1302 Research Argument Essay


Assignment Description

In upper level courses, you will often be asked to demonstrate your ability to converse with other scholars in your field. Your job is to change the reader’s mind about a particular subject and persuade the reader into believing your argument. Your paper must be written so that it is accessible to readers from a different perspective. In other words, be fair and unbiased when acknowledging what others say about your topic, but then prove why they are wrong using logical reasons and credible evidence. In this essay, you must synthesize various sources while persuading the reader to accept your viewpoint. You do not want to simply report what others are saying, but engage in a dialogue with them.


Your research paper MUST include the following:

· A clearly stated thesis that articulates your position and what you want to argue in your paper; your thesis should be narrow enough to be argued within the page limits and qualified if necessary. Your thesis should fall at the END of your introduction.

· Clear reasons with supporting evidence; do not use religion as evidence because you cannot persuade someone to change beliefs with religion or faith because religion is personal.

· A variety of evidence.

· A synthesis of sources; do not simply summarize your source material, but show how they are connected and respond to them

· The “quotation sandwich” method for quoting, which includes an introduction, an explanation, and commentary; don’t be a hit-and-run quoter.

· A variety of citations: exact quotes, paraphrases, and summaries; cite all appropriately.

· A fully-developed counterargument paragraph with a fully-developed refutation paragraph

· A title that gives an insight into the paper and is catchy and interesting; it should be in the form of metacommentary.

· A minimum of five credible and relevant sources

· A minimum of five pages in MLA format, not including the MLA Works Cited; check eCampus for examples and guidelines or visit Purdue Owl https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/

· A Works Cited page in MLA format with corresponding in-text citations


Minimum Requirements

Length: 5-7 pages, not including the Works Cited page. Style: Essay needs to conform to MLA standards, including double spacing in Times New Roman font, and must include a Works Cited page with correct in-text (parenthetical) citations for all quotes, paraphrases, and/or summaries. Sources: Five sources minimum: three peer reviewed academic articles from a database, one academic book, plus one credible sources of your choice (newspapers, organizations, government websites, books, etc.). One of your sources must be a counterargument that you will refute in your essay.



Due Dates/Points Possible

Worth: 100 points; 15% of your total grade

First Draft / Peer Review One:  Hard copy to class,  10/27

Peer Review Two:  Hard copy to class,  11/3

Final Draft:  On eCampus, 11/10eCampus, 11/10


Purpose and Learning Objectives

The purpose of this assignment is to practice persuasive writing and synthesis of sources. You will increase your critical thinking skills by analyzing yours and others' assumptions, evaluating multiple perspectives, and developing a clear position. Writing, research, and eloquent written expression are vital for a successful future. You will express all of these skills in this assignment.eloquent written expression are vital for a successful future. You will express all of these skills in this assignment.

Your research paper should demonstrate the following learning objectives:

· Awareness of the audience to whom you are speaking

· Awareness of the purpose of your argument

· Ability to enter into a scholarly conversation

· Ability to write a qualified and narrow argumentative thesis statement

· Ability to synthesize information from various sources

· Ability to craft an argument with different types of relevant, credible, and detailed support

· Ability to research and identify academic sources

· Ability to summarize, paraphrase, and quote while citing correctly in MLA to avoid plagiarism

· Ability to converse in standard, academic English


Process of Completion

1. Choose a topic that you are interested in and submit topic to instructor for approval.topic to instructor for approval.

2. Write down everything you know about your topic in your notebook. What can you verify? What is common knowledge and what does it need to prove that it's true? Find credible sources to prove anything that is not common knowledge.

3. Begin preliminary research to discover more about your topic. Do a basic Google search and read dot-com websites, Wikipedia, and news sources to broaden your knowledge. Remember that dot-com and Wikipedia are  tertiary  sources and not credible for citing in an academic essay. You are just gaining more knowledge right now.

4. Narrow your topic and formulate a working thesis. Then come up with research questions to guide your research.

5. Begin research using the Richland library databases  http://www.richlandcollege.edu/library/Academic Search Complete  is the best database to begin your research. Find a minimum of three academic sources to use in your essay.

6. Do a web search for credible sources to include in your essay. Use newspapers, organizations, or government websites. Be sure you have at least ONE source that you disagree with in order to include a counterargument in your essay.

7. In your notebook, annotate the five sources you want to use in your essay. Take careful notes over the author's claim and purpose. Answer in your notebook. Do you agree, disagree, or have mixed feelings about the ideas in these sources?

8. Put together an outline to help organize your ideas.

9. Choose the sections of your sources that you want to include in your essay. Be sure to include at least one paraphrase, one summary, and several quotes.

10. Write your rough draft. Do not worry about grammar now; just put your thoughts down on paper.

11. Put your essay away for twenty-four hours before revising it for grammar and punctuation mistakes. Visit the English Corner for more help with revision or expanding your ideas.

12. Come to all peer reviews and turn in all drafts. Review carefully your peers' comments and then mine. Edit and review your essays based on the feedback you receive.

13. Reread your essay one last time and make any final edits or changes before turning in your final!


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