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Argumentative Research Paper
This paper requires you to take a clear stance on a controversial topic and support your thesis with solid research. This paper will be 4-5 pages and will include at least 6 sources.
Consider the following:
· Before you choose a topic, you need to brainstorm several research questions. Consider which research question may be most appropriate for the scope and requirements of this assignment.
· You need to ensure that your topic has at least two distinct, arguable sides/positions/perspectives.
· You must make sure that your argument is not centered on a belief system (religion) or personal bias (prejudice).
· You may NOT choose a topic on the “Forbidden Topics List” or a topic you have previously worked with.
· Who cares most about this issue? How could you appeal especially to them in your research paper?
· Think about your plans for the type of argument you want to make (i.e., purpose, occasion, and kind).
· Think about the support you anticipate using. How might you use the appeals?
· Where will you start your research?
· Why is this issue important to you or society? Why will it be worthwhile for you to research your topic? What will you learn?
The Forbidden Topics List
The following is a list of subjects that have been written about time and again. Your chances of successfully persuading the opposite side to believe as you do (in 4 pages) are practically zero. Strive for some topics that are new and innovative, or things that go beyond the old standbys listed below. Unless an astounding advance has been made, or a wealth of new information uncovered, there isn’t going to be anything new you can say about any of these topics that we haven’t already heard.
· Anorexia/Bulimia/eating disorders in general, or fad diets, etc.
· Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide
· Abuse (Domestic, Substance, Child, etc.)
· Global warming
· Capital Punishment/ Death Penalty
· Drug Legalization
· Gun Control
· The Driving Age
· Abstinence/Safe Sex/Teenage Pregnancy
· Conspiracy theories
· Texting while driving
· Gay marriage
· Virtually any topic where your primary source of defense rests in 1 main source
· Virtually any topic where your main source of information is only on the Internet
· Virtually any topic where your main evidence is opinion-based
· Any topic that attempts to link two or more of the above
· Any topic you have previously worked with
Note: If you’re finding it impossible to come up with a topic on your own, see https://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/04/200-prompts-for-argumentative-writing/
Your essay should include the following parts:
· Introduction: this is where you tell your readers what the essay is about. It may be necessary to define your topic, give a brief history of the issue, or relate an interesting story. This is also where you need to make sure that you capture readers’ attention.
· Thesis: this is where you establish your claim (What are you trying to prove in this paper?). Make sure that your thesis statement is specific. Your thesis could include a brief outline of your whole paper (think “points”) and should occur within the intro.
· Each paragraph in the body of your paper needs to have a main point that you can support with specific evidence and that supports your thesis clearly.
· Support your main points through a close analysis of at least six sources. To support your claims, you will need to quote from the texts and cite your sources.
· Make sure to acknowledge the other side of the argument in some way: by conceding to and/or refuting some points from that side.
· Conclusion: this is where you round up your essay: briefly restate what your essay was about, what you think the ultimate outcome of your issue will be on society, or the future directions for this issue, etc.
· Works Cited Page: This essay must include a works cited page in which you list the correct MLA citations for the each of the sources you use in your essay. Also, remember to have corresponding in-text citations for all of the sources on your works cited page.
Length: 4-5 double-spaced pages
150 pts. possible
|Does the essay meet the assignment criteria in terms of subject matter? Are the ideas presented appropriate for the assignment?
|Does the essay avoid repetition? Does it employ tight, polished paragraphs containing one main idea in the correct format or are ideas just thrown together?
|Does the essay use proper sentence structure, commas, pronouns, etc.? Does it avoid errors: fragments, contractions, tense shifts, spelling mistakes, etc.?
|Did the essay meet the assignment criteria in both format and appearance?
Correct MLA formatting? Page length? Proper citations?
|Does the essay have a clear, well-structured thesis?
|Does each body paragraph include one main idea that points the reader back to the thesis? Are there effective transitions? Does every paragraph present a unified argument? (Does it “flow” well?)
|Does the essay contain a strong backbone/ structure? Does it use the intro. well? Does the essay contain a solid conclusion that wraps up the paper?
|Does the paper provide adequate proof for the argument? (Quotations or paraphrase, research, expert opinions, statistics, examples, details, etc.?)
|How advanced is the essay? Does it explore new ideas that challenge both the writer and reader or simply regurgitate class discussions? Does the essay contain strong, unique ideas that go beyond surface-level?
|Does the argument make a logical connection between the thesis, topic sentences, and examples/proof? (i.e. Does it “connect-the-dots” between claims made in the thesis and examples for that claim?)
· Save your documents with your “Last Name Assignment Title” (EX: Smith Essay 1).
· Assignments must use MLA document formatting and citations, including your full name, the course number, and the assignment title in the upper-left corner; page numbers; and a title. See the following MLA sample essay: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/documents/20180702110400_747-2.pdf
· Assignments must fulfill all requirements and be proofread to be graded.
· Rough and final drafts must have at least 3 pages of double-spaced essay text.
· Submission deadlines are by the beginning of class time on Blackboard.