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ENGL 101 - English Composition I - Atkins: Getting Started


In this lesson you will learn to:

  • Select a topic and keywords for researching that topic
  • Search for, find and use appropriate resources in the HACC Library databases
  • Identify and use scholarly articles 
  • Evaluate information found on the internet for credibility
  • Cite sources and format a paper using MLA 8 style
  • Get research assistance as needed.


Format: MLA Format, including MLA in-text citations and Works Cited page. Size 12 font: Times New Roman. Double Spaced.

Length: 4-5 full pages, single sided. Length does not include Works Cited page.

Sources: At least 5 sources, 2 of which must be scholarly peer-reviewed sources.

Rogerian Writing:

A Rogerian essay is a bit like journalism while remaining academic by dealing with scholarly sources. In a classical argument, your purpose is to prove your point or convince the opposition that they are wrong. In a Rogerian argument, regardless of your personal feelings, you write about both sides of a controversial topic in order to potentially find a middle ground.

Pick a Controversial Topic:

A controversial topic is an issue that is clearly represented by at least two opposing points of view: Abortion can be split between pro-life and pro-choice advocates; Health Care can be split into Open Market or Single Market advocates, or government-funded healthcare and private entity healthcare advocates, etc.; the Right to Bear Arms (2nd Amendment) can be split into numerous points-of-view depending on context, such as constitutional freedoms and those in favor of updated 2nd amendment rhetoric, or stricter sales legislation and constitutional rights of individuals who suffer from emotional or cognitive disability or trauma. These are just a few examples and even these three examples have multiple interpretations as you can see.

Background Reading:

Before deciding on a topic, it is helpful to look up and read about topics that interest you, and see what is being said, and by whom. It is also important to see how much information is available in order to meet your assignment requirements. The following links lead directly to the topic lists. 

Contact a Librarian

Diane Appelt, Adjunct Faculty Librarian

Diane Appelt's picture
Diane Appelt
HACC York Campus Library
2010 Pennsylvania Ave.
York PA 17404
*HACC is currently all remote*