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  1. Argumentative Essay Writing & Research Created by: Megan Lowe ULM Reference Librarian

  2. Session Overview What Is It? Examples Getting Started Research Quotations & Citations Q & A Time

  3. What is an argumentative essay? Is like a persuasive essay Should present pros and cons of the issue Should contain an argument Should contain evidence or support for the issue (facts, statistics, anecdotal evidence) Should concern a manageable topic Derived from the Bogazici University Writing Lab

  4. Examples of Argumentative Topics Selling marijuana in public places should be illegal * Polygamy is a natural state, and should be legal * Assisted suicide should be legal ¤ Animal testing should be illegal ¤ Graphic video games make kids aggressive and/or violent Vistas is a better operating system than XP * From Bogazici University Writing Lab ¤ From Glendale Community College English Department

  5. Getting Started Picking a topic Something of interest to you Something interesting Something controversial Something argumentative Getting organized Outlining your paper Creating a keyword list Getting research

  6. General Outline of a Paper Introduction | Thesis statement Argument-evidence paragraph #1 Argument-evidence paragraph #2 Argument-evidence paragraph #3 Summary of Argument | Conclusion

  7. Example Outline Thesis: Beans are a more healthy source of protein than beef. Beans are fat-free. (Or, you can point out that beef is not fat-free) Beans are low-sodium. (Or, you can point out that beef is not low-sodium) Beans are cholesterol-free. (Or, you can point out that beef is not cholesterol-free) Conclusion: Based on the facts that they are fat-free, low-sodium, and cholesterol free, beans are definitely a more healthy source of protein than beef.

  8. Research Evidence for argumentative essays can be objective – like facts, statistics, and case studies – or anecdotal – your personal experiences Objective evidence will require research – you can use sources like books, articles, websites, and even people!

  9. Research Books can be found using the Library’s online catalog. Articles in magazines, newspapers, and journals can be found using the Library’s databases. Good websites can be found using engines like Google and Ask

  10. Keywords Regardless of where you seek resources – books, articles, or websites – the best way to search for resources is keyword searching Keywords represent the most important parts of your thesis statement or argument Before you start searching, develop a list of keywords from your argument

  11. Keywords: Example Remember: you aren’t limited to the actual words from the thesis – use related words or alternate ideas! Also, look to your arguments for keywords, too – those are key ideas! • Thesis: Beans are a more healthy source of protein than beef. • Beans  legumes • Source • Healthy – health • Protein • Beef = red meat • Cholesterol You will combine them together using AND!

  12. Quotations & Citations Quotations: when you use text from a resource in your own writing Citations: how you acknowledge resources you’ve used in your paper

  13. Quotations Indirect Quotation: Some researchers note that "children are totally insensitive to their parent's shyness" (Zimbardo 62).Direct Quotation: Zimbardo notes that "children are totally insensitive to their parent's shyness" (62).Paraphrase: While not all children are, research has shown that some children are insensible to the introversion or timidity of their parent or parents (Zimbardo 62).

  14. Citations Book Langland, William. Piers the Ploughman. Baltimore: Penguin Books, Ltd., 1974. Journal article Thibodeau, P.L., and S.J. Melamut. "Ergonomics in the Electronic Library." Bulletin of the Medical Library Association 83.3 (July 1995): 322-329.

  15. Citations Journal article from a database Becker, Karen. "The Characteristics of Bibliographic Instruction in Relation to the Causes and Symptoms of Burnout." RQ 32.3 (Spring 1993): 346-357. EBSCO ERIC. ULM University Library, Monroe, LA. 19 May 2009. <>.

  16. Citations Website Lowe, Megan. “Citations Guide: MLA Style.” Megan Lowe @ ULM. 8 June 2006. University of Louisiana at Monroe. 12 June 2007 <>. Remember: citations are important for two reasons They allow you to give credit where credit is due, which keeps you from plagiarism and cheating charges Allows readers to retrace your research steps and look at the actual resources you used

  17. Question & Answer Time

  18. Argumentative Essay FYI Presentation Sites Consulted for Presentation Bogacizi University Writing Center Glendale Community College English Dept. Don’t forget: the OWL at Purdue! My Contact Info Email: