Guidelines for ALL ESSAYS
Must be double Spaced
Be sure to follow these guidelines for all essays.
They will all be 5 paragraphs and must contain 5-8 sentences. It is always nice to have sentence variety in your paragraphs. In other words, alternating between short and long sentences makes the reading more interesting and allows it to flow better. To make a compound sent., you join two complete sentences into one sentence. EX: I am taking English 101; it is a class that I am looking forward to.
Notice that I put a semicolon where the two complete thoughts come together. You can also add a comma and conjunction in the middle. Pay attention though. Just because you have a comma and conjunction does not make a sentence compound. It must have a complete sent./independent clause on either side. EX: I am taking English 101, and it is a class that I am looking forward to. There will be a grammar lesson on this.
Only use third person pronouns in essays and no contractions.
The first paragraph is the intro. In the intro. you introduce the title and author of stories you are discussing or the subject you are discussing. You then give a brief background in a sentence or two. The last sent. in the intro. is the thesis statement. The thesis statement contains opinion, and it is what the entire essay must support.
The three middle paragraphs are the supporting paragraphs. The first sent. in each is the topic sent. It must support the thesis statement by containing key words from the thesis. It too must have opinion. All the supporting sentences in that paragraph must support that topic sent. The supporting sentences will be your thoughts, not a retelling of research or a story you are discussing. You will have 1 quote per body paragraph. Make sure quotes do not stand alone as sentences. Include your thoughts in the sent. too. EX: A way that the woman in the story showed her fear is when she said, "I am afraid to be alone; what will become of me" (Smith 31). You must cite the quote by putting the author`s last name and the number of the page in parentheses at the end of the sent. You punctuate after the parenthetical citation, not before. The last sent. in each body paragraph is a transition sentence that moves the reader from the topic of that paragraph to the topic of the next.
The last paragraph is the conclusion. It recaps all topic sentences and rewords the thesis statement. There is no new info. in the conclusion.
Alabama Virtual Library link
You will use the Alabama Virtual Library link to research four sources; however, one of the four sources may come from Issues and Controversies.
1. Click on Alabama Virtual Library link
2. Click on View All Resources (top center)
3. Although you may use any of the databases listed, recommended databases include Academic Search Premier, Opposing Viewpoints In Context, InfoTrac General One File, EBSCOhost Search, MasterFILE Premier, Newspaper Source, SIRS Discoverer, Gale PowerSearch.
4. Type in the topic you are researching in the SEARCH box. YOU NEED TO BE VERY SPECIFIC IN TYPING IN YOUR SEARCH MATERIAL. For example, if your topic is school uniforms and you type in school uniforms, you would get thousands of articles; narrow it down to specific focus on your topic (school uniforms and violence). The more specific and focused you are in your search, the more relevant and useful articles you will get. Use the word AND in your search title. Once you have typed in your topic (being very specific) then click search.
5. You MUST use full text articles; you cannot use abstracts of articles. So as you scroll down through the list, look for complete articles that will SUPPORT your ideas.
6. Once you find an article that looks interesting, open it and read through the article to see if contains information that will support YOUR opinion and ideas.
7. Once you have identified an article that you want to use in your argumentative essay, you must next find the citation information of the article. In the top right hand corner of the page you will see a box with a link titled citation tools. (All the databases you can use should have this tool; it may be titled MLA citation or something along those lines, just look for a link that deals with citation material. Also, on some of the databases this link may not be at the top right hand corner of the page; it may be at the end of the article or somewhere near the beginning of the article). Click on that link; make sure the MLA 7th ed. is used. This will give you the format for that article; you can copy and paste this information just as it appears on this page to your works cited page. Once you paste it to your works cited page, you may have to adjust the indentation and spacing, all caps versus lower case (see Sample Works Cited page). Also, make sure that the font type is the same for all the citations (the font should either be Times New Roman or Ariel in 12 point font size). I recommend using the sample of works cited entries to check your copied/pasted citations. As you research, you should simultaneously be developing the Works Cited page. As you copy/paste works cited information onto the Works Cited page, be sure to do so inalphabetical order. Always use the very first letter of the citation to determine alphabetization. Remember, build your works cited page as you find sources!
