It will be a argumentative essay on unemployment in America
Make sure that your topic is a debatable one. Something like “An overview of the U.S. space rover’s mission to Mars” is informative, but an overview is not an argument. Remember that we’re using the basic outline from Essay 1 still–the only difference is that you’re supplying the source material this time, and not being given two readings as sources from the text.
Check to make sure your topic/issue is debatable. Can reasonable people disagree rationally on your issue? If your work is more informative than exploring the debate surrounding an issue, consider working with your topic to change to a more debatable angle. For example, I might take the above general topic and go with a research question like: “Is the implementation of a ‘Space Force’ for the U.S. military a worthy use of government resources?”
After I have a debatable topic/issue, I want to find two trustworthy, serious sources that offer their own arguments on the topic, usually in a for/against way. It’s helpful to look at one solid argument for the proposition, and one solid argument against it. Then I think about which seems to be the best-constructed argument of the two, and why.
Only then would I think about my own viewpoint and thesis for the topic/issue. I should make a strong assertion myself, but I don’t want to go into my research on my research question with a conclusion already in mind. That might tempt me to reject well-constructed arguments that happen to differ from my preconceived conclusion. It’s better to survey what the overall conversation is surrounding an issue, take in all the solid points of evidence from differing viewpoints and then construct your own informed opinion. As a matter of fact, that’s where the term “informed opinion” comes from. It just takes good information literacy to find solid source material, so do use Google (if you want) but also definitely use the library databases–it’s good to practice using those so that you can quickly and easily find good and trustworthy information on a range of topics.
Once you have a good and debatable topic, two good sources that offer differing arguments about the topic, and your own opinion after surveying the arguments of others, you can then craft your own detailed thesis statement and use it to construct your argument.
Remember that you are not only summarizing the two sources you’ve found–you’re coming up with your own thesis, and using multiple body paragraphs to support your key thesis points (mentioning key points in your thesis is called an organizational thesis, and those key points help you organize the body paragraphs in your essay).
Start with an introduction that has a “hook,” background information (introducing the authors of your sources and the titles of the work), a transition portion to narrow your discussion to your thesis, and your specific thesis statement at the end. Remember to try and use key points to help elaborate upon your thesis statement in the body paragraphs.
After your introduction, summarize your first source thoroughly, and then summarize your second source. Make sure to use scholarly source material, no matter whether it comes from a popular search via Google, or a library database search. Use at least one database source in your essay.
After your summaries, begin your support of your thesis statement by using strong topic sentences and good paragraph development in your body paragraphs. Use as many body paragraphs as you need to make your case. Try to mirror the organization you’ve hinted at in your thesis statement.
After you’ve made your argument, finish your essay with a well-developed conclusion.
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