Argumentative Research essay
'Hey, I've done this before'
Word count: 1,500
Voice: First person
Include Works Cited with at least 20 citations
Include a 100-word abstract
The abstract word count is part of the 1,500 words. The works cited word count is not part of the 1,500 words.
Purpose: You get to be judgmental
To make an argument about something and support your point of view using evidence in the form of primary sources (the authors in Parfitt), secondary sources (Parfitt bios) and tertiary (third-level) sources (everyone else you cite).
Follow these steps to write a research paper. If you start with an assignment from the professor and work your way through these steps, you will finish with a well-crafted essay.
Use the template you learned from writing the coronavirus essay (Abstract, Introduction with a thesis statement, Literature Review, Conclusion, Works Cited).
The steps are:
Step 1: Get familiar with the assignment -- Ask for clarification. It is important to make sure that you understand your assignment before you get started. As soon as I assign the paper, you should read these guidelines carefully and highlight anything that you do not understand. Ask me to clarify the instructions if anything seems unclear or if you don’t understand the assignment.
Make sure you understand how to use MLA documentation to cite your sources in your paper and in your Works Cited. We will go over this in class. If you’re not sure, just ask.
Step 2: Pick a topic (Based on section names in Parfitt?)
Step 3: Conduct research
Parfitt sets a good example for us by including such a wide variety of types of writing. Have fun choosing your sources but make sure they are relevant.
You should incorporate a combination of very readable sources (I consider Brooks and Hill very readable), or others who write like them but are not in Parfitt. But you also must cite one or more sources whose text is multi-layered or others who write like them but are not in Parfitt. (Challenge yourself.)
You will need to cite some surveys about happiness conducted by Turkle or researchers like her. When citing research, make sure it is current. Don't consider research more than 10 years old as current. (Older references can be made for historical purposes.)
Include a poem if it’s relevant. (I once included the poem “The Barefoot Boy” in a research paper. My professor was not amused. It’s not required here to include a poem but if you include a relevant poem, I will smile. Include a photograph and caption, like the kissing couple on Page 227 in Parfitt, if they're relevant.
Authors in Parfitt textbook. If you think you have too many Parfitt citations, ask me.
Parfitt's biographies of authors in his anthology.
Anything written by the Parfitt authors in other publications.
Newspapers (examples: New York Times, USA Today)
News magazines (Time, Newsweek)
Online library databases
Library audiovisual materials
We likely are going to the library after Spring Break.
Step 4: Organize your essay
Determine the structure of your essay.
Introduction – Generally, you want to have an introduction that sets the stage for your topic, asks a research question and then provides supporting evidence that builds up to your argumentative thesis statement. Your argumentative thesis statement answers your research question.
Research question: Written in the middle of an Introduction, it is the question that the argumentative thesis statement answers.
Argumentative thesis statement: It answers the research question at the end of the Introduction. An argumentative thesis statement allows the writer to take a position about a subject (e.g., what people should do to fix a social problem) and to convince readers of their stance. Typically, the ATS includes the word "should" or a synonym of "should such as “needs to."
Body of the essay (aka Literature Review) – State your support for your thesis statement, the answer to your research question. Use MLA-style in-text citations.
Include either “Literature Review” or a short phrase related to content you write at the beginning of this section, just like with your coronavirus essay.
Happiness collides with reality
Conclusion – Summarize the main points that led you to your thesis statement (the answer to the research question you posed in the Introduction). If desired, add a final (new) citation to drive home your thesis.
How to form an argumentative thesis
Remember from above:
Step 2: Pick a topic (Based on your interests or the section names in Parfitt)
Questions to ask yourself.
Yes, you can cite a Jimmy Buffet song in my class.
Step 5: Create an outline (Recommended)
Perhaps you should use letters and numbers to outline your essay. I do that unless Microsoft Word freaks out. Write each line in a complete sentence. Some of these sentences may end up verbatim in your essay.
Step 6: Write the essay
1. Include Works Cited (20+ citations) at the end
2. Include in-text citations
3. Make sure your in-text citations and Works Cited match. When you have written your essay, and completed your Works Cited, you should be able to ascertain from the Works Cited what articles are in the essay. But there is another way to look at this. A reader of your essay should be able to at least start a Works Cited from the information in your in-text citations.
4. Include a 100-word abstract. Write it last.
Step 7: Revise for content
Make sure to have logical transitions that connect sentences and paragraphs.
Step 8: Revise for grammar
Read it front to back. Read it silently. Read it silently again. Read it out loud.
Step 9: Re-read and submit your paper
After you turn in the coronavirus essay, we'll ask you what AR essay ideas you have.
For this assignment you can use following databases:
PsycArticles, NewsBank, Academic Search Complete, Gale eBoooks, JSTOR (links provided below)
For MLA 8 citation help, visit our citation guide
Or visit a librarian.