English 028 Research Argument Essay

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English 028

Research Argument Essay

Chose ONE topic


  1. Choose an issue that you care about and would like to argue. Hand in your tentative thesis to make sure your thesis has a claim (unifying element) and subtopics.

  1. Since obesity is the second biggest cause of preventable death in America, should it be illegal to open new fast food restaurants in Southern California.

  1. Since smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in America, should smoking be illegal?

  1. Should racist and/or sexist speech be illegal?

  1. How would you fix current immigration laws?

  1. In high school, should transgender boys be allowed to play on girls’ sports teams.

Your essay should demonstrate the following:

  • A clear essay organization

  • About 1,000 words (3-4 pages).

  • At least three textual sources that you quote and/or paraphrase in the body of the essay and cite. At least one quote from each source.

  • A title

  • An introductory paragraph

  • A thesis that clearly states your argument. Include the subtopics in your thesis.

  • Make sure the thesis is an opinion that someone can argue against.

  • Body paragraphs with the main points

  • Personal and textual evidence for the body paragraphs

  • Well-transitioned topic sentences at the beginning of each body paragraph.

  • Clear transitions between ideas

  • Consideration and rebuttal of at least one alternative viewpoint. (Don’t forget this.)

  • A concluding paragraph

  • Correct in-text parenthetical citations. (MLA Style).

  • A Works Cited page (MLA Style).

  • MLA format

  • Correct grammar, punctuation and mechanics.

  • Do not forget to cite your articles MLA style. Also, do not forget to number each quote and paraphrase on your paper and on the copies of the research.

  • Hand in thesis by May 24th, especially if you are doing the first topic.

  • Tuesday, May 31, 2016: Research essay. Here is the order: Assignment sheet with name on it (optional), final draft of essay, and copies of research. Number the copies of the research the way we discussed it in class (as we have discussed, this is not the same as citing your sources MLA style, which you also must do).

  • PURPOSE: The purpose of your argument is to persuade the reader to think a specific way. You will present your OPINION on the chosen subject and support that opinion with POINTS.

  • ESSAY STRUCTURE: This essay must have a title, an introductory paragraph, two or three or more body paragraphs that support the thesis, and a concluding paragraph. In each body paragraph, you’ll need to offer sufficient support for your points in an organized fashion.

  • THESIS STATEMENT: In your thesis, present your unifying element (claim) and two, three, or more subtopics. The thesis must be one complete sentence, placed at the end of the introduction.

SAMPLE THESIS for an argument essay:

Law-enforcement agents should not take action based on race alone because racial profiling is arbitrary, humiliating, and intimidating.
Writer’s unifying element (central opinion):
Law-enforcement agents should not take action based on race alone.
Writer’s three subtopics:

  1. “Arbitrary”

  2. “Humiliating”

  3. “Intimidating”

  • ESSAY DEVELOPMENT: Each of your body paragraphs should develop one subtopic, in the same order you listed the subtopics in your thesis. Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence (transition + unifying element + one subtopic (you may not have a transition in the first body paragraph). Then support the topic sentence supporting ideas (optional) and with plenty of specific evidence: facts, statistics, statements from authorities, examples, and personal stories. You may need to break paragraphs further into main points.

  • SOURCES and CITATIONS: outside sources, such as from your text, the Internet, magazines, journals, and newspapers are good. Avoid using Wikipedia, encyclopedias, and dictionaries in the essay. Cite all sources with in-text citations and a Works Cited page.

  • CONCLUSION: End your entire essay with a concluding paragraph that shows the broader significance of your subject—how it relates to the world at large or to your own life. You may suggest a solution to a problem raised in the essay or offer a prediction for the future.

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