Researched Argument Essay

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Major Writing Assignment – Essay # 3: Researched Argument Essay Deadlines:
First Draft: 7:30 AM on April 27th (Submit it through eCampus and bring 2 hard copies to the
class) Final Draft: 7:30 AM, on May 4th (Submit a copy through eCampus and bring a hard copy
to the class)
Length: 1000 – 1300 Words
Sources: 4 sources
Maximum Possible Score: 100 points Value: 25 % of the final grade.
Instructions: For this assignment, you will write an essay where you enter a debate on a
specific topic, or issue, within a broader topic selected for the class. This essay will
require that you actively engage with the opinion of others and convince your audience
that your position is the correct one for them to take. It will also require that you build an
argument focused on the issue(s) and based on the information found on reliable sources.
Ultimately, your essay should exhibit your abilities presenting the opinion of others and
integrating information from outside sources; it should exhibit your discipline in
considering the available information carefully and limiting your claims to what you can
prove with the evidence at hand. The purpose of this assignment is to prepare you to
develop the type of complex thinking and fully developed argument that you will have to
write in other college courses.
The general topic for this essay is education, so you can select a specific topic, or issue,
that is a part of or related to this broader topic. The topic can be specific topic, or issue, at
any level of the education system. Once you have identified an issue that interest you,
you should conduct general research to learn about the issue and define your position.
This research might also give you the chance to narrow down the scope of your topic.
Then, you can conduct the search for the sources you will use to support your argument.
You should be conscious that the argument for this essay has to be principally based on
facts, i.e., information from outside sources. Hence, the credibility of your sources is
essential to the success of your argument. Preferably, you should use official sources
containing primary information and scholarly sources containing the informed opinion of
experts. You can also use some sources that might present the opinion of influential
people in the debate, even if they are not experts, such as opinion pieces written by
politicians. As you search for useful sources, you should keep in mind what the
assignment requires from you, that is, an active engagement with the opinion of others
and the defense of your position an appeal to ethos and multiple appeals to logos.
Actively engaging with the opinion of others does not mean that you simply state and
explain your position vis-a`-vis another writer, as you did in the Summary-Response
Essay. In this third major writing assignment, you are expected to include a
counterargument based on an outside source and a refutation for the argument made in
this other source. This means that you have to disprove, at least, some of the principal
claim the other side makes. There are multiple ways you can this. One possible way that
you can refute the other side is by examining their argument, the evidence they based
their argument on, and/or the assumptions and implications of their claims. While any
one of these strategies could work for the refutation, the most appropriate for your paper
will depend on the actual source. The most important thing here is that you develop the
counterargument and the refutation properly. This is an important part of the essay that
cannot be adequately presented in two or three sentences.
The defense of your argument should include an appeal to logos and a limited appeal to
ethos. While the assignment requires you to support your claims with facts, you should
not assume that all you have to do is present statistic after statistic and quotation after
quotation. You must lead your readers through a discussion of this information,
explaining to them what it means and showing them how it supports your claim.
Explanation here is central to the development of the argument. Beyond this explanation,
you should introduce the source where the information is found whenever this might
prove beneficial for your argument. Indeed, the discussion of the relationship between the
claim and the evidence is where the appeal to logos is made and the discussion of the
reliability of the sources is where the appeal to ethos is made. In this assignment, you are
expected to make use of both appeals.
Length Requirements of the Drafts and Other Important Details to Keep in Mind:
The first draft should be, at least, 75% of your essay, that is, approximately 750 words.
Besides this, you should be conscious of the general requirements of the academic essay
as you are working with this assignment. All the essays written for this class must be
written in formal language, and they must include all their parts and subparts of the essay
we have discussed in class. Hence, you should review the pertinent material provided by
the instructor before you begin working with this assignment. Finally, you should make
sure you meet the minimum length requirements set for the final draft. If the final draft
you submit is clearly shorter than the minimum amount of words (i.e., 925-851), you will
automatically lose 15 points from the final grade. If your final draft is significantly less
than the minimum amount of words (i.e., 850-751 words), you will lose 25 points from
the final grade; and if your essay is only as long as the minimum set for the first draft or
shorter, you will receive a zero. (The word counts specified in all the length requirements
for this assignment do not include information that might be considered supplementary to
the essay, such as the bibliography, or information that might be considered extraneous to
the essay, such as your name and the date.)
Format: The assignment must be in Times New Roman letter font size twelve, and it
must be double spaced with one inch margins. All information from outside sources must
be documented as specified by the MLA format. This means including both in-text
citation and a works cited page. If you have any questions concerning the format for any
of your sources, you should review your notes from the class, visit the online writing lab
at Purdue, and / or talk to your instructor about it. Not using the specified format for the
assignment will affect your grade, and it could lead to failing the assignment.
Important Note: Read the instructions carefully. Failure to follow the instruction will
result in the loss of points and might cause you to fail the assignment. This assignment
will not be accepted late. While you have to bring a hard copy of the assignment to
class, the deadline for the assignment refers to the time you submit the assignment
through eCampus. If you are not able to submit the assignment to eCampus on time, your
essay will not be read and graded. Please, review the policies on the syllabus concerning
academic integrity.

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