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June 15, 2020

Write a researched argument about an issue affecting your future career field, your major field, or your community. Or you might focus on an issue described in the readings you’ve done from the book. This paper is your own argument, but you should take into account what you’ve learned during this course: you should begin by showing the conversation your paper is responding to (“they say,” which should include clear positions or arguments on the topic), you should have a clear statement of your own argument about the issue (“I say”), you should include quotes and incorporate them smoothly (both in the “they say” and “I say” paragraphs), you should point out possible objections to your argument, use appropriate transitions, and explain why the issue matters (so what? who cares?). You must use at least 5 sources and at least 2 of those sources must be from academic peer reviewed journals. You should also give your argument a clear title at the beginning of your essay.

Introduction: includes an overview of the conversation (names of key authors and the issues you’re bringing up), a brief statement of your argument (or thesis statement), and a brief explanation of why your argument matters
summary of 2 or 3 arguments (not just facts), with quotes as evidence
summary of how they agree/disagree; provide quotes if necessary
your own opinion and your reasons for your opinion (which includes at least one naysayer); provide quotes as evidence
Conclusion: includes a return sentence, a restatement of your argument, and a developed explanation of why your argument matters
Note that these are five parts, not paragraphs (exceptions: the introduction and the conclusion are usually one paragraph each). What could this look like? Here’s an example: After the brief introductory paragraph (where you introduce your topic, an overview of the conversation you’re entering, a sense of your argument and briefly why your argument matters), you might have a summary of one author’s argument (1 paragraph), then a summary of the second author’s argument (1 paragraph), and a summary of another author or position (1 paragraph). Then you might have one paragraph that explains how they agree and disagree (though you can already allude to that in the summary paragraphs through phrases like “Unlike X, Y asserts that…”). Note that the paragraph that explains how the authors or arguments agree and disagree is still “they say,” since you’re not yet putting forward your own opinion on the issues. At that point you’ll have written about 3 pages. Then you write your own argument (“I say”) in relation to the conversation you’ve set up (about two pages). At that point you’ve written about 5 pages. Then you end with a concluding paragraph, where you wrap it up with a return sentence and again explain why it matters.

Introduction (10 points)

Includes an overview of the conversation (names of key authors and the issues you’re bringing up), clear “I say” statement (thesis) placed in relation to authors, and a brief explanation of why your argument matters

“They say” (20 points): Shows conversation paper is responding to

Summary includes basic information about authors as well as the full title of essays; summaries do not agree or disagree with authors (summaries inhabit worldview); summaries use sophisticated signal verbs to summarize authors’ points; no listing or “closest cliché” (pp. 31, 35, 33)

Quoting (20 points): Uses quotes correctly and appropriately

Quotes used to present “proof of evidence” (p. 42) in summary of authors’ arguments — Quotes should not be “orphans” (p. 43) — Quotes should be framed appropriately (“quotation sandwich”) (p. 46) — Quotes should be Introduced with appropriate verb (p. 47) — Quotes should present “proof of evidence” (p. 42) — Indicates page number of quote (p. 48)

“I Say” (20 points): Clear statement of your own argument

Clearly distinguishes “they say” from “I say” – Clearly signals who is saying what: Uses at least one template from pp. 72-75 — “I say” includes clear reasons for argument that are not simply summaries of authors’ arguments – Clearly plants naysayer to support “I say” argument (use at least one template from pp. 82, 83,84-85, 89).

Conclusion (10 points)

Includes at least one “return sentence” in the conclusion to remind reader of what “they say” (p. 27); includes a restatement of thesis or “I say”; includes a developed explanation of why your argument matters (uses templates from pp. 95-96, 98-99).

Bibliography or Works Cited (10 points)

Includes proper bibliographic form — no annotations included here — includes 5 sources; 2 must be peer-reviewed

Editing and tone (10 points)

No editing errors (spelling, grammar, punctuation, and formatting); Uses proper tone (formal where appropriate, informal where appropriate)

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