Paper #3: The Argument
Due 3 November
Your third paper should be a 3-5 page paper, formatted according to MLA guidelines, that argues in favor of a particular position on a topic. You must use at least three outside sources for the paper. This can include direct quotes, summaries, or paraphrases. Remember that using sources requires a Works Cited page. Remember that a traditional argument should follow this outline:
- Introduction and Background (Get the audience up to speed.)
- Summary of the Argument (Tell them what you’re going to tell them.)
- Proof (Support for your argument and the bulk of your paper)
- Refutation (Counter-arguments and weaknesses)
- Conclusion (Make the reader remember what you have to say.)
A well-rounded, logical argument should be based on facts and logical thinking, not faith. If you have strongly held religious beliefs and want to use faith as support for your argument, you should think of another topic. A university education requires that you learn to be a rational thinker and that you are able to support your ideas using logic, critical thinking, and rational means of persuasion.
Try this article for topic ideas: “30 Writing Topics: Writing Prompts for a Persuasive Paragraph, Essay, or Speech.” Keep in mind that you will have a much easier time writing about something that genuinely interests you. If you spend a large amount of time thinking and talking about U.S. Immigration policies, then an argument on this topic might be worth it. However, chances are you really spend time thinking and talking about something else. Follow your interests rather than trying to guess which topic will get you an A. Email your instructor if you need help.
Again, topics that are religious or ethical in nature are NOT allowed. Religious and/or ethical arguments are a special category of academic writing that will be covered in an upper division philosophy course. If you are having trouble deciding on a topic, please contact your instructor or the UAF Writing Center. “I couldn’t think of a good topic” is in no way, shape, or form, a viable excuse for a late or missing assignment.
An A+ paper will display the following qualities:
- 3-5 properly formatted pages
- a minimum of three sources plus a Works Cited page
- nearly perfect grammar and spelling
- a logical argument that persuades an audience to see things from your point of view
- A clear thesis statement with organized paragraphs that support that thesis
*Once you’ve turned your paper in, your instructor will grade your draft and advise you on changes that need to be made. Should you choose to revise, your instructor will replace your first grade with the revised grade. Revision Due November 17.