Essay #4 – Argument (Research Paper)

Argument Essay Research Paper
Instructions:  Select one of the following topics and write a properly focused argument essay. Remember, an argument paper is grounded on logical, structured evidence that attempts to convince the reader to accept a claim, take some action, or do both. You will explore one of the following issues fully and consider different perspectives, assumptions, reasons, and evidence to reach your own informed position. Make sure to narrow your topic appropriately for a 1500-word essay. 
Important Note about Argumentation: It is not about what you BELIEVE IN…It is about what you can PROVE.
Topic Choices: 

Should basic courses (such as fine arts, speech, history, government, literature, etc.) be required in more specialized workforce curricula or should the focus be on the specialized workforce classes?
Should sex work be legalized?
Should the use of marijuana be legal in all states?
Should a terminally ill patient be allowed to legally take his/her own life?

Specific Instructions: 

You MUST select from one of the above topic choices. If you would like to write about a topic not on this list, it MUST be approved by me in advance. If not, it will receive a zero.
A minimum of 1500 words (include total word count at end); this does not include the Works Cited page
A minimum of three authoritative sources* (see note at bottom)
Include an outline or an approved form of an outline
Must be in proper MLA style format

Typed (Times New Roman, 12-point font)
Proper headers, margins, placement of title, and spacing

Use MLA style to cite all sources (MLA requires in-text citations and an alphabetized list of bibliographic entries on a Works Cited page. A properly formatted Works Cited page MUST be included with your argument paper.)
Come up with a catchy title!
Use A Guided Writing Assignment Argument (556-562) to guide you through stages of the writing process
Review sample essays
Review grading rubric for argument essay & peer revision/self-checklist
Questions about the credibility of a source?

Refer to the appropriate chapters in your textbook
Refer to the ENGL 1301 subject guide at .

*Note About Sources: 
You must use a minimum of three authoritative (scholarly) sources. These authoritative sources MUST BE “library” type sources that you locate in TJCs library or using one or more of the TJC library internet databases. Google Scholar is also an acceptable resource. Library sources are legitimate, reliable sources, containing articles and books from expert authors, people who have studied their respective fields carefully. Your library source might be a book or an article in a journal or periodical (magazine). Again, the sources must be credible. 
ALL OF YOUR RESEARCH (even if you use more than the three required authoritative sources) must be obtained through TJCs library, its internet databases, or through Google Scholar. No other outside research will be accepted.  This will help you not only to use the librarys resources but also to avoid using unreliable or non-credible sources. When in doubt, ask. If your source is NOT valid or trustworthy, it could mean a significant loss of points.
*Additional Notes About Source Types: is not considered a reliable website. Neither are blogs or forums (message boards) or essay sites (where students can acquire student essays). Also, do not use opinion pieces written by non-verifiable authors (meaning their experience, level of authority, and background with the subject matter is not easily known or accessible). Do not use books and magazines that take a more popular and sensationalized approach to an issue rather than a scholarly approach. 
Also, be careful when using sources such as You may access and read through the information on this site, but it is important that you know that the staff members of often research, gather information, and cite source material in their own writing. In other words, you must identify the original source of the information being referenced (usually identified in a footnote) and cite the original source, which may not necessarily be Always identify the original source of the information and cite it. If you are unable to locate the original source, you need to use an indirect source citation. This indicates that you are using a source that is cited in another source. (Refer to the Purdue OWL or to your textbook for the Indirect Source in-text citation format.)     
Here is another way to look at it. When you write a research paper and you take material from a specific source, that reference material does not automatically become yours because you use it in your own paper. It still belongs to the original ownerthe original source. You are just using it as research material in your own paper. So, if someone reads your paper and uses that referenced material, he or she would not cite YOU as the source, but rather, the original owner of the information.  
So, bottom line, be careful. If non-credible sites are used, they will count as NO source at all.  
Again, use TJC librarys online databases. All sources in the databases are most likely credible. You may also use Google Scholar. But, ultimately, it is your job to make sure that the sources that you use are credible and authoritative.
Just a note about the librarys databases. You will have to read more than one thoughmore than twomore than three.  You must read SEVERAL articles in doing your research and, from those articles, select your best support. You may not use every article that you read. EXPECT that! Dig a bit. Find the most relevant, credible, and applicable information to use in your paper. Find the best support to convince the reader of your position on an issue. This is how you effectively persuade or argue a point.

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