Animal testing

Argumentative essay assignments generally call for extensive research of literature or previously
published material. Argumentative assignments may also require empirical research where the student collects data
through interviews, surveys, observations, or experiments. Detailed research allows the student to learn about the
topic and to understand different points of view regarding the topic so that she/he may choose a position and
support it with the evidence collected during research. Regardless of the amount or type of research involved,
argumentative essays must establish a clear thesis and follow sound reasoning. Perhaps it is helpful to think of an
essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. If I were to discuss the cause of World War II and its
current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time, there would be a beginning, middle, and end to the
conversation. In fact, if I were to end the argument in the middle of my second point, questions would arise
concerning the current effects on those who lived through the conflict. Therefore, the argumentative essay must be
complete, and logically so, leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument. Complex issues and detailed research call
for complex and detailed essays. Argumentative essays discussing a number of research sources or empirical
research will most certainly be longer than five paragraphs. Authors may have to discuss the context surrounding
the topic, sources of information and their credibility, as well as a number of different opinions on the issue
before concluding the essay.
Topic Proposal (50 points): DUE WEEK 4 – 10/20
Your topic can be anything argumentative that interests you, causing you to want to deepen your
relationship to the topic through research. That is, any debatable subject that sparks an interest in
you, making you want to find out more about it, is acceptable. Your topic should however be
something that you already know something about. You should simply want to deepen your
relationship to that topic because you in some way care about it and can make an argument about
it. I strongly recommend relating your topic of research to your major area of study here at the
university. Remember that a workable topic must be debatable, researchable, and of some general
relevance. Your topic proposal should state your topic, briefly explain your interest in that
topic, and list 10-15 research questions you have surrounding that topic.
Working Bibliography and Research Notes (50 points): DUE WEEK 6 – 11/3
By now, you will already have done a substantial amount of reading around your subject and you
should have a pretty specific idea of what sources to use for what purposes. Your working
bibliography should contain between 5 and 8 sources (but, remember that you will need a
minimum of 8 sources by the final draft of the paper) and follow MLA guidelines. After each
bibliographic entry, you will write a brief paragraph comprised of a summary or description (3-7
complete sentences) of the important, relevant part of the contents (in some cases, all of the
contents), argument, purpose, or main point of each source; as well as, a description of how you
will use each source toward your overall project. This will be your research notes, later to become
your annotated bibliography.
Thesis Statement (50 points): DUE WEEK 7 – 11/10
You have been researching for three weeks now and should now have a solidified conclusion
about your topic from all of your research. This conclusion will become your thesis statement.
Your thesis statement should be an answer to a thoughtful question about your chosen issue.
Reference your list of research questions in your topic proposal from week 4. Your thesis must be
arguable and complex, demonstrating a depth that one would have after giving their topic
considerable thought. This is the thesis statement you will have in your final paper.
Full Outline Draft (50 points): DUE WEEK 8 – 11/17
This is ostensibly your rough draft in outline form. At the top of your paper, state your thesis
statement and then briefly summarize (in 1-2 paragraphs) what the purpose of your essay is. Then,
outline each of the main sub-topics of your essay (you should probably have between four and
six). Because this is a full outline, you will then draft several paragraphs under each sub-topic
you have identified (if you’re aiming for 10 full pages in your final paper, I suggest you have
between seven and ten paragraphs under each sub-topic). Your paragraphs can be disjointed and
messy, as long as they clearly belong under their sub-topic and are fully developed. After you
have drafted all of your paragraphs, go back and give each a one-sentence label that summarizes
the main idea of the paragraph. These “labels” will later become your topic sentences. Lastly,
under each sub-topic, list source material (relevant quotes, data, or, at the very least, the name of
the source) that you see fitting somewhere in that sub-topic. If possible, incorporate the source
material into your developed paragraphs. This should read like a compartmentalized version of
your essay, minus the introduction and conclusion (you will complete these when writing your
final draft).
FINAL DRAFT (200 points): DUE WEEK 10 – 12/1
The final draft should be something of which you are proud. It should be expertly proofread and
publishable, able to be read, understood, and enjoyed by anyone. Your essay should contain an
argument that is thesis-centered. This argument should assert an inference and then support it
throughout the essay with authoritative evidence obtained from your research. Remember, the goal
of this whole process is to become as widely read on a certain subject as you reasonably can
within the period of one quarter so that you can persuasively argue your case, using well-presented
evidence from authoritative sources. The final draft should be 10-12 double-space typed pages
(minimum of 3,500 words) and include an annotated bibliography of at least 8 sources.


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