Final researched argument paper – assignment sheet

 

Page Length: 8 pages; Worth 250 points (25% of your final grade)

 

ROUGH DRAFT DUE: May 3rd (BRING IN THREE COPIES)

FINAL DRAFT DUE Friday of finals week by electronic submission via email or Canvas

 

Directions: You should pick a topic that you’re passionate about. Please adhere to the following requirements for this paper.

 

Overview:

For this assignment, your purpose is to take a position on an issue or topic about which you are passionate and to make a case for a claim about the topic/problem that will influence a reasonably skeptical audience. You should make sure to provide a thorough and clear background context description and explanation, define any key terms, and fairly treat an “opposing” view from your own. Your claim must be supportable with clear evidence taken from reputable sources.

 

An effective argument appeals to logic and reason (logos), appeals to how readers and the writer feel about an issue (pathos), and seeks to project that the writer’s argument is fair, just, and honest for all the stakeholders (ethos)

 

You will need to use at least four academic/scholarly sources from the library and/or its databases, or other respectable sources (this could be dependent on your topic). As you focus on your specific claim and argument, you may want to do additional research to better support your position. You should use at least five sources total, but probably not more than 10-12 total, depending on how you’re using them.

 

Your draft must also include a fair and balanced discussion of at least one major counter- or alternative- argument to your claim—presented respectfully and accurately summarizing the opposing/alternate viewpoint. Be sure your paper includes a clear, fair, and respectful refutation for this counter-/alternative-argument.

 

Your claim about a solution to a problem or a position on a topic is your argument. However, it does little good to propose a solution to or an analysis of a situation that your readers are not convinced has anything to do with them. So, do the audience analysis before undertaking your first draft. Your purpose is to influence your readers, not just tell them what you think is right. To do that you need to think about what those readers are like, what motivates and interests them, and why they should care about what you have to say on this topic. Your audience may not agree with you in the end, but they should accept that your position is valid, well-supported, and capable of being held by a rational and credible person.

 

  • MLA or APA manuscript style with in-text documentation and Works Cited or References page (this page does not count in the minimum word count requirement)
  • Clear, arguable claim that is supportable with rational evidence
  • Effective use of counter-argument and rebuttal
  • Academic tone; observation of the conventions of Standard English
  • Audience awareness
  • Use of at least four academic sources from the library and/or its databases, representing two or more points of view on the position being argued

 

Procedure:

  1. Collect sources. Be sure you know enough about the authors and the organizations the material comes from to establish the authority of these sources; remember you have to say something in your paper to boost your readers’ confidence in what you are using as evidence. Be clear about why your topic is of interest to those authors as well as to your readers.

 

Use journaling, brainstorming, branching, reader-response charts, and especially the double-entry log that is explained in the textbook to collect and organize your notes.

 

Part of the “collecting” process is to think carefully about your own audience. Make a distinction between the audience/readers that the authors of these readings may have in mind and the audience/readers you have in mind for your audience analysis. Be sure you are talking about your audience and NOT your topic in the audience analysis.

 

  1. Shape your writing.

 

Create a thesis statement. This statement should make an arguable claim about the topic or issue.

 

Integrate the thesis into an introduction. The introduction should present your main claim/thesis. It should also establish an “essay map” for your work. This essay map should establish the main supporting reasons for your claim. Be sure each of these reasons can be supported with evidence. Go beyond presenting values and common knowledge as evidence. Finally, an introduction should at least suggest why this issue is significant.

 

Choose an organizational pattern.

Review and revise your outline. Review and revise your outline before you start your first draft. This outline should be consistent with the organizational pattern you already picked. You may find yourself returning to this list to revise it as you write. Edit any new ideas into this list so they don’t get lost or end up in confusing places in your writing.

 

  1. Draft your writing using the working outline you created.
  • Use MLA or APA style in-text citation and bibliographic documentation. Select the style (MLA or APA) that is appropriate for the kind of audience you have in mind and for the topic you are working with.
  • Use transitions between paragraphs. Solid development may require more than one paragraph to discuss any one particular point from your list. When that happens, effective paragraph transition can give your readers a clear indication that you are still on the same general point or that you are moving on to a new point.
  • Be coherent. Be sure the ideas you borrow are necessary in order to make something clear to your readers. Don’t borrow anything beyond what is absolutely needed, and don’t leave a borrowed idea or passage hanging without any discussion of why it is important.
  • Review to eliminate obvious errors in grammar, mechanics, syntax, citation, and documentation. Even a first draft should be reasonably clear to your peer editors!
  • Submit your first draft for peer review.

 

  1. Revise your draft after you review the feedback you receive from the peer review. Do not turn in your first draft later on as if it were the final draft.

