Researched Argument Essay Assignment
Purpose: The objective of this assignment is to recognize a problem within society and propose a solution to that problem through a formal argument.
Task: Pick an issue involving a problem about which people disagree. This problem must be one that is not too controversial or moralistic in nature and should be focused on a current policy or procedure that you feel needs changing. First, you must explain the original problem or policy and what is wrong with it. Then, you should explain how to change that policy and what the benefits of that change would be for everyone involved (using facts, statistics, examples, expert opinion, etc.) Examples of proposal argument thesis statements are as follows: &amp;amp;amp;quot;Seniors in high school should be allowed to leave campus on lunch breaks,&amp;amp;amp;quot; and &amp;amp;amp;quot;Motorcycle helmets should be required by law.&amp;amp;amp;quot;
Your goal is to write an argument essay, either for or against modifying a policy or procedure, which attempts to persuade readers to accept your position on how to deal with this problem. Your purpose is to persuade your audience that your view would benefit society better than any other. Your audience should fit your topic, and your tone should be formal and trustworthy. You are required to use at least two authoritative sources in this argument; therefore, MLA formatting and documentation are required.
Research: Before writing your paper, consider different perspectives. That is, read up on the issue so you will be better informed; then, directly address these perspectives in your paper. The bulk of your paper should be devoted to your own arguments supporting your recommendation, so do not let your paper become dominated by other peopleâ€™s arguments. Find an issue to which you can contribute; it is hard to contribute to old, stale issues or to those so technical that you lack the needed expertise.
You should find at least two outside sources to back your argument. Your two articles must be evaluated for reliability first and approved by the instructor. Articles should come from reliable, academic sources (magazines such as Glamour or Road and Track are not appropriate for this assignment). The material should be cited with MLA parenthetical citations; an MLA Works Cited listing all sources cited is also required. MLA guidelines are discussed in Ch.16 of the textbook.
Format: The essay should integrate information from at least two reliable, academic sources and should follow MLA guidelines (double-spaced, 12pt Times New Roman font; one-inch margins on all sides; correct heading and title) for publication and for citations (MLA Works Cited page is required).
Evaluation: Your writing will be evaluated using the Five Shared Criteria (focus, development/support, organization, style, and mechanics) with a strong emphasis on focus, development/support, and organization, particularly integration of researched material and MLA citation format. Grammar, mechanics, sentence structure, and sentence variety will count as well. All aspects of the assignment should be turned in together inside your class folder; failure to turn in all parts of the assignment (prewriting, articles with annotations, drafts, and peer review) will result in points deducted from the overall grade.