Compose a sound argument that supports a thesis developed from your research of your chosen issue. An argument begins with a claim and provides reasons and evidence to support the claim. To begin this process, consider the debates that surround your chosen topic or the problems that are connected to the topic you selected. Once you have determined the debate or problem you want to address in your research argument, you should start researching your topic concentration (the debate or problem) as well as drafting your essay. To begin drafting your essay, see the three aspects necessary for an argumentative paper below:
First, present a clear actionable claim. This means you are not an impartial researcher, but rather you are clearly favoring a particular point of view. For our purposes, you will need to persuade your reader to adopt your solution to a problem or to consider your position within a debate. This should be clearly stated in your paper. Do not assume the reader will guess your claim from the information given. Your point can be (and must be) made clear with a well-stated thesis statement early on in your essay. If you are concentrating on a debate with the topic you selected, you have to clearly identify your position within a debate and then provide reasons for adopting said position. However, if you are focusing on a problem, then you need to clearly identify a solution to the problem along with your reasons why your solution resolves the particular problem.
Second, give your reader enough information to understand your topic. Drawing upon your research, include enough background on the debate or problem for your intended audience to grasp what your topic is. The amount of background needed will vary depending on your topic. If you are arguing an everyday issue that we all wrestle with then little will be needed. If your topic is familiar to only a few devoted individuals, then you will need to provide a great deal of background. Regardless of where your topic falls, remember that all information given should be framed by and connected to the argument you want to make. Remember any content irrelevant to your thesis doesn’t belong to your paper.
Third, support your position with evidence. This evidence can take many forms, such as facts, statistics, eyewitness accounts, examples, and/or expert opinion—all of which should be found in your research. Moreover, in chapter W-7 (43-48) in Little Seagull Handbook, Bullock et al examine several strategies for arguing, so review them to get an idea on what strategies would best benefit your persuasive purpose. However, do not rely on personal narratives and anecdotes to support your thesis though since they have inherent reliability issues. It is essential that you go beyond telling me that your position on the issue or solution to the problem is correct – I cannot just take your word for it. Instead you must demonstrate its correctness throughout your paper to be truly persuasive. Always remember to use TRIACT
to develop each of your body paragraphs, although you should not use TRIACT to evaluate elements of an argument like you did in your first four essays. Instead, TRIACT should be used to develop each of your points in your thesis.
I will be looking for:
• a clear argument
• a distinct introduction the previews and prepares the reader for the content of your paper
• well-developed supporting information, both in the form of logical discussion and support from outside sources
• transitional statements between and within paragraphs
• clear connections between your claims and the outside research supporting them
• quotations that are introduced and explained, not just dropped into the paragraph
• consistent and correct in-text citations whenever outside information is used – Omitting in-text citations can constitute plagiarism (as you are effectively claiming the information as your own).
• a concluding paragraph that wraps together the elements of your discussion and connects them back to your central argument
• a complete and correct works cited page with entries for each source cited in the body of the paper– Omitting a Works Cited section at the end will automatically result in a failing grade for the paper.
For more information on the research process, review chapters R-1-R-4 (91-118) provide useful information on the research process. Finally, I will provide a copy of the grading rubric, so you can evaluate your essay with its criteria before you submit.
• Word Quota: 2000 words.
• Documentation: Required, MLA documentation style–in-text citation and works-cited page.
• Paper format: Double spaced, New Times Roman font, 12 pt. font—see sample essay on pp.161-69 in the Little Seagull Handbook.
• Number of sources: a minimum of six.
• Types of sources: three articles from the library databases (Gale, Proquest, Salem) , one credible web site, and your choice of two other reliable sources.