English 1301 Researched Argument Essay
As your major writing activity for this semester you will produce an argument essay that includes research. This paper is the last formal writing piece you will submit and therefore serves as the culmination of all the types of writing we have covered this semester. This is your chance to draw upon what you have learned about the use of different strategies for developing papers: narration, description, definition, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect and add that knowledge to what you learn about persuasion. You may decide to return to an idea you have considered before on an earlier paper or one you have discussed in your journal. You may also develop a completely new topic.
Here are the basic guidelines for your paper:
Length- 7-10 pages, double-spaced, font 12
Academic Research sources- 5+ (See SAC Databases)
Works Cited Page
Style- MLA (see Chapter 36 of The Bedford Guide for College Writers 10e for a handbook)
All parts of the essay will be turned in with the final copy on Wednesday, Apr. 27. That includes your brainstorming, outlining, notes, drafts, and copies of research documents. You will submit this material in a two pocket folder with drafts and final copy in one pocket and all other material in the other.
Our library research class is Wednesday, Mar. 30, and you will be given valuable information by library staff on using the many databases and other resources available to you as a SAC student. This class is essential to your success on the researched argument paper and you will have the opportunity to begin your research as part of the time spent in the MLC library lab. You will be able to access possible resources and email those links to yourself for further study.
We will work very diligently in this final phase to use Modern Language Association style (MLA) to document sources so there will be no plagiarism. As you know, using the work of another without attribution is academic dishonesty and is not tolerated by our college or any other academic institution. This prohibition includes all resources including printed text, internet sources, and primary sources. You have the skills to produce this paper and with instructor and peer feedback, you will be successful in demonstrating this most important of writing tasks.
Selecting your topic and developing your thesis is the key to an organized and well developed argument. You will be more successful if you select a topic in which you are interested. Think about our discussions of controversial topics and also about topics that are of particular importance for you. General areas for consideration might include social, legal, medical/scientific, educational, or personal issues. You may consider international, national, state, or local concerns and develop your ideas with the help of experts. It is always a good idea to study both sides of an issue so you will be better prepared to address your opposition. The use of appeals to reason, emotion, and ethics will be considerations for you as you develop your paper.
Your textbook offers excellent resources for this paper including Chapters 9, 10, and 12 on building arguments and Chapters 30-36 for details about the research paper itself.
This is a short paper, but it requires a great deal of work to produce an effective argument that follows the protocols for research writing. The keys to your success are tied to time management and your own interest in the topic. I am available to help throughout the process and know that you will be successful if you apply yourself to this task.
You will also speak to the class about your research, and those presentations will be given the last week of class, May 4, before the final exam on May 11.
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