Topic: that which is developed from your Research Topic and Annotated Bibliography (note topics that cannot be written about, as stated below and in the Research Topic assignment).
Number of Sources: at least 7 different sources cited in your essay. In order to be eligible to receive an “above expectations” on the “research” category of the rubric, you should include the following among the 7 sources: at least 1 book/anthology (not encyclopedias) and 4 journal articles; at least 1 primary source; at least 5 sources should be scholarly sources; no more than 1 website source; no more than 1 newspaper article. Be aware that you will turn in copies of your sources, so make sure to keep track of them and print them out.
Page Length: 7-10 pages, typed and double-spaced, not including title page or source pages.
Citations: You will be using MLA or APA. style, depending on your topic. Remember that the academic discipline you’re writing about determines which citation style you use. In addition, you are limited to two quote-worthy quotes maximum in the paper, if any. Paraphrase and summary are the primary means of incorporating information.
Other Requirements: You must include one self-made statistical representation (graph, table, pie chart, etc.) in the text of the essay. This means that you take information and present it in a visual way. Copying and pasting a table or graph from another source doesn’t count. See our textbook for information on creating and formatting visuals.
Assignment: It’s time to explore your perspective on your research topic. This means that you need to look at possible angles of your research topic in order to decide on your focus. Once you have a sense of your topic, you’ll provide information on this aspect through integrated research. This paper is not only informative and persuasive, but it is an argument paper. One of the biggest problems people have with this paper is that they do not make an argument.
Topics that cannot be written about are as follows. These were already specified in the Research Topic Instructions:
abortion: overdone, inherent bias
illegal immigration/immigration: overdone, inherent bias
death penalty: overdone
global warming: it’s accepted truth, so you can’t argue it
genetically modified food/genetically modified organisms: overdone
body image & media: overdone
same-sex marriage: inherent bias
violence & media/videogames: overdone
Part of the reason these topics are excluded is also because of the rise of plagiarism on these topics.
Procrastinators: You will dig yourself a deep, deep hole if you wait until the last minute. See the research timetable if you need help keeping a schedule, and see me if you are struggling at any stage.
Arguing a Point
This is an argument paper which means that it should present organized, relevant data; summarize or explain the topic; develop a stance on the thesis; present well-founded opinions, interpretations, logic; clarify sources used in arriving at conclusions. Here are some general tips for an argument paper:
State your thesis clearly.
In your introduction, be careful to avoid alienating readers who may be in initial disagreement with your views.
Strike a reasonable tone.
Develop your arguments with as much specific and relevant evidence as possible.
Attempt to refute opposing arguments or at least to explain why they are less weighty than your own arguments.
Where possible, build common ground with readers who may not be inclined to agree with you. Avoid common mistakes in reasoning.
Consider your readers. How much do your readers know about your topic? Are they interested in it? Do they have strong opinions about it? Do not assume that your readers have read the sources you have read.
Keep in mind your purpose—to persuade your readers to accept your position.
Interweave your sources into your paper to substantiate your thesis. Be careful, however, not to rely exclusively on one source. Verify the accuracy of your information and quotations. Miscues can undermine the credibility of your thesis.
Organize your argument so that it is most beneficial to your purpose. However, no matter how your organization turns out, your argument should include the following:
an interesting, eye-catching, relevant title
an intriguing, informative introduction
a concise thesis (claim)
necessary background information on the topic
pertinent grounds (reasons) and evidence to back up your stance on the topic. Lead your reader through your thought processes with strong transitions and clear thinking.
rebuttal of projected counter-arguments/objections
a closing which perhaps addresses all unanswered questions, offers solutions, or reiterates your opinion
a source page
There are many ways you can organize this type of paper, but a common way is as follows:
Introduction – mention of topic, an interesting way to catch the reader’s attention, statement of thesis
Explanation – describe the topic and those details that are vital to the aspect analysis
Arguments for – explore the evidence in support of your viewpoint
Counterarguments/Objections; Rebuttals – acknowledge the opposing viewpoint and offer evidence that your opponents use. Logically undermine the viability of the opposition’s ideas.
Conclusion – restatement of thesis, lead the reader to think further on the topic
Organized, well-developed research paper
Copies of your sources
Grading: Your Persuasive Paper will be evaluated using the rubric which is linked to the assignment submission page. I have also included a copy of the rubric in the Module 6 readings.