Argumentative Research Paper Assignment
Pennington ENGL 211
30% of overall course grade
Learning Outcomes Addressed:
Analyzing and drafting a variety of compositions or genres shaped by readers’ and writers’ practices,
Transitioning between situations and contexts by adjusting structure, content, diction, and tone,
Understanding that rhetorical situations differ across communities and disciplines.
Reading and writing several genres that utilize analysis, reflection, narrative, critique, and argument skills,
Locating primary and secondary research materials among library resources and evaluating them for credibility, sufficiency,
accuracy, timeliness, and bias,
Using strategies to compose texts that integrate the writer's ideas with those from appropriate sources,
Understanding that thinking, reading, and literacy skills differ across communities and disciplines.
Working through multiple drafts of a writing project and reflecting on composing practices,
Learning to give and to act on productive feedback to works in progress,
Understanding that composing strategies and processes differ across communities and disciplines.
Refining the understanding of linguistic structures, including grammar, punctuation, and spelling,
Practicing genre conventions for structure, paragraphing, tone, and mechanics,
Demonstrating a clear understanding of intellectual property rights and applying citation styles systematically, according to
Understanding that conventions differ across communities and disciplines.
You started the semester by selecting a topic that interested you. You have conducted research over the
past weeks in an effort to discover where and how to “put your oar in” to the scholarly conversation on the
topic. In your exploratory essay, you did your best to explain the conversation surrounding a topic based on
your own knowledge. In your scholarly summaries and reflection, you conducted research on the topic,
discovered how scholars are making arguments about that topic, and reflected on how these arguments
inform your initial position. In your annotated bibliography, you are doing more targeted research,
demonstrating your understanding of MLA citation rules, and reflecting more specifically on how 5
particular sources may inform your argument in your final paper. You have now reached the composing
portion of this project.
For this assignment, you will demonstrate that you know how to:
1) construct a logical and sustained argument on a particular subject (for most of you this
argument will be the same for which you have gathered research since early in the term).
2) use scholarly sources to support all assertions throughout an essay
3) effectively integrate source material with your own either through paraphrase or direct
quotation (consistently leading in, signaling, citing, following-up – PIE formula)
4) properly cite sources both in-text and on your “Works Cited” page (MLA)
cite a minimum of 5 SCHOLARLY sources
apply MLA in-text and Works Cited formatting
write 7-10 pages (this does not include the “Works Cited” page)
use 12-point Times New Roman font, no greater than 1.25’’ margins
double-space and title your essay.
1) Your main argument/claim should be easily discernible and come early in your essay, ideally in
2) Each paragraph should include a topic sentence that summarizes the ideas in the paragraph and
identifies how that information connects to the overall argument/claim.
3) Write transitions to bridge different ideas to ease the reading experience and to appeal to your
audience’s sense of logic.
4) Your essay will essentially be an orchestration of different sources for the purposes of furthering
your own position. Make sure you take time to carefully ANALYZE the material you provide as
evidence each time you offer others’ ideas; this is the “following-up” or “explaining” part of the
integration formula that students often forget. Basically, you need to constantly ask of your ideas,
“so what?” Give us the “so what” or the “this idea is important because…” after each mention of
an outside source.
5) It is important to discuss oppositional perspectives on your topic – ideas that may work against your
own position. Give them their fair due. And then refute their value. If oppositional perspectives are
not available, then you need to discuss the weaknesses of your own position. You might even do
both as a way to strengthen your credibility.
6) Precision and accuracy in citation is required. Do not be sloppy. There are direct examples of MLA
formatting on the Purdue OWL website that you can consult, so you will be held to high standards.
7) You are providing for your audience a sampling of the scholarly conversation you’ve uncovered in
your research, and you are also providing your commentary throughout. We will talk more about
the “They Say, I Say” schema in class.
8) Throughout the composition of your paper, you will take in to consideration the rhetorical appeals,
considering how to best present yourself as informed, competent, and convincing. This directive
means, pay attention to your grammar, syntax, and mechanics. The vaguer you are, the lower your
grade will be.
Peer Review: During the week of March 26-30th, you will post your draft (minimum of 5 pages) to your
designated group discussion board by no later than Wednesday, 11:59 p.m. You will find your two peers’
drafts posted on this site. You will review your peers’ drafts and using the guide provided that week on
Blackboard, you will offer detailed replies before Friday, 11:59 p.m. You are welcome to communicate with
your peers outside of the group’s discussion board, as well, should you all agree to that arrangement.
Conferences: You must meet with Professor Pennington to review a draft of your final essay. We will signup for conferences that will run over the course of three weeks. Students should go to the Google Sheet
shared with them in a few weeks to sign-up for a 20 minute conference slot BEFORE Monday, March 26th.
Students will have missed their opportunity for conferences if they fail to sign-up before that date. Please
note that this conference is required and counts towards your participation grade for the course.
Wednesday, April 2nd: (no fewer than 5 pages)
Friday, April 6th: (no fewer than 5 pages)
Monday, April 9th: (no fewer than 5 pages)
Wednesday, April 11th: (no fewer than 6 pages)
Friday, April 13th: (no fewer than 6 pages)
Monday, April 16th: (no fewer than 6 pages)
Wednesday, April 18th: (no fewer than 7 pages)
Final Due: By MIDNIGHT on Friday, April 20th
Please note that your final assignment for the course will be your Google Drive portfolio which will require
that you do two things: 1) upload a clean copy of each of your formal assignments to a Google folder and 2)
write a 1 page reflection on your journey as a writer/researcher in the course this semester to serve as
cover letter for those assignments. Details of this requirement will follow.
