ARGUMENTATIVE RESEARCH PAPER.
That is, the paper must argue for or against something, present a solution to a problem, or defend a position: it may not just present information on a subject.
(The lessons in Unit 3 will walk you through how to write this essay. Carefuly review all the content.)
(Our assigned essay, Marc Prensky’s “Colleges Should Mandate That All Textbooks Be Digitized” is an example of an argument – refer to our Unit 3 discussion and content as needed.)
For your own research paper:
1. Write a research paper that tries to convince the reader of a position. In other words, to repeat, your paper should not just inform your reader about a topic, but instead it must convince your reader of something. Think of an argumentative paper as writing FOR or AGAINST something.
You may choose your own topic, but to promote writing across the curriculum, choose from the following:
- a topic that is directly related to your major/field of study or a job you currently hold or want to hold. For example, a student interested in business may choose to write an argumentative paper about the Affordable Care Act and small businesses. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. An art student, for instance, may not be sure at first what argumentative topic to tackle, but perhaps he or she could write an argument about the use of sex in advertisement, etc. Ultimately, choose a topic that will be of real interest of you. Consider perhaps a problem you face at your current job or areas of disagreement in your professions of interest.
- a topic that relates to an issue related to school. Consider your past school experiences as well as your current one. Think of a problem or issue you faced then or are facing now, a policy with which you disagree, etc.
Before writing the full paper, you will first work through the process of creating a research proposal and an annotated bibliography. Keep in mind that, first and foremost, your topic will need to approved by your instructor.
For the purposes of academic discourse, please avoid choosing controversial topics that will require, in great part, relying on religious/moral arguments. Although you are each, of course, entitled to your own personal beliefs, it will best for this course to depend on academic sources that are independent of personal faith. For example, avoid writing papers about abortion, the death penalty, etc.
Unit 3 will cover, in detail, how to write an argumentative research paper — and its precededing components.
Your final research paper must be between 1500-1800 words and adhere to MLA formatting.
- The paper must incorporate formal research.
- A minimum of three (3) sources must be used – a maximum of five (5) sources can be used.
- Only ONE (1) source may come from a direct website; this does not mean that you cannot conduct all of your research online — you can, but your other sources must be academic ones (books, newspaper articles, journal articles, etc.). It IS possible to access these sources remotely via the library portal (from your home or work computer) without having to physically visit the library, if you would prefer not to or are unable to do so. The unit content will explain how this is possible.
- Within the paper itself, you must cite each source from which you paraphrase, summarize, or quote. All in-text citations must adhere to MLA formatting. Although this is a reseach paper assignment, the bulk of the paper should still come from your own original ideas, interpretations, evaluations, and suggestions. Roughly, no more than 30% of the paper should come from source material.
- An accompanying Works Cited page is required: papers submitted without one will automatically earn a zero (0).
- Accompanying multi-media materials can be incorporated — and are encouraged! — but should be in addition to, not in place of, other formal source material and own content.