Your essay must be an academic argument, which means it should be well reasoned, supported by substantial evidence, and balanced throughout with the inclusion of counterarguments.

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Research Paper and Guidelines

Rough Draft: 10/10

Peer Review: 10/11

Final Draft: 10/12

Research Topics: Continuing from your Above the Noise topic and preliminary research,

you will now begin building your argument. Your essay must be an academic argument,

which means it should be well reasoned, supported by substantial evidence, and balanced

throughout with the inclusion of counterarguments.

Goals & Objectives:

• Produce a well structured and developed argument using the three persuasive

appeals

• Construct an explicit thesis statement that connects directly to the topic and

audience

• Implement research documentation and in-text citations following MLA formatting

• Identify the targeted audience and purpose

• Demonstrate basic computer competency skills

Length: 800-word minimum, not including works cited page (950 max.)

Audience: Your paper should be oriented toward an academic audience and will be

evaluated according to the grading rubric for this course; therefore, your language must

remain professional. Avoid the first and second person, contractions, slang, clichés, and/or

colloquial language.

Resources: You must have at least 4 sources from your group’s works cited page. At

least . . .

• Five (3) MUST be academic sources from North Lake databases,

• One (1) counterargument. You must represent opposition fairly, and/or

• One (1) web source. I must have already approved the source.

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Basic Outline Structure

I. Introduction- Ethos (Two paragraphs)

a. Paragraph One: Background Information- state the problem, explain/define

relevant terms (Even though you should include research, this should be in

your words. You will summarize and paraphrase, but reference where you

retrieve your information.)

b. Paragraph Two: Counter Arguments- the opposition’s most robust

viewpoints and rationale (include specific details from your research)

II. Body Paragraphs- Logos (Each paragraph, at least 2-3, should offer the

following):

a. Grounds-reasons

b. Backing- supporting evidence

c. Warrants- concluding point (connects grounds to claim)

III. Conclusion- Pathos (“So what” statement)

a. Emphasize the importance of your argument without listing additional

information.

b. Avoiding “talking at” your audience and/or ending with cliché rhetorical

questions.

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Student Name

Professor Hernandez

ENGL 1300-10000

14 October 2016

Essay Title

I. Introduce your topic: Your two introductory paragraphs will initiate your

credibility with your audience. You want to illustrate that you are knowledgeable about

the issue by using specific details. You should attempt to be clear and precise. Avoid

ambiguity, but also avoid using quotes immediately. In addition, your word choice

(diction) should be concise, avoiding any deadwood, utility words, and/or passive voice.

A. Contextual information [First Paragraph]

1. Define key terms and create the parameters for your issue. Ex. Corporal

Punishment is . . . . [This will help you avoid generalizations and problems

later with your topic. This information should be specific. Do not make

broad general statements.] Ex. “Children who experienced corporal

punishment are abusive as adults.”

2. If necessary, within this first paragraph, provide your audience with

background information. What details must they have in order to understand

your topic; however, consider your audience; remember, you are writing to

professionals within the field you are arguing and not your peers.

B. Opposition’s assertions [Second Paragraph]

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1. Summarize the oppositions’ claims. Again, be specific. Avoid

making ambiguous assertions such as “The opposition believes ……. ”

Make explicit assertions: “Proponents for abstinence education, such

as Mark Smith, believe . . . .”

In a fluid manner, introduce your thesis. “Finally, say that you

nevertheless believe your thesis because . . . . and begin to present your

evidence” (177).

II. First point supporting your claim

A. Begin with your weakest point

1. Provide grounds that support your assertions.

2. Typically, your weakest point is where you may consider

addressing any concession(s).

B. Consider the logical movement of your argument

1. Inductively: Are you beginning with specific data and then moving

to a conclusion? Even if you begin your argument based on your

research, you should paraphrase or summarize your source. Your

paragraphs should open and close in your words.

2. Deductively: Are you building an assertion based on eliminating

possibilities and coming to a general claim? Meaning, you hope to

provide a major and minor premise in which you illustrate your point

that will ultimately, support your claim.

Ex. Plagiarism is prevalent on college campus. [Major premise]

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Such cases oftentimes happen in Liberal Arts classes. [Major premise]

Since I teach composition, it is highly likely that I may have a student

plagiarize in one of my courses. [Conclusion]

III. Second point: This point should help to shift the tone of your paper

A. This point should begin to focus your claim, but avoid making generalizations.

1. If the previous paragraph began inductively, this paragraph

should create a nice shift to deductive reasoning.

2. Provide adequate proof (evidence) to support your reasoning.

Your sources must be explicit, detailed, sufficient, but try to avoid

long quotes. Try summarizing and/or paraphrasing (refer to your

handouts). Remember the point of evidence is to support what you

are attempting to say, not make the argument for you. Quote just

the “good stuff.”

IV. Third point: This should be the strongest reason that supports your claim

A. This point should clarify any questions your readers may have about your topic

and claim.

A. Provide your strongest evidence

B. Reiterate the weakness within your opposition’s perspective

V. The conclusion is your last chance to show your audience why they should care

about this issue. Pathos, in this case, is to show the relevance of this issue, and to

reiterate the “so what” point. Avoid any references or quotes, rhetorical questions, new

information.

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