Research-Based ARGUMENT ESSAY (Using at Least 5 Sources) Directions
WR 122 Handout -  Prof. C. Agatucci -  Fall 2010

Thus far in WR 122, we have been summarizing, analyzing and evaluating others’ argument essays. 
BUT now it is time for you to apply what you have learned to writing a successful argument essay of your own. 


--Recommended Length
of the final draft of your Research-Based Argument Essay is 1500-2000 words (7-10 word processed and double-spaced pages), including MLA-style in-text citations and your list of MLA-style Works Cited placed on separate page/s at the end of your essay--or as long as your essay needs to be to achieve the aim/s and cogently, persuasively develop/support the thesis claim of your argument. 
--Submission Requirement 1: A Paper Copy of your Research-Based Argument Essay “Final” Draft \ must be word-processed, double-spaced, and correctly formatted according to general manuscript form and MLA style requirements for formal graded assignments. 
--Submission Requirement 2: An Electronic Version of your Research-Based Argument Essay Final Draft must also be sent to Cora on the due date, via individual COCC email, to be submitted to Turnitin to generate a Turnitin Originality Report to check for verbatim plagiarism;
AND this process must be completed BEFORE Cora will grade paper version of Research-Based Argument Essay Final Draft.

Textbook help:  Review Julie Ross's "Why Residential Construction Needs to Get a Conscience," available in Chapter 5 of our textbook (reprinted in Crusius and Channell 142-151), as a good model of Manuscript Form and MLA-style in-text citation and Works Cited practices with this exception: Ross does not but should start her list of Works Cited on a separate page  (probably not Ross's fault - I think Crusius and Channell were just trying to save textbook space).

2. TOPIC CHOICE:  The topic issue addressed in your Research-Based Argument Essay is your choice provided it satisfies guidelines to be discussed in class.

Textbook help: Review Ch. 5 "Writing Research-Based Arguments" on "Finding an Issue" and "Finding Sources" (Crusius and Channell 93-113). 
COCC Barber Library help: Explore topic ideas, search strategies, and sources provided by COCC Barber Library's online Research Tools, including online subscription databases like CQ Researcher, Opposing Viewpoints, and Academic Search Premier
Refer also to  Information Literacy (handout), class discussions, and Search Strategies Inventory assignment.

3. MINIMUM OF FIVE (5) "Good" SOURCES must be explicitly cited (summarized, paraphrased, and/or quoted) IN-TEXT of your argument essay and in the your WORKS CITED, following MLA Style practices for In-Text Citations and Works Cited.

Textbook help on choosing "Good" (e.g. reliable, authoritative, up-to-date, accurate, representative) sources. Of course, sources should be relevant to your topic, but using "good" sources will carry more weight than dubious sources (however relevant to your topic) in making your case.  Review Ch. 5 on "Evaluating Sources" (Crusius and Channell 113-119) and Ch. 3 on what constitutes "good" reasons and evidence (as well as source evaluation criteria discussed in class).

4. OPPOSING VIEWPOINT/SOne or more of the minimum five (5) sources cited in your paper, must represent significant opposing viewpoint/s (i.e. different from your own opinion/s) on your chosen issue.  Discussion: Significant opposing viewpoints on the topic issue you argue should be anticipated, introduced and effectively addressed in your argument essay to strengthen your thesis position.   Essay arguments written to convince and/or persuade must try to neutralize and/or refute the weightiest opposing viewpoints (e.g. via concession, rebuttal or refutation).  Essay arguments written to mediate must necessarily introduce/analyze major opposing viewpoints, to identify and try to reconcile key points of disagreement and agreement,in order to achieve the aim of negotiating workable compromises and solutions among these viewpoints on the problem/issue under dispute. 

Textbook help: Review Ch. 1 "Four Criteria of Mature Reasoning" (Crusius and Channell 11-14) and Ch. 3 on refutations (Crusius and Channell 52).  See also relevant discussions of opposing viewpoints and audience analysis in Ch. 8 "Making Your Case: Arguing to Convince" (Crusius and Channell 209-246), Ch. 9 "Motivating Action: Arguing to Persuade" (Crusius and Channell 247-284), and Ch. 10 "Resolving Conflict: Arguing to Mediate (Crusius and Channell 285-321). 

5. AVOID PLAGIARISM and CITE YOUR SOURCES using MLA STYLE!  All quotations, paraphrases, and summaries from your 5+ sources must be cited (5A) IN-TEXT (at the points in your argument essay where you cite these sources) in MLA style, and must be correctly and easily match-able to corresponding complete and correctly-formatted bibliographical entries in MLA style listed arranged alphabetically on a separate page entitled (5B) WORKS CITED placed at the end of your argument essay. 

Textbook help: Review Ch. 5 "Writing Research-Based Arguments" on "Using Sources," "Incorporating and Documenting Source Material" and "Creating Works Cited . . . Lists" (Crusius and Channell 119-141).  Review also Ch. 6 "Ethical Writing and Plagiarism" (Crusius and Channell 153-164).
Cora's help: Cora has provided advice and models for formatting MLA-Style In-Text Citations and Works Cited, and students are encouraged to bring to class any sources (or information on sources) that they are unsure how to document so that Cora can provide individualized help.

6.  GENRE, AUDIENCE/S, & AIM/S of Your Research-Based Argument Essay: 
Your research-based argument essay must be written in the genre of a thesis-based essay, so remember to apply what you have previously learned about the basics of sound essay writing principles and practices. The aim/s and purpose/s of your argument essay should be captured in your thesis (with appropriate qualifications, exceptions, and definitions), should unify your essay's content, and guide you in organizing and developing your essay.
--Your research-based argument essay must address a diverse audience (i.e. not just people who already agree with your position).
--Your research-based argument should be designed to accomplish one or more of the following argument aims:

--Ch. 8 "Making Your Case: Arguing to Convince" (Crusius and Channell 209-246).
Textbook help:
Ch. 8 includes Crusius and Channell's step-by-step advice for "Writing a Convincing Argument" (221-242) and "Student Sample: An Essay Arguing to Convince": "Who Should Have the Right to Marry?" by Justin Spidel (243-246).
--Ch. 9 "Motivating Action: Arguing to Persuade" (Crusius and Channell 247-284). 
Textbook help:
Ch. 9 includes Crusius and Channell's step-by-step advice for "Drafting a Persuasive Essay" (273-280) and "Student Sample: An Essay Arguing to Persuade":  "Be a Parent, Not a Friend" by Elizabeth Baxley (281-284).
--Ch. 10 "Resolving Conflict: Arguing to Mediate (Crusius and Channell 285-321). 
Textbook help:
Ch. 10 includes Crusius and Channell's step-by-step advice for "Writing a Mediatory Essay" (317-318) and "Student Sample: An Essay Arguing to Mediate":  "Mediating the Speech Code Controversy" by Angi Grellhesl (319-321).
--Some of the above argument types can be focused and organized as Problem-Solution essays, which we will discuss further in class.

7.  College-level STYLE, CLARITY & COMMAND of STANDARD WRITTEN ENGLISH are expected in all WR 122 formal written assignments and will be considered in grading this assignment.


FALL 2010 WR 122  Syllabus | Course Plan | WR 122 Course Home Page

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Last Updated: 27 October 2010

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