Write a researched argument about an issue affecting your future career field or your major field(major：Elecrical Engineering). This paper is your own argument, but you should take into account what you’ve learned during this course: begin by showing the conversation your paper is responding to (“they say,” which should include clear positions on the topic), have a clear statement of your own argument about the issue (“I say”), include quotes and incorporate them smoothly (both in the “they say” and “I say” paragraphs), point out possible objections to your argument, use appropriate transitions, and explain why the issue matters (so what? who cares?). You must use at least 5 sources and at least 2 must be from academic peer reviewed journals. You should also give your argument a clear title at the beginning of your essay.
No plagiarism: Review the definitions of plagiarism, and remember that plagiarism also includes submitting a paper from another class for this class.
Recommended structure: For this paper you have 5-6 pages to work with and you need to include, in effect, five major parts:
Introduction: includes an overview of the conversation (names of key authors and the issues you’re bringing up), a brief statement of your argument (or thesis statement), and a brief explanation of why your argument matters
summary of 2 or 3 authors or arguments, with quotes as evidence
summary of how they agree/disagree; provide quotes if necessary
your own opinion and your reasons for your opinion (which includes at least one naysayer); provide quotes as evidence
Conclusion: includes a return sentence, a restatement of your argument, and a developed explanation of why your argument matters
Note that these are five parts, not paragraphs (exceptions: the introduction and the conclusion are usually one paragraph each). What could this look like? Here’s an example: After the brief introductory paragraph (where you introduce your topic, an overview of the conversation you’re entering, a sense of your argument and briefly why your argument matters), you might have a summary of one author (1 paragraph), then a summary of the second author (1 paragraph), and a summary of another author or position (1 paragraph). Then you might have one paragraph that explains how they agree or disagree (though you can already allude to that in the summary paragraphs through phrases like “Unlike X, Y asserts that…”). Note that the paragraph that explains how the authors or arguments agree or disagree is still “they say,” since you’re not yet putting forward your own opinion on the issues. At that point you’ll have written about 3 pages. Then you write your own argument (“I say”) in relation to the conversation you’ve set up (about two pages). At that point you’ve written about 5 pages. Then you end with a concluding paragraph, where you wrap it up with a return sentence and again explain why it matters.
Keep in mind that this way of structuring your argument is only a suggestion; it doesn’t have to be exactly like that. But hopefully this gives you an idea of what this kind of paper could look like.
I need to get three documents in the end:
1. Argumentative Paper Topic Proposals
Do a little research and see what scholars or stakeholders are saying about a topic relevant to your field, your major, your community, or an issue covered in the readings for this class. Keep in mind that you are looking for ongoing conversations (that is, arguments), not just facts, so you want to choose a topic that has some kind of debate surrounding it. Skim a few articles (no need to read in-depth at this point, but you might want to save your sources for later use). Once you’ve read the articles, use the They Say, I Say format to write a paper proposal (length: one paragraph, meaning at least three sentences). Attach this document as a Microsoft Word document.
Here is the structure for this assignment:
X says___________________whereas Y says________________________. I will argue ___________________.
Note: Your paragraph should have enough detail to show you’ve read something. Use specific details. Also note that you are writing for academic purposes, so your tone will be more formal than conversational.
Here is an example (Note that the topic here is “writing” and the “I say” part of the argument reflects this emphasis. Your topic probably will not be about “writing” and therefore should have quite a different “I Say” section):
Scholars such as Kenneth Burke and April Brannon have discussed the role of listening in writing. Burke believes all writing is an act of listening in which the writer situates himself in the “conversation of mankind” while Brannon calls for increased attention to listening, as opposed to voice-claiming, in composition classes. I intend to investigate the role of listening in writing. I believe this is a worthy topic because no writing exists in a vacuum, and it is important to acknowledge ongoing conversations and to respond to them in a rhetorically sophisticated way.
After the paragraph, list your sources using the appropriate format (MLA or APA).