 

 

Write a thoughtful, well-written, and well-reasoned paper which explains the background of your topic/issue, both sides of it, and any other “sides” which could be taken about it. Present reasons to support your claim. Integrate information from your outside sources into your paper to provide additional evidence, either in support of your claim, or that you can refute to make your claim more persuasive.

 

Your paper should contain the following elements:

  • A thesis statement that encapsulates your viewpoint.
  • Clear evidence that supports your analysis.
  • A comprehensive analysis of the topic/issue
  • An introduction that clearly explains what you’ll be talking about, and alludes to your larger purpose and thesis.
  • A thorough description of the background context that your reader needs to know.
  • Clearly written paragraphs with topic sentences that relate the topic of the paragraph back to the larger thesis.
  • A strong and well-developed conclusion that reiterates your larger thesis, reminds your reader of the high points of your discussion, and emphasizes your own takeaway(s).
  • Clear transitions and linkages
  • A full treatment of a counter/alternative view, and then effective refutation of this view
  • A hook in the introduction
  • Clear use of the ICE structure for all citations.

 

Readability

  • Use of sentence structure, word choice, grammar, spelling, and punctuation that contributes to, rather than hinders, clear and effective communication
  • Conciseness
  • Use relevant and helpful vocabulary from class and/or from readings
  • Correct citation – (page numbers)
  • Evidence of extensive revision from rough draft to final copy
  • MLA or APA manuscript style with in-text documentation and Works Cited or References page (this page does not count in the minimum word count requirement)
  • Clear, arguable claim that is supportable with rational evidence
  • Effective use of counter-argument and rebuttal
  • Academic tone; observation of the conventions of Standard English
  • Audience awareness
  • Effective introduction, including: clear thesis that establishes an arguable and empirically supported claim; essay map that identifies key sub-claims; attempt to establish significance of topic; audience awareness in tone and style
  • Fair and accurate discussion of at least one alternate point of view, including respectful, fair, and complete summary as well as logical and evidence-based refutation of that alternate point of view
  • Thesis is well-supported with logic and evidence. Evidence should include empirical evidence (facts, statistics, expert opinion) from published sources to support claims; evidence may also include use of first-hand observation, examples from personal experience, interviews, polls, etc.
  • Writer’s language discernible from that of source authors. Source information discussed and reasonably connected to the claims you are making
  • Effort to establish credibility of sources used
  • Effective organization, coherence, and paragraph transitions
  • Overall, readers are convinced of the validity of the writer’s claim (whether or not they agree). Writer demonstrates that a reasonable person could rationally hold this position

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Final researched argument paper – assignment sheet

 

Page Length: 8 pages; Worth 250 points (25% of your final grade)

 

ROUGH DRAFT DUE: May 3rd (BRING IN THREE COPIES)

FINAL DRAFT DUE Friday of finals week by electronic submission via email or Canvas

 

Directions: You should pick a topic that you’re passionate about. Please adhere to the following requirements for this paper.

 

Overview:

For this assignment, your purpose is to take a position on an issue or topic about which you are passionate and to make a case for a claim about the topic/problem that will influence a reasonably skeptical audience. You should make sure to provide a thorough and clear background context description and explanation, define any key terms, and fairly treat an “opposing” view from your own. Your claim must be supportable with clear evidence taken from reputable sources.

 

An effective argument appeals to logic and reason (logos), appeals to how readers and the writer feel about an issue (pathos), and seeks to project that the writer’s argument is fair, just, and honest for all the stakeholders (ethos)

 

You will need to use at least four academic/scholarly sources from the library and/or its databases, or other respectable sources (this could be dependent on your topic). As you focus on your specific claim and argument, you may want to do additional research to better support your position. You should use at least five sources total, but probably not more than 10-12 total, depending on how you’re using them.

 

Your draft must also include a fair and balanced discussion of at least one major counter- or alternative- argument to your claim—presented respectfully and accurately summarizing the opposing/alternate viewpoint. Be sure your paper includes a clear, fair, and respectful refutation for this counter-/alternative-argument.

 

Your claim about a solution to a problem or a position on a topic is your argument. However, it does little good to propose a solution to or an analysis of a situation that your readers are not convinced has anything to do with them. So, do the audience analysis before undertaking your first draft. Your purpose is to influence your readers, not just tell them what you think is right. To do that you need to think about what those readers are like, what motivates and interests them, and why they should care about what you have to say on this topic. Your audience may not agree with you in the end, but they should accept that your position is valid, well-supported, and capable of being held by a rational and credible person.

 

  • MLA or APA manuscript style with in-text documentation and Works Cited or References page (this page does not count in the minimum word count requirement)
  • Clear, arguable claim that is supportable with rational evidence
  • Effective use of counter-argument and rebuttal
  • Academic tone; observation of the conventions of Standard English
  • Audience awareness
  • Use of at least four academic sources from the library and/or its databases, representing two or more points of view on the position being argued

 

Procedure:

  1. Collect sources. Be sure you know enough about the authors and the organizations the material comes from to establish the authority of these sources; remember you have to say something in your paper to boost your readers’ confidence in what you are using as evidence. Be clear about why your topic is of interest to those authors as well as to your readers.

