Mr. R Bacchia
Essay #3 “Argumentative Research Essay”
Context: For this essay, you will
continue your exploration of popular culture. In
Everyday Everywhere, all
of the chapters are organized around a different theme. You will
choose a topic that relates
to one of these pop culture themes: Chapt. 2 “Food For Thought;”
Chapt.3 “Cross (Cultural) Dressing;” Chapt. 4 “Gender (Mis)
Representation;” Chapt. 5 “Language Matters;” Chapt. 6 “Otherness;”
Chapt. 7 “That’s Entertainment;” Chapt. 8 “It’s all in the Game;”
Chapt. 9, “Worldly Goods.” So, if you choose the theme “Food For
Thought,” you might argue that Americans should eat Japanese cuisine
in order to stave off obesity. Or, if you choose “Worldy Goods,” you
might argue that Americans’ addiction to shopping is destroying
relationships and causing consumers to declare bankruptcy. Or you
could even focus on the budget crisis in California.
Thus, you are free to write
about any topic as long as it reflects one of the thematic chapters
in the textbook.
**You are also required to use at least one article
from the textbook in your essay (this will be considered one of your
sources). Keep in mind, the
article you use doesn’t have to be directly related to your topic;
it may also act as evidence for your counter argument.
You will be writing a 5-7 page
argumentative essay. By thoroughly researching your subject, you
will situate yourself in an ongoing dialogue/debate. It is vital to
choose a subject that you find interesting, but keep an open mind
while you’re doing your research.
To build an effective
argument, you need to present the best positions, which support your
ideas as well as demonstrate why the best positions against your
ideas (the counter argument) are insufficient.
By the date listed on the
schedule, you must submit a topic proposal, explaining in some
detail, the topic you would like to write about and why you are
interested in learning more about it (this will be considered a
Creative Response—so no rhetorical précis is necessary). You don’t
need to have a definitive thesis, but you should have a tentative
one. Also, you should
include your research plan—What kind of research do you plan to
pursue for your essay? What sources do you intend to use and why? We
will also go over these in class that day.
Requirements for Sources:
Your essay must have at least five credible/reliable sources
One of your sources should be an article from
You must include at least two scholarly journals
(they can be accessed through the electronic
databases on Cuyamaca’s library homepage)
You can use magazines (e.g.
Time, Rolling Stone, GQ)
and newspapers (e.g. San Diego
Union Tribune, New York
Limit your use of general websites (yahoo, cnn, etc.)
Do not use general encyclopedic works (e.g., the dictionary, the
Encyclopedia Britannica, Wikipedia) in your essay
Start as soon as possible
**Remember that a
well-researched paper will include a variety of sources. Also, for
academic papers, books and scholarly journals tend to provide the
most credible information.
Note on Plagiarism:
Like all essays written for this class, your research essay must
constitute original work. Research essays written for other/previous
classes will not be accepted. If your essay is not original for this class,
it will constitute cheating, and disciplinary action will ensue.
Furthermore, since this is a research essay, all sources must be
Additional Information on Research Writing
Guidelines for Choosing a Subject
Some of the best research subjects stem from
the writer’s lived experience. Select a subject that
matters to you; one that you desire to explore in
depth and detail.
Choose a subject you can explore fairly and
thoughtfully. Do not research a subject you are not
open-minded about. If your mind is already made up,
why do the research?
Choose a subject you can
explore in depth in the time we have for this
project. If, after doing preliminary research, you
discover that your subject is too difficult, or you
cannot find credible source materials, choose
another subject (All subjects, however, must be
cleared with me before you can write on them.)
Guidelines for Getting Started
Start skimming through the textbook. Read the
chapter summaries to get a more clear idea of what
each chapter covers. Also, at the end of each
chapter, you will find a number of critical thinking
questions that might spark some ideas.
Do some brainstorming activities like we’ve
learned: free writing, clustering, listing, etc.
Choose a subject and generate a list of
questions worth exploring (your questions should be
For example, let’s say you are writing an essay on cloning. You
might develop the following questions:
What are the negative or positive effects of cloning? (This would be
your main research question)
-What is cloning?
-What are the ethical concerns about cloning?
-Are the ethical concerns worth overlooking if cloning can save
Go online and type your subject into Google or
another search engine and do some preliminary
research to see what’s out there
Go to a library and research answers to your
questions. Based on your research, formulate a
Devise a search strategy and gather sources.
Gather more sources than you need; this way you can
go through and evaluate them and see what’s the most
useful for your project. Keep track of your sources
with a working bibliography.
Guidelines for Sources
As information is to knowledge, so too is a
“report” to a “research essay.” You are not writing
an extended summary of sources; rather, you are
persuasive essay in which sources are used to
support your claims. You must make an
in this essay, not merely summarize facts
Analyze your sources thoroughly from a
persuasive standpoint to determine their usefulness
and credibility. If you do not know the author or
origin of a source, if you do not thoroughly
understand a source, do not use it! Don’t jeopardize
Remember, don’t let the sources overtake your
Your essay should have:
A topic related to one of the chapters in
A controlling thesis which states a definitive position
Cohesive, focused, body paragraphs that relate back to your thesis
At least five credible sources
Summaries, paraphrases, and direct quotations of your sources
A Works Cited Page and in-text citations using MLA format
A logically progressive structure
Audience awareness (appeal to and educate your readers)
Style (sentence variety, an engaging tone)
Few sentence level errors
5-7 pages typed, double-spaced and formatted in MLA style
Topic Proposal Due:_________________
Workshop #1 (Bring in 3 copies of your first three
The Final Draft is due:_________________________