E N G L I S H   1 3 0 2   E S S A Y   3 :   T H E   A R G U M E N T A T I V E   R E S E A R C H   E S S A Y  

PURPOSE  

Essay  2  in  Lesson  5  was  designed  to  familiarize  you  with  the  basic  form  and  structure  of  argument.  For   this  reason,  in  your  argument  for  a  definition,  you  explored  a  narrow  topic  of  an  immediate  nature  using   only  three  sources  to  support  your  focused  claim.  Essay  3  is  a  formal  research  essay  that  requires   more  extensive  use  of  sources.    

Any  argumentative  essay  is  the  writer’s  attempt  to  convince  readers  to  accept  an  alternate  way  of   viewing  or  thinking  about  a  topic  or  issue.  For  this  essay,  too,  you  will  argue  with  the  ultimate  goal  of   revealing  a  new  or  unconventional  way  of  viewing  or  thinking  about  your  subject.  Like  Essay  2,  Essay  3   will  consist  of  a  thesis  (the  main  claim  of  the  argument),  various  support  strategies  and  appeals,  and   opposing  viewpoints  that  you  refute  and  overcome.    

However,  for  Essay  3,  you  will  write  a  more  sophisticated  argument  that  will  enable  you  to  become  part   of  a  larger  argument,  or  conversation.  You  will  still  begin  with  a  focused  and  relevant  claim,  but  this   argument  should  convey  a  broader  cultural  significance.  Using  Lesson  7  as  a  guide,  you  will  use  Essay   3  to  participate  meaningfully  in  an  ongoing  public  discourse.  

You  were  assigned  a  topic  for  Essay  2,  but  you  will  select  and  refine  a  topic  for  Essay  3  from  They   Say/I  Blog  conversations.  Your  initial  posts  and  peer  responses  to  Class  Discussion  7  will  provide   insight  into  the  conversations  and  help  you  narrow  your  choice  of  topic.    

Your  ability  to  choose,  evaluate,  incorporate,  and  cite  sources  will  constitute  a  significant  portion  of  your   grade  for  the  argumentative  research  essay.  Revisit  Purdue  OWL’s  “Research  Overview”      (https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/552/1/)  before  you  begin.  

Additionally,  after  you  complete  Class  Discussion  7  and  select  a  topic  for  your  essay,  review  these   characteristics  of  inventive  research  (Inventing  Arguments,  361-­2):  

•   Read  beyond  the  most  accessible  source.   o   For  example,  don’t  stop  with  the  first  source  listed  in  a  database.  

•   Explore  sources  that  are  opposed  to  your  position.   o   Don’t  seek  out  only  those  sources  in  line  with  your  thinking.  

•   Be  open  to  change.   o   Be  willing  to  modify  your  claim  and/or  approach  as  you  encounter  sources.  

•   Look  beneath  the  meaning  of  each  key  word  or  phrase.   o   See  key  terms  and  phrases  as  opportunities  for  more  exploration.  

•   Go  back  in  history  to  find  the  origin  of  words,  attitudes,  and  beliefs  related  to  your  topic.   o   Your  initial  understanding  of  a  topic  may  be  inaccurate.  

•   Look  for  principles  and  precedents.   o   Imagine  how  your  topic  resonates  with  some  broader  set  of  rules  or  earlier  cases.  

•   Imagine  analogies.   o   Make  comparisons  while  reading  and  researching  to  see  new  layers  of  your  topic.  

https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/552/1/
ENGL1302   Essay  3  Instructions  

 

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•   Read  for  underlying  values.   o   All  arguments  reflect  values  and  assumptions  that  lie  beneath  the  surface.  

Of  course,  as  your  text  explains,  not  all  research  is  exploratory.  As  you  research  your  topic,  you  may   need  to  conduct  seeking  research  to  locate  specific  information  to  support  your  claim.  Evaluate  your   research  needs  by  asking  the  “seeking”  questions  listed  on  page  362:    

1.   What  type  of  information  do  I  need?   2.   What  discipline  or  field  of  study  has  explored  this  issue?   3.   What  type  of  publication  is  likely  to  offer  such  information?   4.   What  is  the  best  way  to  access  that  information?  

Remember:  “Writers  should  proceed  with  caution  when  looking  for  particular  information:  The  most   prevalent  mistake  for  beginning  researchers  is  assuming  that  they  should  do  seeking  research  when   they  actually  need  inventive  research”  (Inventing  Arguments,  362).  Understand  when  to  use  inventive   research  and  when  to  use  seeking  research,  and  make  note  of  the  difference  between  the  two.  

LENGTH  

The  final  draft  of  this  essay  should  be  1500–2000  words,  or  6–8  double-­spaced  pages  (plus  a   Works  Cited  Page).  

ACADEMIC  AUDIENCE  

Direct  this  essay  to  a  diverse  audience  of  classmates.  Assume  various  ethnicities,  ages,  and   backgrounds,  and  assume  your  readers  are  both  curious  and  reasonably  educated.  

