Your final essay is a research paper. It is worth 20% of your grade.


–at least 1200 words

–at least 3 sources

–one of those sources must be an article from the Ohlone library online database

The topic of the essay is up to you. Write about something you feel strongly about. This is a persuasive essay–you must choose a topic that people might disagree with you about (remember your naysayer!). You might consider writing about a societal issue, or an area of debate within your chosen field/major, or you might defend an unpopular opinion or attack a popular one.

Remember: writing a persuasive research paper means setting out to prove something that REQUIRES proof. Your research will be all about looking for sources that back up your claims.

Remember the argument strategies you have at your disposal: emotional appeals, logic and reasoning, style/diction, facts and figures, personal stories, anecdotes, interviews, etc…

If you’re having trouble thinking of a topic, try this: find a debatable topic, pick a side, start researching!

Questions that might help you decide on a topic:

  • Do you have a strong opinion on a current social or political controversy?
  • Did you read or see a news story recently that has piqued your interest or made you angry or anxious?
  • Do you have a personal issue, problem or interest that you would like to know more about (or like others to know more about)?
  • Is there a widely held belief that you disagree with, or see a different way than most people?
  • Is there a common misconception you feel needs to be corrected?

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