In this writing assignment, you assess your knowledge of the steps to writing a research paper.


A two page (750-word) persuasive essay

Step 1

Select a topic that can be debated (people agree or disagree).

Possible Topics for a Persuasive Research Paper

This is not a complete list. It is intended to help you form an idea for a persuasive topic.
Dangers of drinking energy drinks
Predictions for the next music revolution
Is it ethical to breed animals to get combined hybrids?
Using mobile devices in-class during the lesson
Remote education vs. traditional schooling
Reasons why mobile phones are not 100% safe
Vaccines can lead to autism
What people do is the main cause of global warming
Alternative energy can remove fossil fuels
Advertising aimed at kids must be restricted
The current taxation system is unfair
People who survive in catastrophes start valuing their lives more than others
How should one dress to be successful?
Why is time management important for most jobs?
Parents must limit the number of time children spend on watching TV
Cooking at home is safer than buying the cooked meals in the store
Can an e-book replace a traditional textbook?
Should death penalty exist?
Families must spend more time together
Reasons to start learning another language
The most distinguished historical figure
Members of Congress must have term restrictions
Violent video games are/are not dangerous
The usage of stem cells
Hybrid cars must replace the traditional vehicles to save the environment
Cheap goods are not worth an average customer’s attention
How can the government fight littering?

Step 2

Conduct research.

Using the library resources (ProQuest, EbscoHost) and the Internet, locate two to three articles that take a stand on your argumentative research topic. Be sure to select articles that are from reputable sources such as news magazines or scholarly journals.

Step 3

Prewrite and plan your essay using the strategies that we have studied in this course (freewriting, brainstorming, branching, outlining).

Step 4

Draft your essay. Take a stand on your issue using ideas from your research to back your position. Remember to consider the counterarguments. In other words, address how someone may disagree. In your draft, be sure to address the following:

  • Your introduction should provide a brief overview of the research topic.
  • Your thesis statement should indicate your stand on the topic.
  • Your body paragraphs should include a topic sentence and specific evidence (summaries, paraphrases, or quotes) that help readers understand the points you are making.
  • Your conclusion should indicate the effects of the disagreements on this topic. Why do these two sides exist? Why is compromise possible/desirable or not?
  • Academic research papers should not use contractions (don’t) or personal pronouns such as I or you. 

Step 5

Revise and edit the essay.

  • Make changes that improve the thesis, the topic sentences, and the transitions. Explain anything that needs clarification. Cut anything that doesn’t fit. Add anything that may be missing.
  • Make sure that your own thinking is more evident than the material you have borrowed from your two or three sources, which should have the appropriate in-text citations.
  • Using a reference generator, make a reference list as the last page of your document. Be sure to follow APA guidelines. References should keep the same formatting as the rest of your paper (double-spaced, 12-point, Times New Roman). Remember to alphabetize your sources.
  • Edit with Grammarly. Be sure Grammarly is set to Research Results and the Plagiarism checker is turned on.

Step 6

Save and submit your assignment.

When you have completed the assignment, save a copy for yourself in an easily accessible place, and submit a copy to your instructor using the dropbox.

Writing Rubric

10% Grammar, spelling, and sentence structure
10% APA-style margins and paragraphs; heading; APA-style title page
20% APA-style reference page including minimum 2 sources
20% APA-style citations for each of the sources
20% Content
20% Completion (750 words) 

For title page

English Composition I



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