Researched Argument for Academic Audience
Using your critical reading, analytical, and evaluative skills, you have located information/perspectives from a variety of sources concerning your topic. You have evaluated the relevancy, accuracy, and credibility of each of your sources and read them critically. You have analyzed different authors’ positions and how each perspective fits into the larger conversation surrounding the issue you are focusing on. By now you have certainly come to some sort of conclusion of your own and should be ready to begin formulating some way of answering or responding to your research question.
Assignment: Drawing from the sources you located through the annotated bibliography assignment and others you will continue to find, write a well-documented academic argument that reveals and supports what you have come to believe about the issue. The paper must have a clear thesis/academic argument that is supported by convincing (and credible) evidence/research that leads to a logical conclusion.
Audience: Academic. Remember the conventions of academic writing and the expectations of an academic reader. In order to effectively persuade your academic audience that your views are valid, you will need to demonstrate an awareness of and consideration of its particular needs and expectations and make adjustments to your writing/rhetorical choices accordingly. Most notably, an academic audience expects your argument to be informed by scholarly research and presented with an academic tone.
Purpose: You are aiming to persuade your academic audience that your conclusion is valid based on the information you have gathered. You have come to your position for a reason (or a set of reasons). It’s time to lay out those reasons logically and support them convincingly so that your reader will find your ideas credible and worthy of consideration.
Evaluation Criteria: The basic elements of argument should be demonstrated in this assignment. A passing paper will
- have a clear thesis that serves as the focus of the paper
- provide necessary background/put the argument into context/lay out the conversation that the argument is in response or reaction to
- be organized logically so the audience can easily follow the reasoning
- fully develop ideas by providing necessary details that improve clarity and understanding
- state claims and support the claims with evidence (examples, explanations, illustrations) that satisfies the demands of an academic audience (relying mostly on logic)
- effectively deal with counterclaims, refute opposition, and/or concede minor points
- establish credibility through the appropriate use of a variety of authoritative/primarily scholarly sources obtained primarily through the UTC Library databases
- accurately represent the main ideas of outside sources and effectively negotiate disagreement among authors about the issue
- document sources clearly, correctly, and consistently using both signal phrases (attribution) and MLA in-text parenthetical citation with a works cited page (refer to Bedford Handbook)
- be clear, concise, coherent, and mechanically and grammatically correct.
Length and Formatting Guidelines: The paper should cite a minimum of eight (8) academic sources (most papers of this length will require more than eight sources to fully develop the argument). Plan on having 12 sources total. Document your sources using MLA format (which is explained in the Bedford Handbook), including a works cited page. The paper should be 9-10 pages (no shorter than 2,500 words). The page count and word count should not include the works cited page or the writer’s memo.
What to Submit (first with Peer Review, then with Instructor Review, then with Final Draft):
1) A writer’s memo. In the first paragraph, tell what you learned through the process of writing this paper (including what you will take with you and use outside of this class). In the second paragraph, tell what you revised (including revisions made since peer review and conferences/instructor draft feedback) and why. In the third paragraph, tell what you think you did well (refer to the evaluation criteria on the assignment sheet) and what you think you could improve on. This can include sentence level issues, research, topic management, clarity of language, etc. Each paragraph should be a complete (4 sentence minimum) paragraph.
2.) A works cited page and in-text attributions and parenthetical citations. ALSO, please put an accurate word count for the paper only (don’t count the works cited page or writer’s memo). Put the word count under the date in your heading.
3) Any draft I have marked up and given to you (you can also include your draft if you took notes during conferences). This helps me to see what we discussed during conference/what I marked on drafts and how well you addressed those issues. I will not grade a paper that does not have a draft that includes my comments.
4) Be sure to submit your final version to Safe Assign (look for the Academic Argument Final Version option to post to). Post to Safe Assign BEFORE class time on the paper due date. I will not grade papers that have not been posted to Safe Assign.
Tuesday, March 6 DRAFT due for PEER REVIEW
Thursday, March 8DRAFT due for INSTRUCTOR FEEDBACK
Tuesday, March 21 INSTRUCTOR FEEDBACK draft returned
Thursday, March 23 FINAL VERSION due for a GRADE