Parameters: Formal Documented Arguing ment (Research Paper)
References and Resources: Brief Cengage Handbook chapter 7 (Thinking Critically), chapter 8 (Writing an Argumentative Essay), chapters 11-16 (on conducting research), and chapter 17 (MLA Documentation Style), especially the sample student document at pages 226-41.
This project will be a formal documented argument focusing on your ongoing research topic (related in some way to at least one of the ten amendments to the U.S. Bill of Rights). Your goal is to present a viable thesis (argument) supported thoroughly, logically, and coherently with credible, documented research source material.
This essay must include not only adequate, accurate, and representative support for your argument but must also anticipate, acknowledge, and refute likely relevant counterargument(s). (See Brief Cengage Handbook chapter 8a5.)
This essay must be well developed, at least four full pages in length (not counting Works Cited) in MLA manuscript format and Times New Roman size 12 font.
All source material must be credible and appropriate to the academic community. You must include at least four sources, two of which must be academic journal articles.
This document must reflect a discernible stance and formal, academic diction (no contractions; no informal, colloquial, slang, or street language; no pretentious language or inappropriate jargon; and no clich or redundant expression, except as required for accurate direct quotation). See Brief Cengage Handbook chapter 39.
4. Organization and Content
Your document must include the following components:
Lead-in content: The first several sentences of your first (introductory) paragraph must draw your reader into the essay and provide adequate, appropriate, relevant background information that leads logically to the thesis statement.
Thesis statement: The last sentence of the first paragraph must preview (a) the specific, limited topic of the essay and (b) a discernible, debatable argument (stance, position, or assertion). To earn full credit, this thesis statement must signal both the argument and counterargument(s) addressed in the essay.
Parameters, Formal Documented Argument, page 2
Five to Seven Well Developed Body Paragraphs Each body paragraph should reflect MEAL Plan paragraph development: Each body paragraph should begin with a functional topic sentence that (a) clearly connects to support the thesis statement and (b) previews the paragraphs topic and assertion (claim, argument, or counterargument). Each body paragraph should include adequate, relevant, representative, appropriately documented research source material (summarized, paraphrased, or quoted) that supports, explains, illustrates, and substantiates the topic sentence. Each body paragraph should end with a functional concluding (linking) statement that reviews the paragraphs topic and assertion (without simply repeating topicsentence wording) and which may also serve as transition to the next paragraph. Collectively, the body paragraphs of this essay should include a variety of quoted, paraphrased, and summarized source material from at least four academically credible sources, two of which must be academic journal articles.
One Concluding Paragraph The final paragraph must include the following: A discernible review of the essays topic and argument (without simply repeating the wording of the thesis statement). A discernible review of each main supporting idea (topic sentence) presented in the body of the essay (without simply repeating topic-sentence wording). Further concluding ideas which connect the essays topic and thesis to some discernible relevance or significance for the audience (which ultimately function to answer to the question, So what?)
Works Cited The last page(s) of this document must be an 8th-edition MLA-style Works Cited with corresponding citations for all sources referenced in the essay. The Works Cited must include at least four academically credible sources, two of which must be academic journals.
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