1200-1400‐word Persuasive Argument Research Essay


1. Write a 1200–1400‐word persuasive argument research essay drawing on a topic of debate, controversy, and public interest. Attached is a list of possible subject areas. If you prefer to develop a subject area/topic/focus of your own, you must speak to your instructor first.

2. You must narrow the subject area to a focussed topic and focus, i.e., a Main Claim/Thesis.

3. Your essay must be argumentative and persuasive in nature, i.e., provide a Main Claim/Thesis and then validate that Main Claim/Thesis through Major Supporting points, Evidence, and Analysis.

4. Your essay must reference a minimum of four secondary sources.

a. Your essay must include at least two distinct types of secondary sources—that is, distinct types of publications (e.g., books, periodicals [newspapers, magazines, news outlets, etc.], scholarly and academic journal articles/essays, scholarly/academic/professional websites, reference texts, business/corporate reports, government reports/publications/websites, etc.). Note that “online sources” is not a type of source. It is your responsibility to check with your instructor if you are unsure about your sources.

b. Your essay must use only scholarly/academic and other credible secondary sources. Sources that are not appropriate as secondary sources include but are not limited to: wikis; blogs; course websites; instructors’ websites; instructors’ handouts; article/essay abstracts/summaries; casual websites; Chegg, CourseHero, Bartleby, Shmoop, SparkNotes, CliffsNotes, etc. (and/or any comparable homework help site, essay writing site, or tutoring site), and many more. It is your responsibility to check with your instructor if you are unsure about your sources.

c. Your essay must not use more than one source of popular media (newspapers, magazines, news outlets, etc.). It is your responsibility to check with your instructor if you are unsure about your sources.

Persuasive Argument Research Essay

5. Your essay must be formatted as per MLA Style.

6. Your essay must follow the MLA Style for in‐text citations.

a. Each source acknowledged in your essay must have a corresponding entry on your Works Cited list.

7. Your essay must include a Works Cited page.

a. Each source in your Works Cited list must be cited at least once in the text of your essay.

8. An essay that uses information from sources that are not cited/cited improperly, that represents another’s words/ideas as the writer’s own, will receive zero (F) with no opportunity for a rewrite.


Your reflection paper should begin with the evidence of your thinking, and then you can reflect on the thinking. In 1-2 paragraphs, follow the WHAT? –> SO WHAT? –> NOW WHAT? pattern to separate your thinking into three parts. (The “WHAT?” is the evidence, and the “SO WHAT?” and “NOW WHAT?” demonstrate the reflection.)


Here is a mental template that you can use to compose your reflection paper (do not write these out as separate points but rather as 1-2 coherent paragraphs):
WHAT? One thing I found challenging about working through the Rhetorical Analysis Essay was _________________. (Be specific!)
WHAT? One thing I learned while working through the Rhetorical Analysis Essay was _________________. (Be specific!)
WHAT? One thing I didn’t expect while working through the Rhetorical Analysis Essay was _________________. (Be specific!)
SO WHAT? This challenge is important/of consequence/relevant because _________________. (Be specific!)
SO WHAT? This learning experience is important/of consequence/relevant because _________________. (Be specific!)
SO WHAT? This unexpected ___________ is important/of consequence/relevant because _________________. (Be specific!)
NOW WHAT? Now that I have ___________, I will _________________. (Be specific!)

If you are stuck on the SO WHAT? and/or the NOW WHAT?, use one or a combination of the following prompts to probe your thinking:

  • How was it difficult / more difficult than you expected?
  • How was it easy / easier than you expected?
  • How is it different from what you used to know?
  • How is it different from what you expected?
  • How is it useful for your writing skills and/or overall learning?
  • What does it make you want to know more of?
  • What concerns do you have about writing another Rhetorical Analysis Essay?
  • What can you do to address any concerns?
  • How can you ensure you will be accountable to your learning?

Persuasive Argument Research Essay


1. Prepare your Reflection Paper in MS-Word only (.doc or .docx formats only).

2. Format Reflection Paper (margins, fonts, line spacing, headings, etc.) as per MLA Style (see your course presentation).

3. Give your Reflection Paper a proper title, i.e., don’t title it “Reflection Paper #1.” Your reflection starts with your title, so be original and use your title to begin communicating your overall message.

4. Respond to the assigned Reading Portfolio Assignment question/prompt.

5. Do not consult or use secondary sources. This is your reflection; hence, these reflections should be your words only.

6. Submit the Reflection Paper on the date specified in your Course Schedule.


This reflective journal entry should be 200-250 words, in 1-2 paragraphs (not bullet points or some other format). [Note: A stipulated word count is part of the assignment. Therefore, you are required to abide by the word could requirement. You should never be below the word count requirement, i.e., lower than 200 words. As for being over, the rule is that you should not be over by more than 10% of the top end of the word count range, i.e., no more than 25 words above 250 words, or 275 words.] Start counting words from the first word in the title. Do not count your page number, header, etc.


Due: 11:55pm on March 6, 2022. Late assignments will not be accepted. (See also the Late Assignments policy in your course syllabus.)


1. Completion: Reflection is submitted on time and according to instructions

2. Unity: Reflection is focussed on one clear topic

3. Unity: Reflection stays on topic and ends as it begins

4. Development: Level of Reflection’s engagement with the topic/question, i.e., the evidence component

5. Development: Depth of Reflection’s discussion , i.e., the evidence component as well as the reflection component

6. Development: Depth of Reflection’s analysis, i.e., the reflection component

7. Coherence: Transitions, grammar, usage, syntax, diction, spelling, punctuation, idiom, etc.

Persuasive Argument Research Essay


The following rubric will be used to assess your journal writing:

0% Reflection not submitted

25% Reflection provides no evidence or detail and/or marginal or no reflection.

50% Reflection provides some evidence and detail but minimal reflection.

75% Reflection provides some evidence and detail and competent reflection.

100% Reflection provides clear/sustained evidence and detail and thoughtful/meaningful reflection.

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