Research Essay

Format: A minimum of 6 pages of text, double spaced, Times New Roman 12 point font

Assignment:  You will write an essay in which you examine a social issue, carefully constructing your thesis based on research and astute use of the logos, pathos, and ethos persuasive techniques discussed in class.  Try to choose a topic that affects society on a large scale, something that stems from a long-standing debate or has been in the news recently. Thesis statements can be argumentative, informative, or an idea you want the reader to consider. Each research paper should include at least five outside sources with which you are conversing, properly cited in MLA format.  And as always, make this interesting, not only for you, but also for your readers, by finding a question to which you can find the answer.  What do we learn from your approach to the topic?  What can your perspective bring to the subject you have chosen to pursue?

Expectations:  Your essay will consist of the following elements: an original title, an introduction that defines and provides context for your topic, a clear thesis statement (this should explain your stance on this particular social issue), body paragraphs that to back up your thesis using outside sources as support, a conclusion paragraph to sum up your thoughts on the subject matter.

Advice: Find a way to break your larger issue down into a few key aspects which you can tackle in your body paragraphs. A good rule of thumb is that each body paragraph should make reference to one outside text as support (this can be a quote, paraphrase, reference to statistics, etc.). Your conclusion paragraph will synthesize your sources and sum up your feelings on the subject.

Purpose: Demonstrate your ability to support a thesis statement and use outside sources in a clear, well-organized essay.

Audience and Style: Your audience is educated adults. Avoid slang, jargon, or overly informal writing.

Criteria for Evaluation:

-Coherent central thesis statement

-Strength of argument

-Clear communication of ideas

-Organization of essay

-Adherence to conventions of written English (grammar, sentence structure, etc.)

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