Argumentation / Research Paper
Minimum Length: 1,200 words
Your first four essay assignments were designed to focus on specific critical thinking and writing skills.
Your fifth assignment, an argumentative research paper, will incorporate the skills you have developed throughout this course, and will develop new skills in research. For this assignment, you will:
- Generate your own topic concerning the intersection of two aspects of identity. You can go in-depth about an issue of gender identity as it relates to something else like cultural identity or the media. Or, you can challenge a stereotype concerning aspects of identity. As long as you are making an argument that addresses two aspects of identity, you'll be on the right track. Your topic must be cleared by me before you being writing.
- Make an argument about your topic. This argument must be clearly stated in a working thesis statement. All body paragraphs must be focused and organized, clearly relating back to your thesis.
- Research sources appropriate to your topic, and effectively use those sources as evidence to support and prove your thesis. Although you may use articles in your reader, you must research and use at least three* outside sources. We will discuss research methods and ways to incorporate sources into your writing in class.
- Cite all sources using MLA Format. Your paper must include proper parenthetical citations and a Works Cited page. We will go over MLA citation in class, and you have Everyday Writer as a reference.
*A Few Notes about Required Sources: Your sources must be reputable and reliable. Good sources include the following:
- Scholarly books
- Scholarly journals
- Some websites (We will be discussing internet sources during the research workshop.)
You may use the following but they will not count toward your minimum and you must identify your intent in use:
- newspapers (San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, etc.)
- magazines (Time, Newsweek, etc.)
Remember that a well researched paper will include a variety of sources. Also, remember that for academic papers, books and scholarly journals tend to provide the best information.
- All of your sources must be a current (2011 or later) book or article from a scholarly journal.
- While you are encouraged to reference primary sources (song lyrics, advertisements, television shows, movies, photos and other art, etc.), these can not count toward your three required sources.
THIS ASSIGNMENT IS IMPORTANT!!! No matter what discipline you are in, you will have to write well-researched papers. Sometimes, you will have to generate your own topics. Other times you may be given a broad topic that you have to narrow and focus for research. You need to get used to finding good sources (not just whatever pops up first in a Google search), and figuring out ways to effectively integrate those sources into your own writing. Research papers are the cornerstone of many upper-division and writing intensive courses.