What to Do
Write a well-developed, well-researched argument essay expanding on the topic you investigated for your research. In this essay, you will take a side within the debate as a stakeholder, and you will support your side through the use of evidence.
Your dual purpose is to educate and to persuade a neutral, well-informed reader to adopt your position. The essay should make good use of the three rhetorical appeals (ethos/pathos/logos).
Choose to argue in one of these argument categories primarily:
• Action: “we should do X”
• Cause & Effect: “X causes/caused/is causing Y”
• Compare & Contrast: “X is better than Y because…”
• Definition: “Is X like an A or like a B?”
• 11 or 12 point Times New Roman font, double spaced, 1” margins.
• MLA Heading and Header
• MLA parenthetical citations in essay text.
• MLA Works Cited page.
Individual Research Requirements –5 sources minimum
• 1 NEW source (may be popular or scholarly) in addition to your original
• 2 of your sources must be academic/scholarly
• additional sources are fine as long as they are reliable sources.
What kinds of sources are okay to use?
Unacceptable internet sources include Wikipedia or any wiki; Ehow, About.com, Howstuffworks or other linkbait/content farm sources; Britannica or encyclopedias, dictionaries, or basic reference books; Enotes, Sparknotes, or any other “study guide” sites; any sites providing sample essays or reference lists for common essay topics; and personal blogs or personal websites (except those run by someone who is an acknowledged expert in his/her field). Unacceptable internet sources will be counted as a missing source.
Acceptable internet sources include advocacy group websites (note they will take a side and have a bias); government websites (.gov); large news organization websites such as CNN, Reuters, Associated Press, BBC, ABC/NBC/CBS (not Fox, MSNBC, or HuffPo); newspapers of record such as Washington Post, New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal; major print magazines such as Time, Newsweek, Wired, Discover, Harper’s, Atlantic Monthly, National Geographic, etc. (avoid fashion, decorating, regional, and celebrity magazines, as their articles are usually too short); and professional blogs with editors (Gawker.com sites, TheAwl.com sites, The Rumpus, etc.; blogs run by newspapers or magazines; blogs written by experts in a field).
Unacceptable book sources include anything in a “for dummies” or “for idiots” series; Cliffs Notes or any other study guide text; encyclopedias , dictionaries and other basic reference texts; or any “What are the Issues?” and/or “Exploring the Issues” types of texts that collects a number of (basic) sources on a controversial topic under one cover for the use of students.