The Academic Research Essay
Length & Format: At least 1,250 words (not including Works Cited) in MLA format, 12-point font, double-spaced. Sources: At least five (5) scholarly sources from any of the Richland College Online Library Databases or from a book/text acquired from the Richland College Library.
You must include a “Works Cited” page and use correct MLA format for in-text (parenthetical) citations.
Description: This an an argumentative, persuasive, academic essay. In this assignment, you will build upon the ideas you constructed in your Academic Research Essay Proposal and Annotated Bibliography. You may write on any topic except abortion, gun control, or marijuana. You will be graded on your ability to present an informed, effective argument that demonstrates your understanding of the subject, displays your research into its issues, effectively uses source material (in summary, paraphrase, and cogent quotations), and reaches logical, substantiated conclusions based on well organized and subordinated claims.
Writing Strategy: Build upon your outline, ideas in the proposal, and sources you chose for your annotated bibliography. You should incorporate clearly-defined components of an academic research essay:
1. Introduction paragraph with thesis statement. Your introduction paragraph should include an “attention grabber” or “hook.” These elements are covered in the Structural Components of Academic Essays PPT. You should also explain how your attention grabber relates to your thesis statement. Your thesis statement should be the last sentence of your introduction paragraph.
2. Background information paragraph. This paragraph is an informative—not an argumentative– paragraph. Think of this paragraph as providing preliminary information that your audience should first know before they can understand or accept your argument (“reason” paragraphs). You need a topic sentence that asserts the overall main idea of the paragraph & analysis. If/when you acquire information from an outside source, make sure and properly provide in-text citations at the end of every sentence.
3. At least 3 paragraphs that deconstruct your thesis and include:
a. A reason to support your thesis. This is your topic sentence.
b. Evidence from academic source(s). You must provide an in-text citation at the end of EVERY sentence in which you summarize, paraphrase, or quote information from an outside source.
c. Analysis (ie. Warrants/Backing)
4. A paragraph that address an opposing view and offers a rebuttal. This paragraph should begin with an opposing view. A rebuttal, or refute, of the opposing view should follow. Provide evidence from source material (if needed) and analysis to complete this paragraph.
5. Conclusion paragraph should offer a summary of your reasons, an explanation of the significance of your reasons, and an incorporation of a conclusion technique. Conclusion techniques are covered in the Structural Components to Academic Essays PPT.