Purpose and Audience
This project is a thoroughly researched, thesis- driven, argumentative essay that demonstrates competence in both research and composition. The audience is our class —a diverse group of people who may be neutral or slightly skeptical of your position.
Area of Inquiry
The topic of your Position Essay must correspond to Aristotle’s concept of eudaimonia—specifically, the area of inquiry you have been exploring all semester. You must be able to conduct research in both scholarly books and current, peer-reviewed
journals. Your research question should also be limited to a manageable focus so that the essay can adequately discuss every major aspect of the issue in detail and fairly consider the major opinions on the topic within a coherent essay.
This essay must be a thesis-driven argument. The essay should have an identifiable introduction, body, and conclusion. Include an interesting and informative title.
The Introduction should grab the reader’s attention and provide necessary background information on the topic, provide a focus for the essay, and state a clear and precise thesis. The introduction may be several paragraphs long.
The Body of the essay should offer a clear argument driven by textual proof and your own argumentation as well as clear engagement with the critical sources. Your essay should employ sound
reasoning as it defends the thesis through logical argumentation and presentation of sound evidence. It should contain no material that is not directly relevant to the thesis.
Explanations should be detailed and coherent and should avoid vague or generalized assertions. Examples, illustrations, and supporting detail should be used frequently and appropriately to demonstrate the validity of the thesis. The essay should also present criticisms of the thesis (i.e., counterarguments) fairly, and it should address such criticisms rationally and appropriately. You may integrate any relevant portion of your previous essays and/or parts of your annotated bibliography into this essay if you revise them for this new rhetorical purpose.
The Conclusion should bring adequate closure to the essay. While it should reemphasize the thesis, it should also avoid excessive repetition of previous points. It should also address the reasons the overarching implications of the topic on the reading audience. Why should they care about this issue?
This essay can be organized in a number of ways, but it should be organized in a manner that best fits the essay’s content. Regardless of the particular organizational pattern chosen, the essay should employ logical organization and progression of thought, clear and smooth transitions, and coherent and developed paragraphs. At some point, the essay must address possible objections to its thesis, but the exact place of such rebuttal in the essay will depend on the organizational pattern chosen.
This essay must use and cite a minimum of 10 sources. You must use at least six scholarly sources (books, peer-reviewed journal articles, etc.) and not more than two websites (i.e., sources designed for and posted only on the Internet). In addition, the essay may cite sources from other credible media such as news articles, popular periodicals, government documents, published interviews and speeches, studies, surveys, etc. However, you should avoid relying on dictionaries or encyclopedias unless they provide information not available elsewhere, which is a highly unlikely situation. Do not rely on only one or two sources for the majority of your information. All quotations must be quoted exactly and attributed to the proper source.
Quotations should be smoothly integrated into the essay and should also be explained adequately. The essay may not use more than four block quotations (quotations four lines or longer) and may not use more than 750 total words (about two and a half, double-spaced pages) of quoted material.
MLA or APA citation must be used correctly and consistently throughout the essay and the works cited page. In-text citations should be used whenever you are using a quotation, a paraphrase, or even a summary of an idea from a source. You can find the guidelines for the MLA 8 format on pp. 535-73 and for APA on pp. 591-619 of EA. The works cited page must be arranged alphabetically by the authors’ last names and must give full, accurate bibliographic information for each source. The works cited page should list only those works that are actually cited in the text, and every citation in the text must clearly refer to a citation on the works cited page. Lastly, remember to evenly double-space your works cited page and use hanging indent format (i.e., indent every line after the first by ½”).
This essay must be at least eight full pages long but should not exceed 10 pages. In order to pass, the essay must be at least seven pages. It should be typed and double-spaced in 12-pt. Times New Roman font with 1” margins. Do not use a title page unless you are using APA format.
Further Directions and Warnings
Mainly, this essay should combine your own thinking and argumentation with that of outside sources. The
thesis should be your own, and sources should be used to support the thesis. You should use sources primarily to provide factual information or to offer a unique viewpoints and profound statements from specific authors.
In no case should you use sources as “padding” to make the essay longer. If the essay demonstrates noticeable ignorance of important aspects of the topic, this will substantially lower the grade. Therefore, you should not procrastinate in doing research for this project, as you will need to be familiar with all important aspects of the topic. Finally, please note, I will not accept your research essay if I have not approved your topic and seen your work in progress (i.e., a proposal, an outline, and rough drafts in process). You must produce an acceptable research essay in order to pass this course.
Purpose and Audience