Remember, the purpose of this essay is not to prove whether you are right or wrong, but instead prove that you can fairly present two sides of an argument and logically determine the best solution to the problem you are faced with. With that in mind, we ask that you withhold your personal opinion, personal judgments of the material, or personal narrative until the concluding remarks of your essay.
The final draft of your essay should meet the following guidelines:
- is between 900 and 1200 words in length;
- includes direct quotations and paraphrased passages from four or more scholarly texts representing more than one side of the issue;
- qualifies each of the authors (authors representing each side of the debate should have compatible credibility);
- withholds personal opinion until the conclusion of the essay;
- is written clearly, concisely, and accurately;
- is written primarily in third-person;
- includes a References page;
- has been closely edited so that it contains few or no mechanical errors.
*Note that no one writes a polished essay in a single sitting.Start early and give yourself time for multiple revisions.
Researched Argument Checklist:
As you go work on your essay, the following questions should help to keep you on track. It may be beneficial to have someone read your essay and help you answer them.
- How does this essay meet the assignment criteria?
- Does this essay treat both sides of the argument equally and fairly?
- What is the purpose of this essay to be? What does it do to meet that purpose? How effective is the argument?
- Does this essay avoid second person language and limit first person language?
- Are there elements of pathos, ethos, and logos in this essay. Do these appeals work together to propose a solution?
- Does the essay avoid logical fallacy in the reasoning behind the solution?