Casteen, John. "Ditching The Rubric On Gun Control." Virginia Quarterly Review 80.4 (2004):
210-221. Academic Search Premier. Web. 29 Jan. 2013.
Hastings, Ross. "A Comment On The Proposals For Firearms Controls." Canadian Journal of
Criminology 37.2 (1995): 220. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 29 Jan. 2013.
Moorhouse, John C., and Brent Wanner. "Does Gun Control Reduce Crime Or Does Crime
Increase Gun Control?." CATO Journal 26.1 (2006): 103-124. Academic Search Premier.
Web. 29 Jan. 2013.
Vittes, Katherine A., and Susan B. Sorenson. "Keeping Guns Out Of The Hands Of Abusers:
Handgun Purchases And Restraining Orders." American Journal Of Public Health 98.5
(2008): 828-831. Academic Search Premier. Web. 29 Jan. 2013.
This is a sample works cited page using the four source minimum. All of these are on gun
control. You can see that the list is alphabetized by author’s last name, double spaced, and
reverse indented. Here is the proper format.
Authors name, last name first. “Title of article.” Title of Journal, magazine, newspaper source
Issue number (Date of publication): page numbers. Database where info was retrieved.
Web. Date you accessed in military format.
Issues and Controversies link
Click on Issues and Controversies. You will see a list of blue topics listed on the right side of the screen, click Access All Topics. This will give you a list of topic ideas (including both sides of the issue) from A-Z. You may use one article from Issues and Controversies as one of your four sources (the other three or all four should come from AVL). The thesis statement must be written in a should/should not phrase. The book has some example thesis sentences at the top of page 278. You could use the structure of any one of those sentences and apply your topic using “should” or “should not” wording. BE SURE TO COMPLETE THE THESIS STATEMENT ASSIGNMENT BY THE DEADLINE.
If the link asks for a username/password:
Argumentation Research paper—200 points Due Date________________
• Write an 800 word essay about a current controversial topic.
• Research the topic, take a side, and find four sources to help argue the position.
• Use MLA format, including Works Cited page and in-text documentation.
Step 1: Go to Issues and Controversies to find a topic. Try to find a topic that is interesting to you (read pages 279-283).
Unaccepted topics: abortion, Iraq/Afghanistan War, gun control, death penalty, evolution in schools, immigration, same-sex marriage, prayer in school
Step 2: Write a thesis statement that identifies the topic of controversy and a solution. This is the last sentence of the introductory paragraph. You must use the words “should” or “should not” in the thesis statement. (i.e. School uniforms should be mandatory in all school systems.)
Step 3: Search for four sources to argue your thesis, and build a Works Cited page as you search for sources (see pages 739-743, 757).
Accepted sources: Material found through Issues and Controversies, Alabama Virtual Library, and reputable current journals, magazines, newspapers, books.
Unaccepted sources: Students are not to use any religious tracts, books, or sources, Wikipedia, Internet search engines such as Google or Yahoo.
Step 4: Take notes from the four sources (see pages 735-739).
Note: Every quote, detailed fact, example, or idea from the source should have an in-text citation. Every source included on the Works Cited page should have at least one in-text citation within the essay.
Step 5: Write the final draft (see Argumentative Essay outline).
The essay will be organized as follows:
• Introduction: introduce the topic and define terms, explain the controversy, state the solution with the thesis statement—last sentence.
• Body 1: topic sentence should address first point of argument. Find three pieces of evidence from your sources to support the argument.
• Body 2: topic sentence should address second point of argument. Find three pieces of evidence from your sources to support the second argument.
• Body 3: topic sentence should address third point of argument. Find three pieces of evidence from your sources to support the third argument.
• Body 4: topic sentence should acknowledge the opposing viewpoint. Find evidence to refute the opposing views related to the problem (see page 279).
• Body 5: sum up the main points, restate thesis, draw conclusions or make predictions
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