Argumentative Research Essay Assignment
|PAPER TYPE||RESEARCH PAPER|
|# OF SOURCES||7|
|# OF PAGES & WORD COUNT||12 ≈ 3300 WORDS|
You have learned about writing summaries, about warrants and claims, about audience
and tone and voice, about logos, pathos, ethos, and kairos, about evaluating sources.
You have analyzed written arguments in the form of published sources, and both read
and performed rhetorical analyses. Now it’s time for you to unleash this new skill set on
perhaps the most significant task of the semester: the Argumentative Research Essay.
For this assignment, you will be writing a 10-12 page researched argument. This means
that the shortest paper that can earn a passing grade will be ten full pages. This
argument needs to be accompanied by a Works Cited page including an absolute
minimum of seven sources (a works cited must be included to earn a passing grade).
You need to include a well-analyzed variety of source styles to provide sufficient
grounds for your argument. MLA style must be followed through both the argument and
the Works Cited page.
Argumentation is particularly effective when you are addressing neutral or undecided
audiences. It has a self-announcing or closed-form structure in which you:
• Begin with an attention-getter. Go beyond announcing the issue, asking a
question, or making a generalization; instead, present a vivid example or other
powerful information that will compel your reader.
• Provide sufficient background information. If your topic is widely understood, you
may be able to include this information briefly, in your first paragraph (before your
thesis). If your topic is more complex or unfamiliar to your audience, then you
may need to include a whole paragraph of background information following your
introduction (after your thesis).
• State your claim/thesis at the end of the introduction. Remember that this should
be clear and concise and should demonstrate the format of your argument.
• Begin body paragraphs with clearly stated reasons that link back to your thesis
(they serve as the topic sentence for the paragraph).
• Develop the paragraphs with evidence – specific details, examples, and
connections from your research.
• Draw clear conclusions at the end of each body paragraph (“So what?”)
• Consider the order in which you present your reasons and the impact that order
will have on the reader.
• Develop a strong conclusion that reiterates your argument and links back to your
attention-getter. When developing your conclusion, also consider providing a final
insight or compelling detail, a proposed solution for your argument, or a call to
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