SAMPLE  STRUCTURE  

You  should  be  able  to  follow  your  preliminary  “outline”  (Journal  Writing  5)  to  create  your  overall   structure  for  this  essay.  Here  is  one  way  to  organize  your  research  essay:     Introduction:  In  the  initial  draft,  include  your  topic,  your  claim  (or  viewpoint)  that  you  plan  to   defend,  and  a  brief  summary  of  your  plan  of  presenting  the  evidence.  Return  to  this  introduction   when  you  begin  your  revisions  and  rework  it  in  terms  of  voice  and  interest.     Body:  Aim  for  3-­5  supporting  points,  and  devote  one  or  two  separate  body  paragraphs  to  each   point.  State  each  point  as  a  way  of  creating  a  topic  sentence  for  an  evidence  paragraph.  Each   evidence  paragraph  should  have  specific  support  by  way  of  facts,  statistics,  examples,  or  other   details.  Because  your  Essay  2  topic  was  more  immediate  to  you,  you  might  have  used  personal   examples.  Rely  on  more  objective  support  here.     Counterargument:  After  you  present  your  defense,  devote  one  or  two  developed  paragraphs  to   counterarguments.  Begin  this  part  of  your  paper  with  a  clear  transition  that  indicates  an   opposing  viewpoint.  For  example,  you  could  begin,  "Critics  disagree  with  _______  and  feel  that   _______  is  more  appropriate.  The  counterargument  portion  should  clearly  state  the  most  

ENGL1302   Essay  3  Instructions  

 

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reasonable  counter  position,  but  it  may  reference  more  than  one  opposing  viewpoint.  Explain   the  most  compelling  counterargument(s);Íž  then  refute  the  opposition.  Be  fair  and  respectful  to   your  audience,  keeping  in  mind  that  you  are  trying  to  win  over  readers  who  don’t  agree  with  you.   Offending,  insulting,  or  demeaning  skeptical  readers  will  not  convince  them  to  accept  (or  even   consider)  your  viewpoint.  Remember:  “Be  confident  but  not  overbearing…readers  nearly  always   tune  out  a  harsh  or  insensitive  voice,  and  they  are  less  likely  to  be  convinced  by  a  wishy-­washy   one”  (Inventing  Arguments,  164).  Use  strong,  reasonable  details  to  overcome  opposing   viewpoints.       Conclusion:  The  conclusion  is  an  important  summing  up  and  review  of  your  evidence  and   defense.  Give  your  audience  a  satisfying  sense  of  closure,  and  leave  them  with  a  solid  sense  of   your  integrity  and  your  reasonable  voice.  

ADDITIONAL  INSTRUCTIONS    

You  must  cite  at  least  six  reliable  and  authoritative  sources,  only  two  of  which  may  be  dedicated   websites  (you  may  use  Web-­based  electronic  journals  and  databases).  At  least  one  source   must  be  a  primary  source,  and  you  may  cite  one  of  the  published  essays  from  Inventing   Arguments  as  one  of  your  sources.  Perhaps  you  would  like  to  expand  or  take  issue  with  an  idea   presented  by  one  of  the  authors  in  your  text.       Your  sources  may  not  include  Wikipedia,  as  this  interesting  web  encyclopedia  does  not  control   authorship  and  is  therefore  not  recognized  as  a  viable  academic  source.  As  always,  regardless   of  what  types  of  sources  you  select,  you  will  need  to  evaluate  your  sources  very  carefully  to   ensure  their  relevance,  reliability,  and  authenticity.     When  incorporating  information  from  sources  into  your  essay,  use  Modern  Language   Association  (MLA)  Documentation  Style.  This  requires  that  a  source  be  cited  parenthetically   within  the  essay  at  the  point  of  use,  unless  the  source  is  identified  within  the  context  of  the   sentence,  and  then  listed  as  a  source  on  a  Works  Cited  Page  following  the  essay.     Format  both  the  working  and  final  copies  of  your  essay  according  to  MLA  Paper  Format.   Specific  details  about  this  format  are  included  in  Lessons  2,  5,  and  6  and  in  the  MLA  Format   folder  under  “Lessons  -­  Assignments”  from  our  eCampus  course  menu.     When  saving  your  essay  file,  be  sure  to  save  it  as  .doc  or  .docx.  This  step  will  allow  the  file  to  be   opened  by  your  instructor  and  by  readers  in  your  Writer’s  Circle.       Working  Drafts  of  Essay  3  must  be  uploaded  to  the  File  Exchange  area  of  your  Writer’s  Circle   by  the  due  date  specified  in  the  Class  Outline  in  order  to  receive  comments  and  feedback  from   your  fellow  group  members.  Working  Drafts  of  Essay  3  must  also  be  uploaded  to  the   assignment  link  within  Lesson  7  by  the  same  due  date  in  order  to  garner  credit  and  comments   from  the  instructor.     As  you  learned  by  revising  Essay  2,  revising  any  argumentative  essay  is  especially  challenging   because  you  must  carefully  weigh  your  organization  and  content  for  accuracy  and  effectiveness,   and  you  must  consider  your  writing  voice  and  how  you  come  across  in  the  working  draft.  This   kind  of  revision  requires  sensitivity  to  the  emotional  quality  of  your  language.  You  will  need  to   tone  down  or  eliminate  emotionally  charged  words,  phrases,  or  statements.  Strive  to  achieve  a  

ENGL1302   Essay  3  Instructions  

 

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reasonable,  concerned,  and  fair-­minded  voice.  This  strategy  will  help  you  gain  your  academic   audience’s  confidence  and  credibility  and  trust  in  you  as  a  writer.       Grammatical  inaccuracies  and  careless  errors  of  spelling  also  undermine  a  reader’s  trust,  so   your  final  draft  of  Essay  3,  like  any  final  copy  of  a  multi-­draft  essay,  must  be  scrupulously   proofread.      

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