Researched Argumentative Essay

07 Nov

Researched Argumentative Essay
What is an Argument? The process of rational inquiry aimed at finding the best solution to a problem
or issue. “Learning to argue effectively has the deepest sort of social value: It helps communities settle
conflicts in a rational and humane way by finding, through the dialectic exchange of ideas, the best
solutions to problems without resorting to violence or to other assertions of power”
Writing Arguments, Ramage et al, 2016, p. 14.
An argument is an attempt to prove or persuade through reasoning. To argue is to prove an idea through
reasoning, and an argument is the presentation of that proof in the form of evidence and logic.”
— Howard University, COAS Writing Center, “What is an Argument?”
What is a Researched Argumentative Essay? A researched argumentative essay is built around a
specific statement (or main premise) that is debatable within the field in which you are studying. In other
words, at the center of an argumentative essay is a statement with which your readers may disagree.
Your essay will need to support that statement in a manner that convinces your readers of its truth. To do
so, use the rhetorical devices of logos, ethos, and pathos” and evidence from credible sources.
— Howard University, COAS Writing Center, “What is an Argument?”
What is the Purpose of Argumentation: The goal is to develop inquiry and critical thinking skills and
to re-examine and clarify our own assumptions and beliefs.
Choose a community or societal issue that you feel passionate about and that interests you. Write
a well thought-out and researched argumentative essay using evidence from at least 5 outside
sources to support your argument and analysis of the issue/topic. Your essay should showcase
your ability to use reason/logic and the rhetorical devices of logos, pathos, and ethos to persuade
your audience.
Requirements & Formatting:
Essays should be written in 3rd person and must address topics and issues approved by the
All essays must observe the rules of grammar, usage, and mechanics.
All essays must be typed in MLA format – in 12 point Times New Roman font with one-inch
margins and double-spaced. Essays that are not typed or that are not submitted electronically
will not be accepted.
Minimum of 6 to 8 pages. Essays less than six full pages will be considered incomplete and
cannot receive a passing grade.
All essays must include an introduction, a body, and a conclusion and must include a
coherent and defensible
thesis statement.
Counter-Argument/Refutation: You must include and address the counter-argument or
viewpoint that opposes your own, which you will refute or concede.
Rhetorical Devices: Use logos, pathos, and/or ethos to support your ideas and persuade your
Must include evidence from outside research to support your ideas. Evidence from the work
includes quotes and paraphrases from the work formatted correctly in MLA format.
Outside research is mandatory. Research sources should include –historical, political,
economic, or sociocultural context of the issue. You must have a
minimum of five (5) outside
ENGL 1101 Instructor: Lakina Freeman
Wikipedia and blogs are not credible sources and cannot be used. At least three sources must
be from online databases such as ProQuest or EbscoHost, etc. Check the campus library for print
resources and online database access.
You must follow MLA documentation guidelines as well as include in-text and parenthetical
s and a works cited page.
No cover page or title page is necessary. Please do not include a separate cover or title page
with your essays. Instead, you should include a heading in the upper left hand corner of the first
page of your essay that lists the following information in this order: your name, my name, course
title, title of text or film, and date. Do not use the header/footer function to create this heading.
Use the header/footer function to put your last name and the page number in the upper right hand
corner – Your Last Name Number.
All essays must have a title unique to what you wrote about in your essay. The title of your
essay should not be the title of the assignment or the novel title.
Plagiarism: All work should be your own original thought. Not properly citing sources, whether
it is intentional or unintentional, is still plagiarism. Plagiarized essays will receive a failing
graded. Instructor may require submission of all essay assignments to selected online plagiarism
software such as or its equivalent by the due date. Further instructions will follow.
You do not have the option of revising this essay. This should be your best work and final draft.
Additional Resources:
Refer to Knightcite or Easybib for help with formatting citations and the works cited page – or
For help with MLA, refer to The OWL at Purdue website –
Please remember if you quote a source, you must include in-text citations
and a works cited page.
For help with Grammar and Writing refer to the Capital Community College Guide to Grammar
and Writing website –
For help with a Rhetorical Analysis –
See Rhetorical Devices – Logos, Pathos, and Ethos at or Aristotle’s
Rhetorical Situation at or A General
Summary of Aristotle’s Ideas at
See “Argumentative Essays,” The OWL at Purdue:
The Norton Field Guide to Writing –
See the KSU Academic Integrity Policy
ENGL 1101 Instructor: Lakina Freeman
Suggestions for Topics:

