High school graduates should take a year before entering college.

you will choose a controversial topic and then write a persuasive argument on that topic.

Tony Whitt

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ENG 102

Paper #3: Persuasive Argument


For your final paper in this class, you will choose a controversial topic and then write a persuasive argument on that topic. Your first paper was solely convincing – the only aim was to change your reader’s mind about some aspect of the book 1984 – and your second one was convincing or persuasive.  This time, though, it will be solely persuasive – you will be trying to persuade your audience that action should or should not be taken on your chosen issue.  Ideally, you should choose a topic that you know little to nothing about so that you don’t go into the research process with a preconceived notion of your argument, but you may also choose something that you already know something about so long as it interests you. Your research question is due as part of DB #9 on Friday, April 22.

Apart from the need for a central and clearly-stated persuasive thesis, reasoning to back up that thesis, and evidence to validate that reasoning, you may approach this paper in any way you choose: by using induction, by using deduction, by basing your argument in logos, pathos, and/or ethos.  The main requirements are that you choose an issue that is being currently debated and/or which has been debated for some time – a real-world issue such as gun control, same-sex adoption, the death penalty, right-to-work laws, or universal health care would work well for such a paper – and that you support it with research.

As with the last paper, you must also include at least one paragraph rebutting at least one of the opposing side’s arguments. To this end, this paper will require at least six outside sources. These sources must also come from the Roosevelt Library databases (such as the ones we previewed in our library session) – do not use standalone web sites unless they are affiliated with a reliable news source, and do not use Wikipedia, About.com, or any other “encyclopedia” web sites on the Internet.

A separate annotated bibliography for extra credit may be done for this paper if you choose – it will be due by 11:59pm on Friday, April 29.

Your paper should be at least 2000 words in length. Peer evaluation drafts will be due in your assigned groups by no later than 11:59pm on Monday, May 4 – peer evaluations should be completed for all of the peers in your group by no later than 11:59pm on Wednesday, May 6. The final paper is due by no later than 11:59pm on Friday, May 8 – you should submit the final copy of the paper via the Turnitin link provided. No late papers will be accepted except by permission from me.

Good luck!




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