Your goal in writing this 8-10 page research essay is to explore both the Toumlin and
Rogerian argumentation styles and to decide which to use for your topic. You will also
practice and polish your research and documentation skills using either MLA or
APA as dictated by your topic choice. Professional presentation of both the paper and its ancillary materials is a
Purpose: This assignment is designed to do the following:
1. Give you practice in basic research skills
2. Teach/refresh the mechanics and purposes of both MLA and APA research
3. Encourage practice in using appropriate sources as well as citing them properly
4. Encourage practice in Incorporating research into your essay using paraphrase,
summary, signal phrases, and direct quotes
5. Require you to keep track of research materials and present them professionally for
6. Give you further instruction in avoiding plagiarism
7. Write a longer paper that focuses on argumentation/persuasion and high quality
8. Practice professional presentation of materials and organizing a larger project
The method we will use for this project is a combination of classroom lectures, practice
assignments, conferencing, in-class writing, and revision. You will most likely need to
do one or more or all of the following: library research, online research, personal
interview(s), and observations. You will never cite yourself in your own work in this or
any other class. Simply using or implying first person is how you incorporate your own
experiences/interest in the topic. Any and all sources that you use to gather research
from whether that is via news/magazine/journal articles; government documents; books;
personal interviews; pamphlets; charts/graphs/photos; video/sound recordings; or any
other type of source will be documented in either MLA or APA. The style you use depends on your choice of topic. Health/Behavioral/Social science topics will be cited in APA and all others in MLA. If you don’t know which style is appropriate be sure to ask! We will learn about both styles in class in the coming weeks and through your reading assignments.
For this essay you will choose a topic that presents a problem that needs to be
solved or a position you wish for your reader to support. You must get your topics pre-approved before you begin your research. I encourage you to choose topics that are local in nature for ease of research. You are encouraged to use at least 1 personal interview as one of your minimum of 8 research sources. You will decide whether to use the Toumlin or Rogerian method ofargumentation based on which one is most appropriate for your topic.
1. Choose topics and place them in the designated drop box by
2. Begin research as soon as your topic is chosen and approved. Set up personal
interviews, and read the materials you find related to your topic. Preliminary research
should be complete by March 25th (preliminary means that you may still need to
research things as you write, but the bulk of your information should be gathered by
March 25th You are expected to bring your list of sources to class on the 25Th so I can
check your progress. As you gather your research sources you should be taking notes
on your reading and keeping track of the citation information for each source you look
at—whether you end up using the source in your paper or not.
3. Also near the 25th begin to write your first draft of your essay. Be sure to do the in-text
( ) citations as you go along so you don’t lose track of what is yours and what belongs
to your sources.
4. Peer Review will be on April 4, 5 and 6 depending on the day of the week your class meets. and I expect you to have a full rough draft of at least 5 full pages for this review. Please bring electronic access or 3 extra copies of your essay to class!
5. Your completed essay and all of the research materials will be due on Sunday, April 17th
In addition to the paper in its grading form, you will turn in a research packet which will include the following:
1.Highlighted copies of all research you used.
2.Works consulted page
3.All notes from the library and classroom discussions
4.All rough drafts and pre-writing work
5.Questions from and transcripts of any personal interviews you conducted
6.Peer review rough draft and any paper copies with peer comments if applicable.
7.Miscellaneous research materials that you feel show your process or experience
with this paper.
No topics are off limits if you are looking at it from an argumentative perspective rather than a personal one. This is not the space for a crusade on any topic, but a place to lay out a logical and well-researched argument that aims to convince your audience of the validity and reason of your position.
Please note that although the essay itself is only 100 points there are approximately an additional 200 points that are attached via ancillary materials, tutoring, and peer review. Do the entire project and you will do well. Skip the side work and you will not do well. As always, please come see me if you need any help at any time.