What You Need to Know
Understanding Your Assignment
Before you begin looking for information you should make sure you understand your assignment. Some good questions are:
- How many pages?
- How many sources?
- What kinds of sources?
- What format?
Your professor is your best resource to answer these questions.
Professor Leis - ENG 52 - Spring 2015
Argumentative Research Paper
In a well-developed, thesis-driven essay, explain your philosophy on education, identify a problem or obstacle that could potentially inhibit your philosophy from taking hold, and then propose a possible solution to this problem or obstacle that would allow your philosophy on education to flourish.
A successful essay will
Have a title that conveys your essay’s thesis and follows the Title: Subtitle format
Have a clear and nuanced thesis stated in the introduction of your essay. This thesis should be a two-part thesis with an “umbrella reason” and it should address the “so what?” and “who cares?” questions we’ve discussed; it should not be a simple listing thesis statement.
Have at least 7 well-developed and supported paragraphs; each paragraph should focus on one main idea.
Have a total of four (4) sources, two (2) of which must be scholarly sources from an academic journal found in the Cerritos College Library’s online databases. The other two may be sources we’ve read or viewed for class.
Have at least five (5) well-integrated, supported, and purposefully used quotations; these quotations should be introduced with a signal phrase and follow the patterns outlined in TSIS. Remember the “quotation burger” we discussed in class. They should also be properly cited according to MLA format.
Have a clear, logical organization that helps to develop the essay’s thesis.
Make effective use of figurative language to show nuance and depth: metaphor, simile, analogy, personification, and/or symbolism.
Have a conclusion that doesn’t simply summarize the essay’s argument. An effective conclusion focuses on addressing the “so what?” and “who cares?” questions. What do you want your reader to take away from your essay? Why does your philosophy on education have any value? How would the world benefit if your philosophy on education were to be adopted?
Have a cover letter attached, followed by the final draft, the second rough draft, and the peer review sheets for both peer review days.
Be at least 5-7 full pages in length; formatted according to MLA guidelines with a Works Cited page; 12-point font, Times New Roman.
- Have no major or distracting grammatical, spelling, or typographical errors.
Controversial Issue Paper
Writing an argumenative paper on a controversial issue requires that you look at both sides of an issue and take a position on one side or the other. You not only take a stand on an issue, but you must defend it against opposing points of view. Therefore, your argumentative research paper will involve advocacy and persuasion.
What to do:
- Select your topic
- Research the issues surrounding the topic
- Read other writers’ arguments for and against
- Take a stand
- Present supporting evidence in favor of your position
- Defend your position against opposing points of view
- Anticipate and deflect arguments against your position
- Make your case persuasively
Research Basics - Step by Step
Breaking Down The Research Process
The following outline gives a simple and effective strategy for finding information for a research paper and documenting the sources you find. Depending on your topic and your familiarity with the library, you may need to rearrange or recycle these steps. Adapt this outline to your needs. We are ready to help you at every step in your research.
- Choose a topic - or have one assigned
- Understand your topic
- Background reading
- Consider a main focus
- Refine your topic
- Background reading
- Search Sources
- Find Books
- Find Articles
- Find Websites
- Write your paper - Informative, Analytical, Argumentative, Critical
- Cite your sources
Below are some related research guides: