Choose one essay from the textbook (preferably one we from the syllabus that we have discussed), and then choose one of the following options:

  1. Agree with the author. One way you can do this is focus on a point or idea the author should have addressed but did not. Perhaps argue that the author should not have ignored the issue of A because of B.
  2. Disagree with the author’s point. Create your own argument that opposes either a minor or major point the author makes.

NOTE: Do NOT create an argument that just repeats what the author says. You should be focusing on an angle the author did not address or disagreeing with the author. The more specific your argument, the stronger your argument will be. Make sure you have clear areas of support.

Source requirements:

  • In choosing the essay from the textbook, start by reviewing the essays we already read since those are more familiar to you. However, if you’d like to use an essay from the book that we didn’t read (whether it’s from a unit we covered or not), that’s an option. If you choose a reading we did not discuss, please inform me first. The essay from your reader will be your primary source.
  • Not counting the essay from the textbook, you must have a minimum of three secondary sources (total of four sources minimum).
  • You must refer directly to each of these four sources at least once somewhere in your paper, preferably through direct quotes (but remember that every time you quote a source directly or paraphrase/summarize it in your own words, you must follow it with an MLA citation). I will be looking for a minimum of one in-text citation for each of your four required sources, and they must also be on your Works Cited page. If something is cited in the paper, it must also be in Works Cited and vice versa.
  • At least one of your sources must be a scholarly article from a scholarly journal. This source cannot be a book review, a short article (only a few pages), or an editorial from a scholarly journal. It must be a lengthy article with a clear description of the author as an expert in the field, and it must include citations, references, or sources. Your scholarly article must come from one of the databases in the ECC library. I can help you determine if the source you find can be considered scholarly.
  • Your other two sources can be from anywhere that you think is appropriate to help you back up your argument. You can use regular websites, such as CNN or The New York Times. You can interview someone. They can also be other articles from the library databases. You can also use books, films, documentaries, television shows, or other form of media. Be advised that the ECC databases can also provide you non-scholarly newspaper and magazine articles. However, please note that you may NOT use Wikipedia or similar sites. If you are not sure whether a site is acceptable or not, feel free to see me so we can discuss it.

Requirements for organizing and supporting your argument:

  • Your introduction must refer directly to the essay from the textbook, and your argument (specifically your thesis) must respond directly to some aspect of that essay.
  • Your thesis should clearly state your argument plus your areas of support. Three to five areas of support would be appropriate. You will need to devote a few paragraphs to each area of support. Make sure you write clear topic sentences and develop smooth transitions.
  • You must clearly introduce your sources and help your reader understand why you find these sources reliable and useful.

Essay format requirements:

  • 5 pages long (minimum), word-processed, with 1” margins, double-spaced, Times New Roman, font size 12 (MLA 8th edition).
  • proof-read, spell-checked, with as few grammar errors as possible (since this will be done in Word, use spell check and grammar check).
  • MLA 8th edition in-text citation in the body of the paper. Every time you quote directly or paraphrase from a source, you must use in-text citation.
  • MLA 8th edition Works Cited page at the end of your paper (does not count toward page requirement). Your Works Cited page should have a minimum of your three required secondary sources, plus the essay from the textbook (your primary source). Feel free to use the citation generator I have posted in Moodle.
  • The final copy must be submitted as a Word document to Moodle. 

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