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zzzENGL 1010: Composition I (Page) Fall 2010  

Created by Tisa Houck
Last Updated: Mar 13, 2014 URL: Print Guide Email Alerts

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Assignment Description

Research/Argument Essay

*Elements to consider:

1.     Have a clear and specific argument.

2.     Use research from reliable sources as a stepping stone to your argument. You make the argument and the research backs you up. The research should not make the argument for you.

3.     Support your argument with research from a minimum of five different, current, reliable sources, some “for” and some “against”. At least one source must be non-internet. (This could be a book, a magazine, journal, documentary, interview, etc).

4.     Organization is important here. How the essay is structured and what you disclose when can help strengthen your argument and its logic.

5.     Make sure that you address the opposition. Discuss what those who oppose your position believe and why. Then, refute them.

6.     Also make sure that you present a thought-out and viable solution to the problems presented in your essay.

*Reasons to make an argument:

v  To change someone’s mind
v  To urge action
v  To support or refute a theory
v  To give praise
v  To around sympathy
v  To challenge incorrect assumptions
v  To stimulate interest or concern

*Questions to get you started:

1.     What concerns (global, local, emotional, etc) do I feel need to be addressed immediately?
2.     What theories (social, scientific, political, etc) do I feel strongly about, either in support of or against?
3.     What issues do not receive the attention (positive or negative) that they deserve?
4.     What common assumptions do I know to be incorrect?
5.     What topics do I have academic insight into? Personal interest?

For help with constructing an argumentative thesis, see:

Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements

Subject Guide

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