Harmful Effect Genetically Modified Organisms
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are an extensive group of bacteria, plants, and
animals that have been engineered for various applications ranging from scientific research,
health, to agricultural production. As a result, the hazardous effects of the genetically modified
organisms will largely depend on the modified organism and the intended application. Primarily,
most of the concerns on GMO products relates to having a negative impact on human health and
the environment. Due to the concerns about the use of the GMO products, genetic engineers
have studies to ascertain the validity of the presented concerns. Interestingly, there are limited
findings to verify the real danger of genetically modified organisms. Therefore, this paper is an
examination of these concerns on the use of GMO products.
There are numerous genetically modified organism foods that the scientist have
approved and considered safe for human consumption as their traditional counterparts.
However, the introduction of the novel gene to the organism may result in various potential
health impacts as noted by (Bakshi and Anita 12). Some of the health concerns include the
production of new allergens, health effect of the primary assessors, reduction of nutrition,
increased toxicity, and resistance to antibiotics.
Food allergy is a significant health threat globally since it affects a considerable number
of adults and children. Specifically, allergic reactions occur in humans when a harmless protein
enters into the system of an individual and stimulate an immune response. Therefore, when the
novel gene in the genetically modified product comes from a source that is known to cause
allergic reactions to a human being or a source that have never been consumed, it increases the
chances of occurrence of the allergic reaction (Bakshi and Anita 14). There are no allergic
reactions to GM products by humans that have been confirmed. However, in vitro-evidence that
suggest that some products could introduce allergens to the populations has motivated the
bioengineering industries to discontinues their developments.
As explained by Nicolia et al. (8), some of the plants produce substances that contain
toxic substances. Interestingly, most of the plant's products humans consume contains low levels
of toxins that cannot adversely affect the health of humans. However, there are concerns that
introduction of exotic genes into the plant may increase the level of toxicity to the extent that
could be harmful to humans. Additionally, the induction of the new genes damages the plant's
genes, and the plant could increase the rate of toxic production. Alternatively, the plant could
also increase toxin production as a response due to the interference with its metabolic pathways.
Although this poisonous effect from plants has not been reported, they have been evident in
traditional breeding methods thus raising the safety concern of the GM products from plants
(Nicolia et al. 9). For instance, the traditional potatoes breeds for increasing disease resistance
have produced high glycoalkaloids levels.
Theoretically, the genetically modified organism could have lower nutritional values than there
traditional counterparts by making the nutrients indigestible or unavailable to humans. For
instance, phytate which is a common compound in genetically modified grains and seeds that
coheres with mineral making them inaccessible to humans. Introduction of new genes could
increase the production rate of phytate, therefore, decreasing the plant’s nutritional value.
Moreover, studies have shown that genetically modified soybeans had low levels of
phytoestrogen compounds which protect against heart complications and cancer compared to
traditionally bred soybeans.
According to Wolfenbarger, Laresss, and Paul (18), in recent year, health practitioners
have been raising the alarm due to the increase in the number of bacterial strains that are
depicting resistance to antibiotics. Bacteria use natural mutations to develop resistance to
antibiotics. As a result, bioengineers use the antibiotic resistance genes as markers when they are
introducing new genes into animals and plants. In the initial stages, the bioengineers are never
sure if the new gene will be incorporated into the targeted plant genome. Therefore, scientists
have to test the plant by developing the organism in an antibiotic medium. However, there are
concerns that the bacteria living in animal’s and plant’s gut could absorb the antibiotic resistance
gene form this organism before they become integrated into the DNA of the organism.
Furthermore, though biodiversity is significant to all the ecosystems and for the species
sustainability, GMO products significantly put it at risk. For instance, when planting GMO
plants in a monoculture, most of the traditional seeds are not used. As a result, the nature of
GMO implies that there will be few flowers for pollination as explained by Snow et al. (14).
Additionally, toxins released during bioengineering may introduce toxins into soil thus reducing
the number of soil bacteria that are critical for healthy soil. Moreover, the cycle of the
dependence of GMO fertilisers, pesticides, seeds, and herbicides are developed for monoculture
which may result in the soil becoming void of all nutrients. Furthermore, the toxins used in
agriculture may contaminate the water sources thus exposing bacteria, animals, and insects to
Apart from the environmental and health concerns on the GMO products, GMOs are also
topic of ethical and social debate. However, the world’s populations are increasing at a high
rate, and the size of agricultural land is shrinking with time. Therefore, use of GMO products is
inevitable if the challenge of food shortage has to be addressed(Chase 17). As a result, the
scientist needs to research and eliminate the danger posed by the GMO products and make the
products both environmentally and health safe.
I have experienced some difficulties in trying to obtain the relevant research material,
especially on the effect of the GMO products to human health since most of the concerns raised
are yet to be proved. Thus it will be challenging to distinguish scientifically proven studies from
speculations. However, archives of websites and specific journals will be quite useful in
providing up to date information in the ongoing studies.
Bakshi, Anita. "Potential adverse health effects of genetically modified crops." Journal of
Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B 6.3 (2015): 211-225.
Chase, L. E. "Considerations for Developing Non-GMO Dairy Rations." (2017).
Nicolia, Alessandro, et al. "An overview of the last ten years of genetically engineered crop
safety research." Critical reviews in Biotechnology 34.1 (2014): 77-88.
Snow, Allison Ann, et al. "Genetically engineered organisms and the environment: current status
and recommendations." Ecological Applications 15.2 (2005): 377-404.
Wolfenbarger, Laressa L., and Paul R. Phifer. "The ecological risks and benefits of genetically
engineered plants." Science290.5499 (2000): 2088-2093.
Purchase answer to see full