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Argumentative Research Paper Guidelines
Deadlines: (See Syllabus for dates)
Research Topic List Works Cited /References page
Sources Rough Draft
Introduction & Outline Final Draft
4-6 pages + Works Cited / References page Topic must be approved by instructor!
Double-spaced 12 pt. Times New Roman
5 Sources Minimum – including one (1) book; two (2) scholarly journal articles; one (1) Internet source (website must end in .gov, .org, or .edu); and one (1) interview
What is a research paper topic? It is an issue recognizable and problematic enough to be worth investigating. A research paper topic has to be an issue that has alternatives/solutions and must be specific and narrow enough to give you the possibility to struggle, but broad enough to give you space for this academic struggle. Global warming is too broad and too factual to argue or cover in one research paper. However, if you narrowed the topic to the consequences of the ice caps melting, it could possibly be an interesting, arguable topic. The dangers of smoking or texting is too common sense and not an argument.
Choose a topic that can be argued and supported. Take a stand for or against something. Provide evidence, statistics, examples and experiences to prove your argument. However, you must also present the opposing argument and then prove why your viewpoint is the more logical viewpoint.
Also, choose a topic that you can find available literature and support for. No matter how passionately you feel about a subject, if there is no evidence to back it up, then you do not have a legitimate argument. Your introduction will define and provide a brief overview of the problem. The first body paragraph or two will discuss the opposing viewpoint and the remainder of the paper will be devoted to proving your viewpoint or argument. Support includes statistics, evidence, quotes from experts, examples, research, interviews, and personal experiences. Investigative writing has to be logical, based on facts and argumentation. Find a topic you feel strongly about and can find others who do as well, because you will be spending a lot of time together.
Topic choices / Research areas:
Health /science/genetics; welfare reform/overconsumption/growing dependency in America; military issues; agriculture/farming issues; technology advancements or issues; loss of industry in the US. Absolutely NO essays will be accepted on “hot button” topics or media propaganda, such as abortion, race, religion, politics, gay rights/marriage, drugs/alcohol, gun control, police abuse, lowering the drinking age, immigration, or capital punishment.
Assessment: (100 Points)
Your argumentative research essay will be graded according to the following ten areas:
• Format: creative title; appropriate length; follows assignment guidelines
• Introduction: creative & relevant lead-in; clear, concise & arguable thesis statement
• In-text research: adequate amount; documented; varied quote blending methods
• Content: analysis; support; details & response
• Persuasive: argument is sound; use of logos, ethos and pathos
• Organization: paragraphing; transitions; flow
• Conclusion: summarizes; restates thesis; lead-out/clincher
• Works Cited / Reference page: sources requirement met; Consistent MLA or APA format