"Perhaps a remedy would be this: get the students to choose the topic and write about it in-depth and thoughtfully *before* they do any research. Then, they research and review the important articles and learn what the experts have to say; they write this up as a lit review. Then, they write a third piece explaining how their thoughts have evolved or changed given what they’ve read. So they write about their own perspective, but bolstered and informed by research. (And, as a former writing instructor, I would probably toss in a fourth piece where they reflect on the whole process, reading their original essay and final essay and comparing them.)"
I wholeheartedly agree.