Essay #2 Report on Research in Progress

The sources that I have compiled thus far for my research paper consists of four scholarly sources and three media sources. I was able to extract these scholarly sources from the Gale Academic OneFile database and my media sources were gathered from online websites. The scholarly sources were all peer-reviewed and provided significant references to the subject. The media sources provided in-depth analysis backed up by statistics and factual context.

 The article “ Is a STEM degree a good investment ” discusses the growing demand for college graduates in STEM fields. STEM careers are generally rewarding in the sense of the economic outcome these careers provide to graduates. Although the science field does not show a significant improvement from non STEM degrees, the other fields of STEM show a substantial gap in the annual earnings in comparison to other degrees. This article allows me to strengthen the argument of the benefits of pursuing a college education specifically by describing the different STEM fields that students can pursue. The article “ Does that college diploma really matter for success? ” discusses varying perspectives of the college education system. The article describes the employment opportunities that a college degree provides to those who pursue a career through college. However, the article also discusses the student debt that accumulates from receiving a college education and how this results in hindering the life choices of graduates. The article concludes with the argument of a college degree not being a complete necessity to obtain a job as there are businesses that hire those without a college education. This article will help strengthen my research essay as it provides information from both sides of the argument of my research question. The article “ How student debt became a $1.6 trillion crisis ” discusses a social issue that directly correlates to my essay about the college education system as discussed previously. The article provides a historical context to student debt in the country and it connects the dilemma to the negative impact it has on the lives of graduates. This article will help me connect my research question to another social dilemma that is closely related to it which will help strengthen my essay. 

The scholarly article “ Social and Economic Returns to College Education in the United States ” statistically analyzes the economic benefit a college degree has on individuals in comparison to those without a degree. The article also discusses the growing costs of attending college as well as the impact that a college education has on the community and the positive health outcomes this higher education has on individuals. This article has allowed me to identify various subtopics under my research question which will help strengthen my essay. The scholarly article “ College degree for everyone? ” analyzes the overall costs of higher education, the financing for higher education, as well as the success of individuals paying back their student loans. This article will help me strengthen my essay by providing my research question a deeper connection to the related dilemma of student loans in the United States. The scholarly article “ High costs, uncertain benefits: what do Americans without a college degree think about postsecondary education ” analyzes the perspectives of those who did not pursue a college education in the United States through a twenty-minute survey that was conducted. This article will strengthen my essay in recognizing society’s opinion on higher education and how these viewpoints compare and contrast with one another. The fourth scholarly article “ What can you do with that degree? College major and occupational status of college graduates over time ” analyzes the information gathered from studies conducted regarding the economic outcome of college graduates and how the market treats those with college degrees to those without a degree. This article will help provide a deeper understanding of college education to my research essay as it also compares the different fields that people pursue through college and the economic status of these college graduates over time.

A source that I originally found but discarded was the scholarly article ” Employee education and job performance: does education matter? ” due to the article being published in 1989 which hinders its validity compared to my other sources. A source that I am considering using is the webpage “Is a college education worth it” by because it provides a detailed list of pros and cons of the college education system. I can use this because it provides more information for my essay when discussing the countering arguments. Research that I believe can further strengthen my essay is to discuss more of the social aspect of the quality of life of college graduates and non-college graduates. 


Hout, Michael. “Social and Economic Returns to College Education in the United States.” Annual Review of Sociology, vol. 38, 2012, pp. 379–400., Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

Strohush, Vitaliy, and Justin Wanner. “College degree for everyone?” International Advances in Economic Research, vol. 21, no. 3, 2015, p. 261+. Gale Academic OneFile, Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

Kelly, Andrew P. “High costs, uncertain benefits: what do americans without a college degree think about postsecondary education?” AEI Paper & Studies, American Enterprise Institute, 2015, p. Fi+. Gale Academic OneFile, Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

Roksa, Josipa, and Tania Levey. “What can you do with that degree? College major and occupational status of college graduates over time.” Social Forces, vol. 89, no. 2, 2010, p. 389+. Gale Academic OneFile, Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

Abigail J Hess. “How Student Debt Became a $1.6 Trillion Crisis.” CNBC, CNBC, 12 June 2020,

“Is a STEM Degree a Good Investment?” Value Colleges,

Smale, Thomas. “Does That College Diploma Really Matter for Success?” Entrepreneur, 3 May 2017,


Comments ( 4 )

  1. Erezana Morina
    I really enjoyed reading you report on your research. I think you did a nice job of articulating what each article was about. I liked how you used different resouses that have both sides of the argument. Good luck with your essay!!
  2. Andrey Musin
    This was a well written update on your research quest! I think that you listed the reasons why each source would be well implemented in your paper to a healthy degree. I think your paper will be very thorough and I hope I have the time to read it! Good luck as always :)
  3. Emily Sanchez
    As I read your analysis of each source you've gathered, it's clear you have an idea of how you're going to write your essay and in which form. It's great you've considered certain factors in your essay like opposing views and how a specific source will develop your essay more. Good Luck combining these sources into one well written essay!
  4. Haseeb Chaudhury
    You did a good job in finding your sources since all of them relate to your research question and presents good information of the benefits of a STEM degree. I also liked how you point out both sides of your argument which would make your essay even stronger. Good luck with your essay!

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