 

Use journaling, brainstorming, branching, reader-response charts, and especially the double-entry log that is explained in the textbook to collect and organize your notes.

 

Part of the “collecting” process is to think carefully about your own audience. Make a distinction between the audience/readers that the authors of these readings may have in mind and the audience/readers you have in mind for your audience analysis. Be sure you are talking about your audience and NOT your topic in the audience analysis.

 

  1. Shape your writing.

 

Create a thesis statement. This statement should make an arguable claim about the topic or issue.

 

Integrate the thesis into an introduction. The introduction should present your main claim/thesis. It should also establish an “essay map” for your work. This essay map should establish the main supporting reasons for your claim. Be sure each of these reasons can be supported with evidence. Go beyond presenting values and common knowledge as evidence. Finally, an introduction should at least suggest why this issue is significant.

 

Choose an organizational pattern.

Review and revise your outline. Review and revise your outline before you start your first draft. This outline should be consistent with the organizational pattern you already picked. You may find yourself returning to this list to revise it as you write. Edit any new ideas into this list so they don’t get lost or end up in confusing places in your writing.

 

  1. Draft your writing using the working outline you created.
  • Use MLA or APA style in-text citation and bibliographic documentation. Select the style (MLA or APA) that is appropriate for the kind of audience you have in mind and for the topic you are working with.
  • Use transitions between paragraphs. Solid development may require more than one paragraph to discuss any one particular point from your list. When that happens, effective paragraph transition can give your readers a clear indication that you are still on the same general point or that you are moving on to a new point.
  • Be coherent. Be sure the ideas you borrow are necessary in order to make something clear to your readers. Don’t borrow anything beyond what is absolutely needed, and don’t leave a borrowed idea or passage hanging without any discussion of why it is important.
  • Review to eliminate obvious errors in grammar, mechanics, syntax, citation, and documentation. Even a first draft should be reasonably clear to your peer editors!
  • Submit your first draft for peer review.

 

  1. Revise your draft after you review the feedback you receive from the peer review. Do not turn in your first draft later on as if it were the final draft.

 

 

Write a thoughtful, well-written, and well-reasoned paper which explains the background of your topic/issue, both sides of it, and any other “sides” which could be taken about it. Present reasons to support your claim. Integrate information from your outside sources into your paper to provide additional evidence, either in support of your claim, or that you can refute to make your claim more persuasive.

 

Your paper should contain the following elements:

  • A thesis statement that encapsulates your viewpoint.
  • Clear evidence that supports your analysis.
  • A comprehensive analysis of the topic/issue
  • An introduction that clearly explains what you’ll be talking about, and alludes to your larger purpose and thesis.
  • A thorough description of the background context that your reader needs to know.
  • Clearly written paragraphs with topic sentences that relate the topic of the paragraph back to the larger thesis.
  • A strong and well-developed conclusion that reiterates your larger thesis, reminds your reader of the high points of your discussion, and emphasizes your own takeaway(s).
  • Clear transitions and linkages
  • A full treatment of a counter/alternative view, and then effective refutation of this view
  • A hook in the introduction
  • Clear use of the ICE structure for all citations.

 

Readability

  • Use of sentence structure, word choice, grammar, spelling, and punctuation that contributes to, rather than hinders, clear and effective communication
  • Conciseness
  • Use relevant and helpful vocabulary from class and/or from readings
  • Correct citation – (page numbers)
  • Evidence of extensive revision from rough draft to final copy
  • MLA or APA manuscript style with in-text documentation and Works Cited or References page (this page does not count in the minimum word count requirement)
  • Clear, arguable claim that is supportable with rational evidence
  • Effective use of counter-argument and rebuttal
  • Academic tone; observation of the conventions of Standard English
  • Audience awareness
  • Effective introduction, including: clear thesis that establishes an arguable and empirically supported claim; essay map that identifies key sub-claims; attempt to establish significance of topic; audience awareness in tone and style
  • Fair and accurate discussion of at least one alternate point of view, including respectful, fair, and complete summary as well as logical and evidence-based refutation of that alternate point of view
  • Thesis is well-supported with logic and evidence. Evidence should include empirical evidence (facts, statistics, expert opinion) from published sources to support claims; evidence may also include use of first-hand observation, examples from personal experience, interviews, polls, etc.
  • Writer’s language discernible from that of source authors. Source information discussed and reasonably connected to the claims you are making
  • Effort to establish credibility of sources used
  • Effective organization, coherence, and paragraph transitions
  • Overall, readers are convinced of the validity of the writer’s claim (whether or not they agree). Writer demonstrates that a reasonable person could rationally hold this position

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *