an essay on any topic


Rough Drafts Due: 11/25

Final Drafts Due: 12/2

This is a Research Based Argumentative Essay on a controversial topic of your choice. You will be expected to use a counter argument to support your point.

Your primary objective for this paper will be to make a well-informed, carefully considered contribution to an on-going conversation or debate about an important topic. Your audience for this essay is comprised of scholars who are interested in your topic and who may be aware of the important texts, thinkers, and arguments frequently cited within your chosen conversation. However, while your readers may be familiar with some of the more influential voices that you will cite, they will expect you to remind them of key words and statements. These academic readers like texts, and they respect well-read participants of the conversation, so you should use textual support as a way of establishing credibility as well.

Your academic readers, though, will not be reading your essay simply to “re-hear” authoritative voices; they want you to bring those voices into your argument¾ and they want you to prove that you have understood them ¾ but they still expect your voice to predominate. So you must have something definite to contribute, even if it is only a revision, qualification, or correction of an existing belief or idea.

Examples of essay topics: Vocational School vs. College, is Tipping Right?, Organ sales benefit lives, and etc.

DO NOT WRITE ABOUT: Religion, Abortion, and Gun-Control.

► Using your planning document as a guide, take a few minutes to reread your previous exercises and review some of the “moves” your academic audience will expect you to make as you write your essay. For example, what are the larger implications of this conversation? Your readers will expect you to discuss established claims already in circulation within the conversation, and they will expect you to give these ideas a full and fair trial. But most of all your readers are interested in what your response is, and what your contribution to the conversation will be.

Remember that academic readers like a calm and methodical consideration of ideas; making an argument is not the same thing as being argumentative. Even though you may criticize another scholar’s position, your readers will not respond favorably to a strident or sarcastic tone. Also, as before, keep in mind that while your evidence provides the foundation for your work, you need to keep your voice and your thinking front-and-center.

Manuscript Notes: This essay should be 4 to 6 double-spaced pages and calls for MLA documentation; you must include a “Works Cited” list at the end of your essay. Additionally, you muse use and refute a counterargument. When you quote key phrases or clauses from your text(s), you must provide parenthetical documentation. Follow the guidelines in your handbook.

You should be using 3 sources( @ least 2 academic articles/peer-reviewed sources & 1 website) in this essay to support your point.

Optional Satire Essay

Research Based Argumentative Essay


In the vein of Jonathon Swift’s “A Modest Proposal,” you have the option of writing a satirical argumentative essay. You might want to extend Swift’s argument or even come up with a ridiculous stance on a hot topic subject of your own(all ideas have to be cleared with me before you start writing!). This satirical essay must be cited, logical, and convincing. Respect your fellow classmates; your satirical essay can’t be hateful or insensitive. In many ways, Satire requires more in-depth writing and more in-depth critical thinking, so please don’t try and phone it in.

Past Examples: Bringing back debtors prison for people who don’t pay back student loans, Execution T.V., Wrestling Matches Instead of Elections,


  • 4-6 pages(@ least 4 full pages)
  • Need a Counterargument and Refutation.
  • MLA format/Works Cited
  • A Humorous Argument with a Political, Ideological, or Social Meaning
  • You should be using 3 sources (1 website + @ least 2 academic articles/peer-reviewed articles)