Paper II: Argumentative Research Paper (First draft)
Purpose and Description
The aim of composing an argumentative research paper is not only to summarize existing perspectives or simply to inform readers about a topic. You have been developing these skills throughout the course, and you should use them to support your writing process, but they are not ends in themselves; rather, they are a means to achieve more complex rhetorical objectives. Your aim for this assignment will be to construct a research-based argument that contributes something new to an ongoing scholarly conversation. The instructions described below are designed to guide you through this process.
Invention and Inquiry
• Identify the core problem that motivates your research; (the hole in the conversation)
• Revisit your research question and refine/refocus it where necessary; (make sure that research question isn’t too vague/broad)
• Gather together the resources you have developed up to this point in the semester;
• Note the different perspectives represented in the conversation you have defined;
• Consider where you stand with respect to core problem and competing perspectives;
• Draft a thesis statement in which you position yourself within the conversation. Note, your thesis statement should be based on the research you have completed, the evidence you have gathered, and the contribution you hope to make to the scholarly conversation. Your thesis should present three main points. Note, these main points will be structuring your body paragraphs.
Sample thesis: “Therefore, the ketogenic diet serves as an effective dietary method for the treatment of seizures because of x,y,z.” X,y,z in this statement will be replaced with the three main points that will structure your body paragraphs.
The Composing Process
• Introduce your topic and define the scope of your paper; (i.e. this is your introduction)
o Provide background on your topic and why it should interest to your audience;
o Use the sources you have gathered to position yourself in a scholarly conversation;
o Your thesis should be the final sentence of your introduction.
▪ Your thesis should be in bold and underlined
• Add your own research findings based on the evidence you have gathered and analyzed; (i.e. this is the section where you present your body paragraphs and elaborate on each of the main points presented in your thesis).
o Discuss and support your argument with evidence
o You should devote more than one paragraph to elaborating on the main points presented in your thesis
• Draw a conclusion about the topic that adds something new to the conversation;
o Reaffirm the importance of the issue and pointing toward additional research and/or analysis that can be done to better understand and potentially act on it.
Your paper should:
• Articulate and develop a clear and compelling thesis;
• Position your argument within a scholarly conversation;
• Fully integrate a minimum of 6 sources into your argument;
• Be written in a clear, precise, and active prose style;
• Include a title that reflects the spirit and scope of your paper;
• Be 6-7 FULL pages in length (double-spaced, one-inch margins, 12 point Times New Roman or Garamond typeface);
• Be uploaded to Canvas as a Word document by the deadline (consult class schedule).
The work of joining a scholarly conversation is neither simple nor easy. As you have learned throughout the semester, it requires that we learn about existing scholarship and find ways that we can contribute to it through our own, independent research. It is difficult work, but if done well, you can use your writing to join conversations and help to address important problems both in the academy and in the context of work and community life. Please write or stop by my office (or both) if you have questions about this assignment or anything else related to the course.
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