ENGL 102 Researched Argument and Annotated Bibliography
This unit will have 2 products, which together constitute 30% of your final course grade:
Essay (20%): A researched argument
6 credible sources minimum
Due May 2 to Canvas
Annotated bibliography (10%): summaries and evaluations of 6 sources directly related to your researched argument, a minimum of 5 of which must be used in your essay
6 entries, at least 5 of which must be used in the researched argument
Due Wednesday, April 20, both in class (printed, with copies of the source articles, in a folder or binder) and to Canvas, both due at the start of class (so submit to Canvas before class).
BOTH OF THESE ASSIGNMENTS MUST BE TURNED IN TO PASS THE COURSE.
#1: The Researched Argument (1,250+ words)200 points
Due: No later than Monday, May 2 at 11:59 p.m. (submitted to Canvas)
Your researched argument should take one of the following forms:
An argument of factfor example: Guns do/do not save lives; the millennial generation is/is not less empathetic than previous generations; bullying is/is not on the rise; police do/do not unfairly profile (disproportionately stop African-American drivers, for instance). Cultural and textual analyses also argue facts in the sense that they argue for the interpretation of evidence: The Oscars lack diversity; recent Hollywood films stereotype a certain gender, race or ethnicity; women are under-represented in leadership and scientific (typically masculine) roles in recent films.
An argument of evaluationfor example: evaluation of the Affordable Healthcare Act; evaluation of Common Core; evaluation of a school or work policy.
An argument of cause/effectfor example: the causes of high school or college drop-out, or to what extent are teachers (or parents or students) responsible for the failing education system? To what extent is sexy advertising responsible for teen pregnancy? To what extent does the media contribute to our perspective of beauty? Do violent video games contribute to violence among teens (and/or adults)? What is the effect of technology on student grades? On literacy? On loneliness? On empathy?
A position argumentfor example, should guns be banned from the common citizen? Should people be prohibited from owning exotic animals? Should high-stakes testing be eliminated? The claim of a position essay may be phrased very much like a proposal argument (we should or should not do something), but a position essay wont include a detailed plan of action. Rather, it aims to convince the reader of the validity of the writers opinion and, in many cases, prompt further actionbut not the implementation of a detailed plan devised by the writer. This type of essay argues we should do something; the proposal argues exactly what we should do, and how.
A proposal argumentfor example, How can the public school system be improved? What can be done about the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports? What is the best way to solve the health-care crisis in America? How can the welfare-system be modified to help those in need without creating/contributing to a cycle of poverty? What should be done with juveniles convicted of murder? How can the criminal justice system better rehabilitate people convicted of crimes? A proposal argument requires a very specific planyou must both convince the reader that a plan of action is needed (that a problem exists and that no existing proposals will solve the problem) and that your proposal, or plan of action, is both doable and practical.
Although your argument will take one of these primary forms, it is very likely it will also incorporate elements of other forms; that is, you may find you need to argue a definition successfully before you can proceed to evaluate, or you may need to argue a fact such as the age at which a teenager can be realistically held accountable for a violent crime before you can argue what should be done with juvenile offenders, or you may need to convince readers of the cause(s) of a problem before you can successfully argue for the solution (your proposal).
Your argument MUST include the following elements:
An INTRODUCTION which engages the reader and establishes the context of the argumentWhat is the issue? What are the various perspectives on it? What situation has prompted you to write?
A restricted and unified CLAIM (thesis statement) that clearly indicates to the reader the form of argument (e.g., your proposal, your argument that something caused/causes another thing, your evaluation of a policy, etc.). Your claim may appear at the end of your introduction or near the end of your essay, depending on your assessment of your audience. In other words, if you anticipate a particularly hostile audience, you may want to delay stating your claim until youve established common ground.
Body paragraphs that each focus on supporting ONE IDEA: for example, every 12 body paragraphs of an evaluation argument might focus on one criterion for evaluation; or every 12 body paragraphs for a definition argument might focus on a quality being used to define; or every 12 body paragraphs of a cause/effect argument might focus on a specific cause or effect. A proposal argument might spend the first third to half of the paper convincing the reader that a problem exists and the remainder of the paper supporting how the writers proposal will solve the problem. For arguments that rely on several forms, you might, for example, spend 12 paragraphs arguing (and counterarguing) a fact, another paragraph arguing a definition, and so on. Your organization and content should be dictated by your analysis of your audiencewhat does your audience need to agree with/believe in order for you to move forward in your argument?
AT LEAST 6 CREDIBLE SOURCES used to support your argument, a minimum of 2 of which MUST BE PRIMARY SOURCES. Your sources should be a mixture of those that inform the argument (allowing you to show the various perspectives) and sources that support your perspectivefor example, facts, expert opinions and other forms of evidence. Note that better arguments will frequently use more than 6 sources6 is a bare minimum, below which the essay will NOT pass! Remember to try to get information (data/statistics) DIRECTLY from the sourcethe research study (a primary source). AVOID repeating data that was quoted or paraphrased in another article you read, especially if it was an argument. (If at all possible, you dont want second-hand or third-hand information). Essays with fewer than the 6 required sources will NOT pass.
COUNTERARGUMENT, incorporated in your main points, as a separate set of paragraphs, or both.
A CONCLUSION that touches on your main points and the significance of your argument, bringing the argument to an effective close.
MLA CITATION OF SOURCES: Each of your sources should be properly cited in the body of your essay using PARENTHETICAL CITATION every time you quote, paraphrase or summarize, and should be completely and correctly cited in a WORKS CITED PAGE at the end of your essay. In addition, you should review how to effectively quote, paraphrase and summarize to smoothly incorporate your sources in your essay and to avoid accidental plagiarism. Essays missing either parenthetical citation or a complete Works Cited page will NOT pass.
GRADING: Your final paper, worth 20% of your course grade, will be scored using the ENGL 102 departmental rubric. THE FREE PASS MAY NOT BE USED WITH THIS ESSAY, WHICH MAY NOT BE SUBMITTED LATE.
#2: Annotated Bibliography (1,2501,500 words)100 points
An annotated bibliography is a compilation of your research that summarizes and evaluates each source, in addition to giving a complete citation of the source. The bibliography is intended for future scholars researching your topic, as a tool to let them know which sources may be valuable for their purpose, and why. The annotated bibliography should be written entirely in THIRD PERSON.
EACH source must use a complete MLA WORKS CITED ENTRY as its heading, just as youve done with your respo