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Core 110: Effective Writing


This assignment asks you to employ formal research and the MLA method of writing a research paper.  For this assignment you are expected to follow strictly the guidelines set forth by the Modern Language Association in the preparation and writing of your paper.

As usual, the paper must be word processed, double spaced, and paginated.  This paper must be 4-5 pages in length.  You must include a title sheet with the title of your paper, your name, the date, assignment number, and class; at least 4 body pages; and a Works Cited sheet listing the sources quoted or paraphrased in your paper.

You may argue anything you choose, but you must argue for or against something with which you have had direct experience.  Past papers that were successful include a student who worked in retail arguing that the customer isn't always right and a student who was directly involved with the American Cancer Society arguing that everyone should volunteer.  Another student, who happened to have  children of driving age, argued that the driving age needed to be raised.

Consider tackling a campus concern.  For example, you may decide to tackle the issues of student parking, college requirements for graduation, or poorly maintained streets. 

Remember that this essay must argue for a position you hold on a topic.  You must steer away from the "biggies":  abortion, capital punishment, gun control, legalization of any drug, altering the drinking age.  You cannot do these topics justice in just a few pages and it is virtually impossible to come up with new angles on these overused subjects.

Because this is a research assignment, you are required to use a minimum of 4 outside sources in your essay to support your topic.  Because of the nature of the assignment, it will be necessary to complete personal interviews.  If you're going to write about student parking, interview commuters, residents, and campus security.  Find research through the internet (check for reliability) and in newspapers that talks about other campuses' parking situations and apply that research to your essay.  You must incorporate at least 6 direct quotes and paraphrases.  

To read a sample student essay, select the following link:

    argumentative essay 1