Composition II: Spring 2021
Research Plan due March 22 (200)
Rough Draft of Annotated Bib Due Friday, April 9 (50 points)
Peer Group Workshop Monday, April 26 and Wed. April 28 (50 points)
Researched Argument with Annotated Bibliography (MLA Works Cited) Essay
Due April 30 (600 points)
Assignment Type and Length
Your mission is to write a minimum 2,000 word (seven to eight pages) researched argument on a controversial topic of your choice. Your argument should have an explicit claim backed up by reasons and evidence (your research). You should also address any opposition. You are required to have six or more sources from four different types of sources. You also need to include an annotated bibliography (MLA Works Cited with annotations).
MLA Works Cited (Annotated Bibliography)
You must use parenthetical citations and include an annotated works cited page with few to no errors. Use Modern Language Association (MLA) style citations and works cited.
Use Purdue Owl (online source) for a sample research papers and works cited pages.
The annotations should be short summaries of the source (minimum 200 words). Explain the thesis of the source, what type of source it is, and what type of publication the source is from.
You will need a minimum of six sources from four various types of sources. Again, at least six sources that demonstrate at least four types (websites, books, blogs, vlogs, interviews, radio, podcasts, white papers, academic journals, magazines, site visits, documentaries, etc.).
You will submit a rough draft of your MLA Works Cited (annotated bibliography) on April 9. You should have the bulk of your research completed by this date. (50 pts)
Approach and Inquiry
You should approach the issue with an open mind. Your job as a researcher is to simply ask questions and look for answers. Begin your research by asking questions and then search for answers to your questions. As you start to find answers to the questions you ask, you will begin to formulate a claim.
An excellent technique for beginning your research is to interview an expert on the subject you’re researching. An expert is a great resource and will point you in the right direction. Experts can tell you what scientific research or journals to read, and what questions to consider.
Claim and Reasons
Once you’ve completed your research and decided on your claim (your thesis/argument), you need to back up the claim with reasons and evidence. Your research will function as evidence to support your reasons.
Example claim with reasons: Local governments should do more to control gun sales (claim) because too many powerful guns are falling into the hands of criminals (reason #1), local governments are familiar with their communities and therefore know best which restrictions will work best (reason #2), and gun sellers should be held accountable for safety of their communities (reason #3).
You will also need to address any objections/opposition your claim may face. For instance, the aforementioned claim with reasons may face opposition from people who believe everyone has a right to own guns, the government should not restrict gun sales, and it is unfair for gun sellers to carry the whole burden of accountability. A good argument addresses and refutes the opposition.
A good argument will also consider how the claim will be put into action. For instance, for the example claim above, the arguer will have to address specifically what types of regulations gun sellers will have to follow, who will enforce the regulations, and how much it will cost to enforce the new regulations. The argument should also consider repercussions for the new proposed regulations.
You should have a specific audience in mind when you begin writing your argument. Try not to “preach to the choir.” Choose an audience that may disagree with you or at the very least is not 100% on board with your claim.
You will need to state who your audience is in the upper left-hand corner of your essay, underneath your name.
A typical outline for an argument will:
1)Lay the foundation of the situation. The writer will give the context and background for the situation. If I were to write a paper claiming local governments should regulate gun sellers, I might start the essay with a story about a local community plagued with gun violence. Or, I might start the essay with a shocking statistic about a particular community’s problem with gun violence.
2)Explicitly state the claim with reasons.
3)Address each reason in the same order they appear in the claim. Give evidence for each reason.
4)Address the opposition. You can do this either after you’ve supported all of your reasons, or while you are supporting your reasons.
5)Conclude with a call to action (put the plan in action or ask from support from the reader) or end with a provocative question about the issue. Make sure the reader walks away thinking about your argument.
These five sections do NOT equate five paragraphs. You may have three paragraphs addressing only one of your reasons or you may have one paragraph that addresses two of your reasons.
Try to make the paper as interesting and stimulating as possible by:
1)Selecting a topic you want to learn more about. If you’re interested in learning more about your topic, your job of researching and making an argument will be much easier
2)Utilizing the narrative, analysis, organizational, and persuasive techniques you are learning this semester.
___The essay has an interesting title.
___The intended audience is stated in the upper left-hand corner.
___The essay is at least 2,000 words and is double spaced.
___The essay lays the foundation for the argument (context/background).
___The essay has an explicitly stated claim with reasons.
___The essay addresses each reason in the same order as mentioned in the claim.
___The essay uses solid evidence to support each reason.
___The research is integrated into the text of the essay.
___All research (direct quotations, summaries, and paraphrases) is cited with either parenthetical citations or in the text of the essay.
___Block quotations are not overused and are formatted correctly.
___The opposition is thoroughly addressed and refuted.
___The conclusion offers solutions, not more problems.
___The annotated bibliography is correctly formatted using MLA conventions.
___At least six sources are used/cited.
___There are at least four types of sources used.
___The annotations are simple200-word+ summaries of the sources.
___The essay has been proofread and there are few to no errors.
___There are page numbers in the upper right-hand corner of each page.