English 101: Argument from Sources
Assignment: Write an essay on a recent controversial issue. Learn more about the issue and take a position on it. Present the issue to readers and develop an argument for the purpose of confirming, challenging, or changing your readers’ views on the issue. Use a least four academic sources to support your stance.
When writing your essay, be sure to support your claims with reasons and evidence drawn from your research. Citing, understanding, and refuting a counterargument are absolutely essential for an effective position paper. Also, be sure to structure your essay to include an interesting introduction, a clear, effective thesis statement that states your position on the topic and forecasts the rest of your paper, well-developed body paragraphs that include arguments for your position and refutations of opposing views, and a conclusion.
- If you need help getting started, reference Ch. 10 of the Field Guide.
Format: Typed, double-spaced, Times New Roman font, 12 point type. MLA headings and margins. You will need a title, but not a title page. For questions on MLA format, reference Chapter 50 in your textbook. For specifics on the essay format, see page 524.
- Parenthetical citations and a Works Cited page are necessary.
- Ideas/Content: sufficiently developed introduction; clear statement of position (thesis); clear presentation of evidence that supports your position; appropriate detail; sufficiently developed conclusion in which you tie all of these elements together
- Organization: clear connection between each paragraph and your thesis; logical order within and between paragraphs; clear transitions
- Style: formal, but not stilted; avoid slang and contractions; sentence variation should be used to express degrees of importance and relationships between sentences
- Grammar: standard conventional English; avoid sentence fragments, fused sentences, and comma splices; use correct subject/verb and pronoun/antecedent agreement
- Mechanics: correct use of punctuation, including use of sentence boundaries and commas; double space with appropriate margins; MLA format
Length: 4-6 pages. No more, no less. MLA format only. Academic Audience
- Topic approval is necessary. Make sure you obtain my approval for your individual argument before you begin this essay. Topics that will not be accepted because of scope include religious-based arguments, abortion, euthanasia, death penalty, drug legalization, and lowering the drinking age. Don’t ask.