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Purpose:
–To show your growth in your rhetoric and composition skills.
–To show your ability to read, to take notes on, and to integrate a variety sources to present your argument.
–To practice using logos, pathos, and ethos to develop your own argument.
–To practice fine-tuning a specific thesis that will be one that a reasonable person might agree with and a
reasonable person might disagree with (if no one disagrees with your claim, it isnt an argument).
–To practice backing up your thesis with clear reasons and evidence to support those reasons (ethos/logos).
–To show your awareness about reasonable tone, even if you have strong opinions on your topic (ethos).
–To practice audience awareness.

Audience:
General. This includes people who have a mix of backgrounds and opinions. The audience has not read
your sources and does not know what youve been asked to write about. The audience is not your instructor. What
does this mean for your own strategies for composing your essay? The audience will have to trust you and your
sources. How do you make this happen?

Source Use:
You will need to use several quotes in your essay since it is a good tactic to show what the sources
say. You should keep the quotations as short as possible. You will also demonstrate your summarizing skills. Try
using paraphrase too. A wide variety of sources have been provided for you to use. You are expected to use at least 3-
6 of them to support your argument. Sources must be cited within the essay and on the Works Cited.

Style:
MLA format, in-text citations, and Works Cited. Consult The Little Seagull Handbook, Purdue Owl MLA formatting (online).

Tone:
This paper should be semi-formal–not a tux or prom dress, but interview-ready clothes. Do not use personal
pronouns in your paper (I, we, you, us). The reader knows that they are reading your argument and you probably
wont have to address the audience directly you.

Length:
Around 1000-1250 words not including the Works Cited

Thesis:
-Effective writers claim no more than they can responsibly support. If you cannot back it up, you cannot claim it.
-The thesis must be debatable and take a side.

Content and Organization:
-Introduction: Background information on the subject and show you understand the issue–consider trying to
establish common ground so that all audience members are nodding their heads as you then transition into your
thesis.

-Each supporting paragraph covers one reason that helps prove your thesis and is supported by sources and
evidence.

-Conclusion: A response to the so what? question. Why does your argument matter?

-You have chosen an organizational pattern for your argument.

-You have responded to counterarguments by showing you understand that there is more than one side to the issue,
in at least one supporting paragraph devoted to a concession and/or refutation. Dont just record the opposing
viewpoint; respond to it.

-Your tone illustrates your reasonableness and is appropriate for academic writing and your audience.

Sources:
-You have added at least three sources, one of which must be scholarly. All other sources used can be scholarly or
reliable. The sources must be separate articlesyou will not have just one article where you pull three different
sources from.

-You have cited all your sources properly (All sources on your Works Cited must have an in-text citation in the actual
paper.)

-You have not used any words that are not your own without quotation marks and citation.

-You have not used any ideas that are not your own without giving clear credit.

-If you have paraphrased, you have used your own words and sentence structure and have clearly cited the
paraphrase.

-If your paraphrase is longer than one sentence, you should introduce it and track it.

-The first time you use a source, you should fully introduce it (author, title or other pertinent information
about the source that will make your audience believe it is credible.)

-The Works Cited is formatted correctly, alphabetical order, hanging indent, and MLA style.

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