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English 102 The Researched Argument

The Researched Argument rough draft and final draft must be submitted to Moodle
before class on the due date, and the student must bring a hard copy to class on the due
date. For the rough draft students must bring 3 copies to share with classmates during
workshop. For the final draft, students only need to bring one copy to class to submit for
The goal of the researched argument is to have you research and write an argument about
an issue that matters to you or interests you. Ideally, your essay should allow you to
contribute to the dialogue about that issue. This process should include research, source
evaluation, critical thinking and organization and these skills should be displayed in the
final product. The student will take a stance on a controversial or debatable issue, clearly
state that stance in the introduction, and provide support through research for that stance,
as well as offer a proposal.
The researched argument should be a 5-7 page paper (typed, with 1” margins, doublespaced,
with MLA citations and a separate Works Cited page and follow MLA format).
The essay must include 4-8 sources, and at least 2 of the sources must come from the
university’s databases through the library’s website. in which you endeavor to clearly
define the issue you’ve chosen to write about, as well as describe the origins and causes
of the controversy you have chosen to write about. As well as address the origins and
causes of the issue students put forth their opinion and/or proposals regarding the issue in
an attempt to persuade your readers to pursue a course of behavior or action. You should
explain how the problem can be solved––or more effectively addressed; you should argue
for a particular course of action. Here are some key questions to consider:
 Introduce your topic and state your argument (thesis) regarding that topic.
 Identify the important aspects of the issue (that is, what do people disagree about?).
 Define the key terms in the issue (for example, “homelessness” or “freedom” or
“bullying” are terms that must be specifically defined within the context of your
 What are the historical dimensions of this controversy? That is, where does the
issue come from? What started the controversy?
 What are the causes of this problem?
 What are the effects of the problem?
 Why should the audience care about the issue?
 Should some action be taken?
 What actions or policies are possible or desirable?
 How will the proposed actions or policies change the current state of affairs?
 How will the proposed changes make things different? In what ways? For whom?
 In what ways are your proposals different/similar/better than others that have
been proposed?
Put most simply, your task in this paper is to answer as fully as you can the following
essential questions about your issue: What is it? How did it begin and what causes it?
What should be done?
You will have to research for this paper, and you should include specific references
within your paper that you have found that you think are important to understanding and
defining your issue. All sources must be cited according to MLA format and included on
a Works Cited page, to avoid plagiarism.
An effective Researched Argument will:
 Have a clear, compelling, and debatable thesis that previews the organization
and support of the essay.
 Include support for each claim made and evidence for the support through the
use of research.
 Include research from credible sources.
 Provide and smoothly incorporate support for the argument through the use of
quotations, paraphrase, and summary from sources.
 Address the opposition/differing points of view in a fair and sufficient
 Be organized in a coherent and logical manner.
 Meet the requirements of the assignment (page length, citations, MLA,
research, etc.).
 Adhere to MLA format and include citations and a Works Cited page.
 Be free of typos and errors. Demonstrate careful proofreading.

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