First: Research Terms
• Source- Where you are finding your information.
• Primary source- first hand account: journals,
diaries, original manuscripts, artifacts, oral
• Secondary source- second hand account: is a
document or recording that relates or discusses
information originally presented elsewhere.
• Documentation- recording the page number, title
and author of the source
Research Terms con’t
• Works Cited- the final page of an
informational or research essay where
quotes or sources have been used in the
• MLA- Modern Language Association.
Association that governs how to
document in an essay.
• Plagiarism- unlawful copying of art, media,
or text and using it as your own.
Research Terms con’t
• Note Cards- A way to record
important info from sources rather
than carrying the sources around
• Parenthetical Documentation- used
to document any external sources
within the essay such as in-text
Next: CHOOSE A TOPIC
To begin an argumentative/persuasive
essay, you must first have an opinion you
want others to share.
Possible Topic Ideas –
Should the driving age be
raised from 16 to 18? Should dying people be kept on
Should guns be
banned? Should tobacco products be
Should hunting be
outlawed? Should school prayer be
Should schools require
Should research on cloning be
Should the death penalty discontinued?
PERSUASVIE RESEARCH PAPER
To be valid, an opinion or point of view must
be supported by facts and information.
Once you know what you will
write about, you will need to do
research on the topic.
Research through interviewing people, or
reading newspaper, book, journal or Internet
How will I organize my
Intro Paragraph–hook, detail, thesis statement
Body Paragraph 1 – reason #1
Body Paragraph 2 – reason #2
Body Paragraph 3 – reason #3
Rebuttal Paragraph – other viewpoints
2. Works Cited Page
HOOK - First, decide who your audience is,
then design your hook to attract the reader’s
attention. You can use quotes, startling facts or
statistics, thought-provoking questions,
anecdotes, jokes, word definitions.
Second and perhaps third sentences
narrow the idea down to your specific idea.
The last sentence in the introduction
must be your thesis.
Writing the Hook: THE
When introducing the topic, think about the
How much does the audience know about the
Is the audience likely to be friendly
or hostile to your position?
How can you “hook” the audience’s
Ideas for Hooks
• Famous quote
• Song lyrics
• Startling fact or statistic
• Series of phrases of adjectives
• Thought-provoking questions
Introductory paragraph: THESIS
The thesis statement
states your position on the topic
sets up the structure for the paper.
Sample Thesis Statement
• Research studies show that
school districts that enforce a
school uniform policy have
happier students, fewer
disciplinary incidents and
higher test SOL scores than
schools that do have a uniform
Example of Introductory Paragraph
• Imagine a school where every student, and that means every
student, wears dark blue slacks and skirts with matching shirt
and vest and shoes. One walks down the hall and observes
there are no more bright blue Nikes, no more ripped, faded $50
skinny jeans, no more spandex tights and tops, no more baggy
t-shirts, no more sagging jeans, no more tank tops, no more
individuality. It feels strangely safe, and the students respond
by laughing and talking, yet one can tell their focus is on getting
to class. The bell rings and the students find a seat, pull out
pencils, homework and paper, and are ready for the lesson at
hand. School districts that enforce a school uniform policy have
happier students, fewer disciplinary incidents and higher test
SOL scores than schools that do have a uniform policy.
BUILDING 3 BODY
Your next three body
paragraphs will support your
For your first paragraph, you may wish to begin
the sentence with the word first to focus the
reader’s attention on its importance.
Three Supporting Paragraphs
1. First, there is strong research that
shows the student population is
happier, friendlier and less fearful.
2. Next, research proves disciplinary
incidents dropped 20%.
3. Last, test scores prove to be
anywhere from 10% to 40% higher.
Every controversial issue has two
Once you can support your
position with research, you need
to explore what others think.
Look at the three main reasons for
What objections would others have to
each of your reasons?
Write these down under each of your
reasons. Now you have three
arguments & three counter-arguments.
Write your answers down under the
Now you have the raw material for each
paragraph of the argumentative essay.
Research what people opposed to your
point of view believe. Write down three
counter- arguments to your position.
Now, address those arguments in a
paragraph explaining why your position is
a better one.
Watch out for:
• Saying the opposing viewpoint is “stupid.”
(Good essays are clear, calm and factual.
Prove it instead.)
• Saying negative things about groups or
individuals that have different view points.
(This does not support your position but
makes you seem petty instead).
• Restate thesis using different wording.
• Do not include any new information in a
conclusion. If you have not mentioned
something yet in the paper, it is now too
• The last sentence should leave the reader
thinking. This is called the “clincher”.
How to avoid Plagiarism?
• Put their words into your own.
• Make sure to copy all your sources
correctly so that you can document
them in your essay.
• Try to only use 2-3 citations on each
page. Fill up the rest with your own
thoughts and words
What is an In-text Citation?
IN-TEXT Citation: direct quote used in essay.
Human beings have been described as
"symbol-using animals" (Burke 3).
OTHER’ What if you
PARAPHRASE (put in your own
You are using other’s ideas, so you STILL
Magazines written for a lay audience tend to
have less objective information than that
found in scholarly publications (Smith 45).
Works Cited page
• Don’t forget to include a Works
Cited page at the end of your
• Works Cited pages are always
double-spaced with sources
listed in alphabetical order,
Sample Works Cited Page
"Blueprint Lays Out Clear Path for Climate Action." Environmental Defense Fund. Environmental
Defense Fund, 8 May 2007. Web. 24 May 2009.
Clinton, Bill. Interview by Andrew C. Revkin. “Clinton on Climate Change.” New York Times. New
York Times, May 2007. Web. 25 May 2009.
Dean, Cornelia. "Executive on a Mission: Saving the Planet." New York Times. New York Times, 22
May 2007. Web. 25 May 2009.
Ebert, Roger. "An Inconvenient Truth." Rev. of An Inconvenient Truth, dir. Davis Guggenheim.
rogerebert.com. Sun-Times News Group, 2 June 2006. Web. 24 May 2009.
Research Paper Requirements:
• Use MLA format (double space, Times New
Roman, left aligned, 12 pt. font).
• Use at least three different sources.
• Include a Works Cited page.
• Use at least three in-text citations in
• Packet includes the following:
Notes, Paper, Works Cited Page.
• Day #1 – take notes, choose topic
• Day #2 - Library research orientation/begin
• Day #3 – Complete research. (Quiz grade =
• Day #4 – Write and complete research
• Day #5 – Research Paper (Test Grade)