The requirements for passing English 102 include being able to write effective arguments and supporting those arguments with the use of credible sources. Therefore, it is very important that this paper presents an arguable thesis and logical, focused development. Furthermore, you must use your synthesis skills and include properly documented sources.
Overall, this paper must include the following:
1) A clear, arguable thesis
2) Credible background/history information
3) A counter-argument and refute
4) Five different sources from at least three different types of written sources (books, periodicals, newspapers, etc.). You may use in-class readings, but a minimum of three sources must be found on your own. Sources must be reputable, and authorities should be appropriate and credible. IMPORTANT: Wikipedia is not considered a credible source itself, but the links at the bottom of each entry may be appropriate sources.
5) 6 to 8 typed, double-spaced pages, not including the works cited page
6) MLA format for paper presentation with proper in-text citations and works cited page
Topic Ideas:
This paper does not allow for a simplistic argument, nor do I want you to deal in cliches. In other words, this paper must have an argumentative thesis that fully explores the topic at hand. Furthermore, it is not to be an information dump (i.e.-do not just locate five sources and dump information from each source into a paragraph, give it an introduction and conclusion, and call it a research paper). Be creative, interesting, and reasonable. Pick something you’ll be excited about researching. Consider various topics related to your major, hobbies, interests, etc. A detailed topic list will be provided to help the class brainstorm topics for Major Paper #3.
Excluded Topics:
Although the following six topics are very important issues related to our society today, I have found through past teaching experiences that students have a challenging time bring fresh arguments to these areas of debate. Therefore, the following topics may not be used for Major Paper #3:
Abortion Assisted
Death Penalty
Gun Control
Legalizing Marijuana
Lowering the Drinking Age
Step-by-Step Process:
This assignment may seem a bit overwhelming at first but don’t worry. Your first task is to select a topic. Begin the process by thinking about what subject you want to explore further.