English 102 Final Paper: The Argumentative/Persuasive Research Paper
Final Paper Due Dates Overview
Specific Instructions for these assignments related to the Final Paper will be provided separately.
Monday 5/18 — Topic Proposal for Final Paper
Monday 6/1 — Annotated Bibliography
Monday 6/8– Two Possible Introductions & Tentative Thesis & Final Paper Abstract
Saturday 6/13 – Rough Draft DUE for Peer Response Monday
6/15 – Peer Response DUE
Thursday 6/18— FINAL DRAFT Due on Canvas by 11:59 pm. I cannot accept the final draft late under any circumstances.
Choice of Topic—The topic must relate to either ethnicity and/or gender in American culture today. I cannot grade
the paper if it does not relate to our course theme.
The paper should be 8 pages (excluding the list of works cited). That is, the paper should have at least eight pages of text
(double-spaced). Use MLA style formatting throughout the paper.
Sources and Documentation
The paper must include a minimum of 10 (TEN)different sources, but may include as many as you want. Each source must be
effectively integrated into the text of your paper through summary, paraphrase, or quotation. At least five sources must be
from library databases, and at least two must be peer reviewed scholarly sources. All sources must be credible.
A source can be any credible source of information, including personal interview. You might want to interview a teacher or
friend who is an expert in the area you are researching and then quote him or her as a source in your paper.
Cite your sources in the paper. Show where you have used all source information using in-text citations, or the author’s name in
Narrowing the Topic
Choose a topic from the possible topics list, or select a topic specifically related to ethnicity and/or gender in today’s United
States. Answer a question or make a claim about a specific aspect of the topic that reflects your personal perspective, a
perspective you have developed through thoughtful research. For example, you could take a stand on whether affirmative action
is appropriate in any or under certain circumstances, decide whether the objectification of masculine and feminine beauty in the
contrived images shown in advertising has a negative effect on real life romantic relationships, or whether there are aspects in
our society where we pay lip to the ideals of diversity, but do not live by them. Focus in on whatever you have a strong interest
in, a topic you care about and would enjoy studying in depth. Just ensure your thesis expresses a controversial of arguable aspect
of your topic wherein reasonable people have conflicting opinions. Look at Both Sides and Explain Carefully
In researching your chosen issue, locate and study the arguments on both sides. Decide which arguments you find most
persuasive and take a clear position. You then present reasons, claims and evidence to support your position. Explain why you
believe the way you do. Explain more than you think you need to. Don’t expect quotes to do the work alone. You must explain
what you think your quotes mean or indicate and explain why your audience should see it the way you do. A defining
characteristic of a researchpaper is that you must take a definite stand and must attempt to persuade your audience to agree
with your view.
Consider the Opposing View
Another crucial element of such an essay is that you must include an OPPOSING VIEW. This means you anticipate possible
arguments or criticisms your audience might have with your reasoning, evidence, or explanations. You mention what their view
is, explain how it opposes yours, and then go on to explain why they are wrong. By anticipating possible criticism you deflate its
power to damage your argument.
Audience and Purpose
Assume you are writing this paper for college students. The purpose of your paper is to convince those readers to agree with
your position on the controversial issue you discuss.
General Elements of an Effective Argument Research Paper
An argumentative/persuasive essay attempts to convince your audience to agree with your insights by providing an explanation
of why you have made the interpretation you have chosen. Your explanation must include presentation of evidence you have
compiled or studied which led you to your conclusions. You should not just present this evidence, but also explain how it
supports your perspective. Generally, fewer pieces of evidence explained extensively are more persuasive than a list of many
pieces of elements left unexplained, or addressed superficially. You must also provide the reader with answers to possible
arguments they might have against your point-of-view: in other words, critique your own view. Then, of course, you explain why
you’ll stick with your original view.
The successful Argumentative/Persuasive Research Paper includes:
• An effective title that indicates both the subject of the paper and your perspective;
• An introduction that get the attention of readers and provides background information;
• An introduction of your topic and point-of-view
• A clear, argumentative thesis;
• A body that provides thoroughly argued reasons and evidence that support the thesis;
• Claims about your interpretation, and detailed specific textual and/or explanatory evidence supporting those claims
• Discussion of opposing arguments. A look at least one possible opposing or opposite view, contradicting your position
accompanied by an explanation of why, in light of opposing evidence you choose to stick with your views.
• An effective conclusion which expands outward to leave the reader thinking (do not merely restate the introduction).
• Complete documentation of sources, both in the text and in a list of works cited, using the MLA style;
• Academic tone and style (you can say “I,” and are encourage to use your experience as evidence, but do not address
the reader as “you” and do not use “I” without clear purpose, as in “I believe I am right because…” Just say what you
think, you don’t need to announce that you believe it, or announce what are going to say.