primary and secondaryLinks to an external site.?
  2. What “story” does my bibliography tell about the perspectives I have prioritized in this project so far? (see FAQs below)
  3. Are my annotations developed? (I.e., Do they each give an account of the source’s genre/context, argument or conclusions, evidence and how it is used, audience, relevance for my project, etc.)
  4. Is it clear how each source might be used in the development of my project? (I.e., Do any of my source summaries say the same thing, more or less? Does that mean that the sources are doing the same thing–in which case I might use one of them in a footnote? OR: that I have not provided a comprehensive enough account of the source that will help me to distinguish its unique role in the development of my project?)
  5. Can I envision re-purposing any of the information in my source summaries as footnotes or as introductory sentences in the body of a paragraph that puts sources in conversation with each other?
  6. Now that I have evaluated my annotated bibliography, I am/am not satisfied that I can proceed with my draft. If not, what do I need to do to produce an annotated bibliography that comes with the wonderful sensation of dignity?

Composing the Abstract


your part 2 (for the Advocacy Project) will include an analysis of solutions that culminates in your argument (e.g., “This essay argues that…”). Your writing should indicate a basic grasp of the research landscape, utilizing the vocabulary of experts as much as possible. See below for a view of (roughly) what kind of information an average abstract for Part One will include.

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