Arguing to Persuade: A Current Controversy
-The Assignment: Write an argumentative research paper on a current controversial issue.
-The Audience: College educated adults who are either neutral on the issue or have insufficient data upon which to form an opinion.
-Your Objective: To persuade your audience that your point of view is logical and to win their agreement with your position on a current controversy. While making your case you must also acknowledge the views of those on the other side. The purpose is to inform and persuade your audience, not to offend them. The model you need to follow is the Classical Argument i.e., it must include ethos, pathos, and logos. (You will find it helpful to examine Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.s Letter from Birmingham Jail).
Goals and Objectives for this Assignment:
a. -Conduct research to find factual material and credible, popular and scholarly sources.
b. -Evaluate sources for appropriateness and credibility. Use the charts provided in the Library Research section of our Blackboard page.
c. -Effectively incorporate source material into a narrative that makes a logical argument in defense of a position and attempts to persuade others to agree with you. This is even a good place to make a call for action.
d. -Apply documentation techniques to appropriately give credit to the ideas of others.
e. -To offer a thesis statement that announces the topic, limits the scope, and forecasts the papers purpose.
f. -To use language appropriately.
g. -Give and accept feedback in peer review situations and implement that feedback appropriately.
h. -Offer a valid conclusion inferred from and supported by researched sources.
i. -Use MLA style to correctly document source material within the narrative and on a properly formatted works cited page.
j. -Produce a final document that demonstrates a command of grammar and general writing skills including (but not limited to): spelling, capitalization, punctuation, sentence boundaries, use of appropriate transitions, use of correct word forms, paragraphing, organization, effective lead and conclusion. These are all skills you must demonstrate mastery of in order to successfully complete this course.
-Length: 2100 – 2200 words (+/- 25) (typed, double-spaced pages using 12 point Times New Roman font and 1\” margins). Word count does not include the works cited page.
-What I Will Look For in Your Essay: As always, you must begin with a lead that grabs the readers attention. In addition, successful essays will contain reasoned arguments based on good research. All borrowed information must be properly cited using MLA format. You will also need to include a properly formatted works cited page adhering to MLA guidelines.
Your opening paragraph must contain a clearly worded thesis and specific reasons (structural clues) supporting your position. In other words, you must identify the specific controversial issue, make a specific claim on the issue, and state specific reasons in support of your position. In addition, you must also make a call for action i.e., you must ask your readers to do something.
In the body paragraphs you must present evidence from credible authorities supporting your position, but you must also acknowledge (and respectfully refute) opposing points of view.
In your conclusion, you must return to your claim without merely repeating it and you must make some reasonable call for action.
As always, your essay should be mechanically and grammatically sound i.e., free from sentence construction, punctuation, word choice, and wording errors. You are also expected to use transition words, phrases, and sentences appropriately. Refer to item j in the goals and objectives section above for additional items.
-Sources: You must use at least 8 credible sources. At least four of these sources must be from scholarly publications. In addition, at least 8 sources (scholarly and popular) must be referenced (cited) at least twice in the body of your paper. Moreover, the sources should be used to support your thesis not to merely provide factual information. Ask me about this if you do not understand the difference. Be sure to follow MLA guidelines for in-text citations and the works cited page. Wikipedia is not an acceptable source.
Note: A paper will not be eligible for a passing grade if it does not adhere to MLA guidelines for in-text citations and the works cited page.
Finally, please understand that your challenge is to select some specific law or proposal and to argue for or against it. You may not merely engage in a general discussion of a topic.