2. Find two academic articles and create a mini annotated bibliography.
Below are two examples from an annotated bibliography. (Note that Titanium has messed up the formatting, particularly indentations. Make sure your assignment is properly formatted).
Graff, Gerald. Birkenstein, Cathy. “They Say, I Say”: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing. New York: Norton & Company, 2006.
Summary: Graff and Birkenstein seek to make academic writing more accessible by providing templates that allow writers to think critically about texts. [P] While the authors acknowledge that the templates seem formulaic, perhaps something like the cousin of the five paragraph essay, they argue that their approach is actually an antidote to formulaic writing because it helps writers think critically and creatively about topics. Moreover, they believe their method is inherently democratic and argue, [Q] “This approach to writing therefore has an ethical dimension, since it asks writers not simply to keep proving and reasserting what they already believe but to stretch what they believe by putting it up against beliefs that differ, sometimes radically, from their own” (xxvi).
Comparison: Written for a general audience, this book is not marred by jargon and is easily accessible. Like LaMott’s book, this book functions as a how-to for writing. However, unlike LaMott’s book, the authors present a philosophical discussion of academic writing that helps them assert that this type of writing is highly significant.
LaMott, Anne. Bird by Bird. New York: Random House, 1994.
Summary: Using a funny and down-to-earth voice, Lamott offers advice on how to be a writer. She organizes her book into five sections: writing, the writing frame of mind, help along the way, publication and other reasons to write, and the last class. Each section consists of short chapters that deal with various aspects or issues surrounding writing such as getting started, drafting, and revising. [P] LaMott’s work provides a discussion of the internal struggle that often occurs when writing and describes the struggle as something akin to having “voices” in your mind that try to distract you (7). Her book is by no means a “research” report on writing, and her claims are not factual. However, she does present some very real issues surrounding writing in an eloquent and engaging way; her book is aimed at the general reader and indeed was a NYTimes best seller). [Q] She states, “Writing can give you what having a baby can give you; it can get you to start paying attention, can help you soften, can wake you up” (7).
Comparison: Unlike Graff and Birkenstein, LaMott does not discuss secondary sources. Her more general aim is a personal appreciation of writing, not a philosophical consideration of the topic.
3. The final draft of the paper.
Introduction (10 points)
Includes an overview of the conversation (names of key authors and the issues you’re bringing up), clear “I say” statement (thesis) placed in relation to authors, and a brief explanation of why your argument matters
“They say” (20 points): Shows conversation paper is responding to
Summary includes basic information about authors as well as the full title of essays; summaries do not agree or disagree with authors (summaries inhabit worldview); summaries use sophisticated signal verbs to summarize authors’ points; no listing or “closest cliché” (pp. 31, 35, 33)
Quoting (20 points): Uses quotes correctly and appropriately
Quotes used to present “proof of evidence” (p. 42) in summary of authors’ arguments — Quotes should not be “orphans” (p. 43) — Quotes should be framed appropriately (“quotation sandwich”) (p. 46) — Quotes should be Introduced with appropriate verb (p. 47) — Quotes should present “proof of evidence” (p. 42) — Indicates page number of quote (p. 48)
“I Say” (20 points): Clear statement of your own argument
Clearly distinguishes “they say” from “I say” – Clearly signals who is saying what: Uses at least one template from pp. 72-75 — “I say” includes clear reasons for argument that are not simply summaries of authors’ arguments – Clearly plants naysayer to support “I say” argument (use at least one template from pp. 82, 83,84-85, 89).
Conclusion (10 points)
Includes at least one “return sentence” in the conclusion to remind reader of what “they say” (p. 27); includes a restatement of thesis or “I say”; includes a developed explanation of why your argument matters (uses templates from pp. 95-96, 98-99).
Bibliography or Works Cited (10 points)
Includes proper bibliographic form — no annotations included here — includes 5 sources; 2 must be peer-reviewed
Editing and tone (10 points)
No editing errors (spelling, grammar, punctuation, and formatting); Uses proper tone (formal where appropriate, informal where appropriate)
The file is the book we learnt in this class.