Minimum RequirementsLength: 3 pages, not including the Works Cited page. Style: Essay needs to conform to MLA standards, including double spacing in Times New Roman font, and must include a Works Cited page with correct signal phrases and n-text (parenthetical) citations for all quotes, paraphrases, and/or summaries. Sources: The movie and two credible sources, one of which must be a counterargument that you will refute.
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syllbus_for_research_argument_essay..docx
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Research Argument Essay Prompt (Essay 3)
Assignment Description
Please make sure to focus on persuasion and the use of logical, credible evidence.
In upper level courses, you will often be asked to demonstrate your ability to converse with other
scholars in your field. Your job is to change the reader’s mind about a particular subject and
persuade the reader into believing your argument. Your paper must be written so that it is
accessible to readers from a different perspective. In other words, be fair and unbiased when
acknowledging what others say about your topic, but then prove why they are wrong using
logical reasons and credible evidence. In this essay, you must synthesize various sources while
persuading the reader to accept your viewpoint. You do not want to simply report what others are
saying, but engage in a dialogue with them.
Your research paper MUST include the following:
● A clearly stated thesis in the introduction that articulates your position and what you want
to argue in your paper
● Clear reasons with supporting evidence
● A synthesis of sources; do not simply summarize your source material, but show how
they are connected and respond to them
● A fully-developed counterargument with a fully-developed refutation. A fully-developed
counterargument requires more than one sentence.
● In addition to the main text (the movie), a minimum of two credible and relevant sources
that identify the name and credentials of their author.
● A minimum of three pages in MLA format (see #3 of the section Rules and Assignments
(above), not including the MLA Works Cited
● A Works Cited page in MLA format with corresponding in-text citations
Purpose and Learning Objectives
The purpose of this assignment is to practice persuasive writing and synthesis of sources. You
will increase your critical thinking skills by analyzing yours and others’ assumptions, evaluating
multiple perspectives, and developing a clear position. Writing, research, and eloquent written
expression are vital for a successful future. You will express all of these skills in this assignment.
This essay will be used as the English department assessment for the Texas Higher Education
Coordinating Board’s mandated core curriculum assessment of Student Learning Outcomes
(SLO). This essay will address the SLO objectives of critical thinking and written
communication.
Your research paper should demonstrate the following learning objectives:
● Awareness of the audience to whom you are speaking
● Awareness of the purpose of your argument
● Ability to enter into a scholarly conversation
● Ability to write a qualified and narrow argumentative thesis statement
● Ability to synthesize information from various sources
● Ability to craft an argument with different types of relevant, credible, and detailed
support
● Ability to research and identify academic sources
● Ability to summarize, paraphrase, and quote while citing correctly in MLA to avoid
plagiarism
● Ability to converse in standard, academic English
Minimum Requirements
Length: 3 pages, not including the Works Cited page. Style: Essay needs to conform to MLA
standards, including double spacing in Times New Roman font, and must include a Works Cited
page with correct signal phrases and n-text (parenthetical) citations for all quotes, paraphrases,
and/or summaries. Sources: The movie and two credible sources, one of which must be a
counterargument that you will refute.
Process of Completion:
1. Choose a topic (or a specific essay depending on your instructor’s requirements). Get it
approved by your instructor.
2. Write down everything that you know about your topic in your notebook. What can you
verify? What is common knowledge and what needs a source to prove that it is true? Find
credible sources to prove anything that is not common knowledge.
3. Begin preliminary research to discover more about your topic. Do a basic Google search
and read popular sources to broaden your knowledge. Remember that dot-com and
Wikipedia are tertiary sources and their use as sources in the essay thus not allowed;
they are not credible for citing in an academic essay. You are just gaining more
knowledge right now.
4. Narrow your topic and formulate a working thesis. Then come up with research questions
to guide your research. Remember that good research begins with questions, not beliefs.
5. Begin research using the Richland library databases
http://www.richlandcollege.edu/library/. Academic Search Complete is the best database
to begin your research. Do a web search for credible sources to include in your essay. Use
newspapers, organizations, or government websites. Find a minimum of three credible
sources to use in your essay.
6. Be sure you have at least ONE source that you disagree with in order to include a
counterargument in your essay.
7. Annotate the sources you want to use in your essay. Take careful notes over the author’s
claim and purpose. Respond in your notebook. Do you agree, disagree, or have mixed
feelings about the ideas in these sources?
8. Put together an outline to help organize your ideas.
9. Choose the sections of your sources that you want to include in your essay. Be sure to
include a variety of paraphrases, quotes, and summaries.
10. Write your rough draft. Don’t worry about grammar now; just put your thoughts down on
paper.
11. Put your essay away for twenty-four hours before revising it for grammar and
punctuation mistakes. Visit the English Corner for more help with revision or expanding
your ideas. Visit the Writing Center for help with grammar and punctuation.
12. Come to all peer reviews and turn in all drafts. Review carefully your peers’ comments
before submitting the final essay to me.
13. Review your Safe Assign report for plagiarism BEFORE turning in your draft!
14. Reread your essay one last time and make any final edits or changes before turning in
your final!

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