Topics / Questions
1) Should regulations be changed regarding the hydraulic fracturing of shale to produce natural gas?
2) Should taxes on people making over $250,000 a year be changed?
3) Should affirmative action laws be changed?
4) Should Transportation Security (TSA) regulations be changed?
5) Should regulations for stem cell research and use be changed?
6) Should regulations for home schools be changed?
7) Should funding for the U.S. space program be changed?
8) Should changes be made to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)?
9) Should changes be made to the regulations for foods that are served in public schools?
10) Should changes be made to regulations for mental health drugs for minors?
11) Should regulations be changed regarding genetically altering plants and/or animals?
12) Should the Family and Medical Leave Act be changed?
13) Should changes be made to the U.S. immigration policy?
14) Should taxes on alcohol and tobacco be increased to help pay for rising medical costs?
15) Should regulations regarding the use of cell phones while driving be standardized?
16) Should recycling regulations be standardized across all regions and states?
17) Should the U.S. develop more energy sources such as solar power and wind energy?
18) Should the instant replay used in the NFL be applied to other sports?
19) Should regulations regarding payment of college athletes be changed?
20) Should minors who commit violent crimes be tried as adults?
21) Should regulations regarding public employee unions’ right to strike be changed?
22) Should child welfare regulations be changed?
23) Should changes be made to the No Child Left Behind Act?
24) Should English be made the official language of the United States?
25) Should DUI (driving under the influence) laws be changed?
26) Should the U.S. build more nuclear power plants for an energy source?
27) Should employers with 401K plans for employees be required to have an “opt out” policy rather than an “opt
in” policy?
28) Should sex offender registration laws be changed?
29) Should laws governing student laws be changed?
30) Should laws governing credit card companies be changed?
31) Should laws governing nursing homes be changed?
32) Should children of parents who do not allow them to be vaccinated be allowed to attend public school?
33) Should unemployment regulations and benefits be changed?
34) Should rules requiring all members of a jury to agree for conviction be changed?
35) Should financial incentives be offered to high school students to perform well on standardized tests?
36) Should the government offer tax credits for the purchase of hybrid or alternative energy vehicles?

ENGL 1101 Instructor: Lakina Freeman

37) Should the U.S. Government prohibit companies from outsourcing jobs to people in foreign countries that do
not have unions and / or fair labor laws?
38) Should the U.S. government provide financial assistance to people whose retirement funds were invested in
the stock of companies that may have used unethical accounting practices (e.g., Enron, Arthur Andersen, etc.)?
39) Should citizens be permitted to carry a concealed weapon to their workplace (e.g., office, school, construction
40) Should the U.S. Tax Social Security income ceilings for contributions be raised?
41) Should colleges and universities expel students who are caught cheating on exams and / or plagiarizing their
homework assignments?
42) Should the U.S. prohibit trade with countries that have poor records on human rights?
43) Should vehicles (cars, trucks, vans, SUVs) be required to have backup cameras?
44) Should the states be allowed to determine the dates of their primary elections?
45) Should tax vouchers be provided to parents who send their children to private schools?
46) Should banks be allowed to charge fees for using Debit cards?
47) Should the U.S. require all Social Security recipients to have their checks delivered to a bank account rather
than by mail? (To go into effect in 2013)
48) Should all U.S. students be required to take three years of foreign language in high school?
49) Should the state and / or federal government provide subsidies to organic farmers?
50) Should the U.S. eliminate farm subsidies?
51) Should all states require motorcyclists and passengers to wear helmets?
52) Should non-instructional services (e.g., food service, janitorial service) be provided by contract services rather
than by school employees?
53) Should state and local governments provide health insurance only for retirees who have served 20 years in
government service?
54) Should your state or local government enact different laws regarding certain animals (e.g., pit bulls)?
55) Should the federal government require mandatory service of all citizens between the ages of 18 and 35?

ENGL 1101 Instructor: Lakina Freeman
Grading for this assignment will be based on answer quality, logic/organization of the paper, and
language and writing skills, using the following rubrics. Please submit the essay rubric with the final
draft of your essay and submit the oral presentation rubric with the hard copy of your PowerPoint slides.
Grading Rubric: Researched Argumentative Essay
Points (poss. 25 per section)

Focus Thesis is stated in specific, clear terms and maintained
throughout essay.
Paragraphs are unified by a main idea and cohere as distinct
Topic sentences are used to maintain focus.
Author limits the content to a manageable scope.
Points are developed and “tied-in” with the essay’s thesis.
Points are supported with specific examples.
Ideas are “fleshed out” fully.
Necessary context is provided for reader comprehension.
Source materials are integrated effectively and meaningfully
into the author’s argument.
A clear principle of organization is employed and
maintained throughout essay.
Essay is structured in manner that maximizes the overall
purpose and effect.
Effective transitions connect separate ideas and events.
Essay is free of sentence fragments, comma splices, and
run-on sentences.
Verb tense is consistent throughout.
Pronouns refer to clear antecedents and are used correctly in
terms of person, case, and number.
Most sentences are constructed in active voice.
Sentences are clear and concise, avoiding unnecessary
Essay adheres to standard written English.
Essay meets prescribed requirements, including word count
and outside source requirements.
MLA format is employed correctly for in-text citations and
works cited list.


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Posted by on November 7, 2017 in Academic Writing



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