12/13/21, 12:42 PM 4.9: Reading: Overview of Argument Research Essay: (Fall 2021) ENG 111 (E83M) – College Composition I
4.9: Reading: Overview of Argument Research Essay
You have read, viewed, researched and discussed materials related to the topic of oil/gas extraction. You should have narrowed down
your topic to either fracking OR offshore drilling and developed a tentative thesis that states your claim (stance) about that topic. Now
you will create and submit an outline for a 3-4 page (750-1000 words) argument essay on the topic of fracking or offshore drilling. Your
outline should include an additional works cited page and include documentation (in-text citations) from your five sources. After you
receive feedback on your outline, you will develop the argument essay as a first draft, provide a self-review, and then get further
instructor feedback before submitting your final draft.
Your essay needs to include a clear thesis and well developed key ideas with topic sentences and supporting ideas and examples all
written in third person . The essay will also follow the conventional organization of the following three elements:
1. Introduction: A good introduction needs to get your reader interested in your topic, provide relevant background information for that
topic and, in a thesis statement, state the main points that support your claim (stance) about the topic. Your thesis should be the last
sentence in the introduction paragraph. (Review the information about Writing Interesting Introductions .)
2. Body: In a standard 5 paragraph essay, you would typically have three support paragraphs that are developed from three main
ideas in a thesis. But for a longer, extended research essay (such as this essay assignment), each main idea may need to be
developed into more than one body paragraph. To do this, each body section needs to begin with a clear topic sentence that focuses
the body section on a main idea of your argument. As you develop the sub points for a main idea, use transition words and
phrases to tie your reader back to the topic sentence ideas and to move your reader from one sub point to the next, offering
support and explanation between each sub point. When you use this method to develop a main idea, the sub points for a main idea
often work well as separate paragraphs.
3. Conclusion: A good conclusion needs to summarize the argument (reiterate the thesis and summarize the body of the essay) and
to explain new understanding.
Other points to consider
Thesis Statement: At the END of the introduction, you need to have a clear thesis statement.
Thesis Template: the topic + your claim (viewpoint) + 2-4 main ideas.
Example Thesis: Child beauty pageants should be banned because they distort a child’s self-image, put a child’s health at
risk, and ruin a child’s formative years.
Language: The goal in argument is to persuade a reader to accept your side. As such, when you write I believeâ€¦ I thinkâ€¦ I feel and
other such subjective, first-person comments, you are not trying to think about your READER; instead, you are offering your opinion.
For this reason, it is best to remove first person comments and state your thesis as a blunt, arguable statement (written in third
person). Ultimately, you want to convince your reader to accept your argument.
Citing Sources: Review this PowerPoint on Citing Sources for an overview of using sources in your research essay. For more
information about MLA formatting, integration of sources, and MLA documentation, review the videos for MLA Basics in Student
12/13/21, 12:42 PM 4.9: Reading: Overview of Argument Research Essay: (Fall 2021) ENG 111 (E83M) – College Composition I
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