Paper 4: STAKEHOLDER RESEARCH PAPER (SRP)
This assignment will help develop your skills as a researcher, and the essay will challenge you to explain
multiple sides to a complex issue. A stakeholder is a person who is directly affected by and cares about
an issue. In this essay, you will identify the stakeholders surrounding an issue in which YOU have a
personal stake, and describe their perspective on the issue. The stakeholders will be your audience, and
your overall purpose will be to explain the different viewpoints of those stakeholders. As you did in the
Text Analysis, you will use headings in this essay to organize your ideas, and integrate at least four
credible, quality sources into your essay (two of the four must be from a WVU database). The length
requirement is 5-6 pages, not including the Works Cited list.
Intro paragraph: Open your essay in an interesting way to pull in readers. You can apply what you
learned about leads from the Profile essay by opening with a fact, question, anecdote, etc.
Then, summarize your issue in 3-5 sentences. Define any necessary terms. Next, identify the stakeholders
of the issue: who specifically is directly affected by and involved in this issue? Name specific people and
groups to show all of the sides of the issue. Finally, present your thesis/argument in a sentence or two
using an ‘I’ to tell your stance on the issue (and what stakeholders you side with) and ideally, presenting
an overview of your sections.
*Divide the body of the essay into the following sections and label with a clear heading:
(Note: you do not have to follow this order of sections, and can rearrange.)
In this section, you should develop at least two supporting reasons for your position on the issue, and
integrate source evidence, in the form of quoting/paraphrasing, to support these points. These paragraphs
should follow the hamburger structure: your supporting reason should be stated in a topic sentence at the
beginning and end of the paragraph, the meat of the paragraph being facts/details/examples (using a
combination of paraphrase and quotation) to support its main point.
(Note: because the first and last sentence of your body paragraphs should state the topic of that para, do
not begin or end a body para with a source quote. Likewise, do not use a quote to tell the topic of a
paragraph – try to use your own words to state your supporting points).
What stakeholders oppose your argument, and why? In a topic sentence, tell the argument/view that
opposes yours and identify the stakeholders who believe/argue it. Develop this para by explaining the
stakeholders’ reasoning behind their belief in this viewpoint. Do they have any valid points or arguments?
Explain why/why not. If you reject their argument, explain why, using source evidence. Finally,
remember to restate the topic of the paragraph – the stakeholder and opposing view – as the final sentence
of this paragraph, adding your overall assessment of this point (accept or reject) in a phrase.
In a paragraph or so, explain your personal connection to the issue. What is your personal stake in this
issue? How has this issue affected your life? Try to provide specific stories/examples from your personal
experience to develop this discussion.
Always restate your thesis and main points (in the order that you make them!) in the conclusion. Then,
end the paper in a meaningful, strategic way. Good ways to conclude: open with an anecdote, and refer
back to this anecdote as the final thought in your conclusion, creating a “frame” for the paper; pose
rhetorical questions to your readers to keep them thinking about the issue; call the reader to action and
provide a clear suggestion for your audience; and finally, make a (reasonable) prediction about what
could possibly happen if your issue is ignored.
As part of the prewriting process, we will brainstorm ideas for campus, state/local, national, and global
topics for this project. Likewise, we will look at several student examples as models.
Utilize and maintain a formal tone throughout the essay. Try not to use the second person ‘you’ to
address the readers, instead referring to them in the third person, as the use of ‘you’ makes the
tone too conversational and thus informal. You can, however, and are encourage to to utilize the
first person ‘I’ in the paper to work on developing your unique voice as a writer. Also, ALWAYS
refer to an author first by introducing them by their full name, and then by using their LAST
NO CLICHED debate topics. No marijuana, no lowering the drinking age, no capital punishment,
no abortion, no steroids in sports, no capital punishment, no euthanasia. You MUST have a
personal stake in the issue, whether it be a campus, local, or national issue, and must be able to
describe your personal connection to the topic in a well-developed paragraph (at least). You
MUST get my permission to
Consider putting off the writing of your thesis sentence until after you have composed the main
sections of the essay. Remember to use ‘I’ in the thesis to make your overall argument about the
issue. Remember also that the thesis can be one to two sentences. How can your thesis sentence
incorporate the opposing view, supporting points, and your personal stake?
The basic requirements for this essay include:
• Focusing on a meaningful issue that you have a demonstrable personal stake in
• Writing a thesis sentence that outlines your paper and makes a clear argument using an “I” plus a
• Selecting relevant information via at least four credible sources that helps you understand
• Using the WVU Library databases to locate, select, and integrate at least two timely sources (ie
published within the last ten years)
• Integrating this source information effectively via a combination of paraphrase and direct
quotation with appropriate MLA citations
• A well-developed intro that sums up your issue, identifies stakeholders, defines terms, and
presents your thesis
• Sectioning the body of your essay into three parts using the following headings: Opposing View,
Supporting Arguments, and Personal Stake (remember you can retitle these headings)
• A well-developed conclusion that restates the essay’s thesis, recaps the main points of each of the
three sections, and ends in a meaningful, strategic way
• Displaying a strong voice that confidently reflects your unique personality
• Utilizing and maintaining a formal tone by referring to source authors via last name
• Correctly following MLA rules of citation and essay format – for in text citations, Works Cited
list citation, by using the present tense in signal phrases, and by using 12 point, Times New
Roman font, double spaced, with one inch margins.
• Meeting the required length of 5-6 pages (NOT including your Works Cited list)
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