The final essay of the semester is the Research-Supported Argument Essay. This is a continuation of your Research Narrative/Annotated Bibliography. Thus, you will develop the topic into a thesis-driven argument essay. The research question from your Research Narrative will now point you to a concise thesis statement. You will continue to conduct research to refine and develop your thesis. Because you are now creating a focused argument, the sources you found for the Annotated Bibliography may not all be useful for this stage of the process. Some will be relevant to your thesis, and some will be off topic and no longer useful. You should still include sources from both sides of the debate, since part of your essay will be addressing the opposition. You will still use ten sources.
Your thesis statement is your position on the issue. The thesis should be concise and give a clear direction for your essay. All points in your essay should connect to your thesis. This is a fairly short essay (7-10 pages) so make sure your issue is specific. If your essay is on global poverty, choose a very concise subtopic (a specific country or region of that country). Make sure your thesis is not book-length in scope. A thesis statement that is too broad and vague will lead to an unfocused essay. We will do thesis writing activities in class.
You will find Chapters 4, 12, and 13 in Read, Reason,Write helpful as you draft your essay.
I am treating this essay as your final exam. I will see how you apply the different concepts from the semester in your essay. For example, we went over the ladder of abstraction for thesis statements. We also spent time on logical fallacies. We did grammar exercises on wordy sentences and passive voice. We went over formal vs informal diction, the former being rational, logical, and professional, and the latter being irrational and emotionally based (pathos). We discussed closed form and open form essays. Remember the distinction. Also, keep this in mind: State complex ideas using clear and simple language. During the coming weeks, we will continue to do writing exercises that include important concepts.
Make sure you follow the MLA format. See Ch. 14 of Read, Reason, Writefor the citation formats. The end of Ch. 13 has a properly formatted sample essay. You must cite any language or ideas that come from your sources. Even if you paraphrase, you must cite.
Start with an attention grabber: a short story, example, statistic, or historical
context that introduces the paper topic.
Give an overview of any issues involved with the subject.
Define any key terminology needed to understand the topic.
Quote or paraphrase sources revealing the controversial nature of the subject.
Highlight background information on the topic needed to understand the direction
of the paper.
Address the antithesis argument, presenting the primary opposing views.
The introduction must end with a THESIS statement.
Body: (5-7 paragraphs)
Clearly present the main points of the paper as listed in the thesis.
Give strong examples, details, and explanations to support each main point.
Address any counterarguments and refute those arguments.
Use strong evidence from sources—paraphrases, summaries, andquotations that support your claims. Be sure to include all your sources, even if you use one sentence or phrase.
Restate your thesis from the introduction in different words
Briefly summarize each main point found in the body of the paper (avoid going over 2
sentences for each point)
Give a statement of the consequences of not embracing the position.
End with a strong clincher statement: an appropriate, meaningful final sentence that ties the
whole point of the paper together.
Works Cited Page:
Use MLA format.
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