This essay should be between 900 and 1000 words. It
must include a cover letter and an annotated bibliography.
This essay will help you practice what you have learned so
far in this course. First, you will choose a topic of interest. Make
sure that you choose a topic with two opposing sides. Then, you need to
research that topic in order to specify the topic’s scope, so it can be easily
discussed in a shorter, 1000 word essay. For example, you may be
interested in learning more about traffic issues in the United
States. However, that topic is too large to cover in a 1000 word
essay. After researching peer reviewed articles that discuss US traffic
issues in general, you may discover that the metro system in the District of
Columbia is underfunded and underutilized. Through your research, you
found that you could make a claim that more funds should be made available in
order to upgrade the metro system, which would improve traffic issues in the
District of Columbia. This would make for a stronger, specific
This essay must include a minimum of five sources.
Three should peer-reviewed sources, preferably from the APUS databases.
You may use eBooks; however, as discussed earlier this semester, books
generally are not as current as peer-reviewed articles. You may also use
primary sources (interviews, statistics, etc); however, these primary sources
should be obtained from experts within that field. If you cannot find
strong sources for your chosen topic, then change your topic. If you have
a question about the validity of a source, please email me, or post your
question to the open forum.
Make sure to include the following sections in your essay:
Introduction and claim.
Within the body of your essay, make sure to include the
following in any order:
Support for your claim
Opposing or alternate views
Strong, scholarly research
After you have written your essay,
please make sure to revise the content of your essay. Lastly, be sure to
edit your essay by checking grammar, format, and smaller technical
details. Please make sure your essay is written in third person.
The Cover Letter
Each essay due in this course needs
to have a cover letter (not a cover page). In letter for the Toulmin
essay, I would like for you to answer the following questions. Each
response should be at least three sentences, with the exception of question six. The
questions are below:
1) What was the purpose of the
essay? In your response, explore the deeper meaning of this question. The goal
is not just to complete the assignment but instead to convey a message. What do
you plan to accomplish with this essay? What do you hope the reader takes away
from this argument?
2) What did you learn from
completing this assignment? Did you experience a new understanding of the
topic? Did you change your perspective after completing the research?
3) What difficulties did you
encounter during the research, writing, or editing phases of the assignment?
4) What did you enjoy about this
5) What made you decide to write
about this particular topic? Is this a topic that you are discussing in
another course? Is this a topic that concerns you in particular?
6) Is there anything else you would
like for me to know before reading your essay
The Annotated Bibliography
An annotated Bibliography (AB) is
due with your Toulmin essay. Using the MLA guide, list each source as it will
appear on the Works Cited page of your essay. In two to three sentences
summarize the text. I will be checking for grammar as well. This is what
makes it an “annotated” bibliography. A sample is shown below.
Clark, Irene L. The Genre of Argument. Fort Worth,
TX: Harcourt Brace, 1998. Print.
Clark's textbook identifies the major steps to developing a well-researched and
well-written argumentative essay. Professional essays are included in the
text as models.
Ward, Russ. Logical Argument in the Research Paper. Fort
Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace, 1997. Print.
the steps to writing an argumentative research paper is information about
proper documentation. The Toulmin System, an important aspect of a
well-planned paper, should be studied carefully.
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