Progression 3: Research and Argument: The Essay
The Writing Task:
Write a research paper that takes a stand on a current, arguable, social issue and support your position by doing the following things:
• Researching the recent history and context of the topic
• Using description and evidence, specific examples
• Acknowledge and analyze counterarguments (opposing views)
• Give careful reasons for your own point of view.
You need to analyze the issue and present your position by appealing to credibility/character (ethos), emotions/values (pathos), and logic (logos). This is also called the Rhetorical Triangle, and we will talk about it in class.
• Advice on Choosing a Topic:
o Keep in mind that you should choose a subject that you can address to an outside audience. Choose something you can about, but not something you can’t be rational about. You should also choose a subject that you might be able to change, especially if your research leads you to a different conclusion than the one you started with.
o Don’t choose an issue that you think will be easy because “there are a lot of sources for it”. Ironically, this can actually hurt your paper because these overdone topics breed inaccurate “wiki” style online sources that clog the first 5 pages on Google.
o Choose something you truly care about and/or have a personal investment in. This passion and interest will make it easy to write about, even if it is a difficult to research topic. It will also force you to look for quality sources, and provide you with motivation to plan ahead.
What is a Social Issue Argument?
Social or civic arguments discuss current issues and problems in society, and what can or should be done about them. Social arguments also discuss trends in society, why they are a cause for concern, and possible solutions. If you have any questions regarding what is or is not a social issue/argument, please email me or meet with me.
Introduction: Your introduction should identify your topic, provide necessary background about the issue, interest your reader, and clearly state your position.
Thesis (at the end of intro paragraph): Your statement of claim and (briefly) main reasons.
Body Paragraphs: Explanation and support of individual argument and connected reasons and assumptions. Show research through use of outside sources that show evidence and support. The body of your argument will also summarize and respond to opposing views, also called counterargument (this is where some of your research will come in—you need to know what the opposing views are) as well as present reasons and evidence in support of your own position. You need to choose whether to summarize and refute counterarguments/ opposing views before or after you have made your own case, or you can intermix the two.
Conclusion: Review of major points, summary of the contribution of this argument to the greater conversation on the topic, a call to action, or possible solutions.
Style and Word Choice
Always choose your words carefully. Don’t use “academic-sounding” word unless you are sure you know what they mean. When in doubt, say it as simply as possible. The essay needs to avoid using the first person “I” or the second person “you”, but if you have an example/evidence from personal experience, it’s entirely appropriate to use “I” only when relating that experience.
Standard Format applies for rough drafts and final drafts: size 12 Times New Roman font, double-spaced, 1-inch margins, MLA Style. Final draft must be at least 1200 words, which is 4-5 pages when correctly formatted.
Research Requirements: Always do your research FIRST!
Chapters 15, 16, 17, 18, and 22 in your textbook are an excellent guide to research and research papers.
You much research your topic thoroughly—understanding the different sides of the issue and the history of the topic. This essay must contain at least 4 different outside sources. These sources must be quotations or paraphrase, and they must be cited correctly. In some rare cases, a source may be another display of information (for example, picture/graphs/charts). When in doubt, make time to clear your source with me before you use it.
• Please note that if you use picture/graphs/charts, your essay must still reach the required page count without the picture/charts/graphs. Including graphs and charts in order to make your paper look longer is NOT appropriate and will result in losing points.
( the world is facing a big issue of gun control that government should be aware of and regulate who has a gun by requiring the person who have a gun to undergo through background check which includes a psychological evaluation)
“”please try to make the sentence in the parentheses the thesis statement in the essay and talk about it “”
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