ASSIGNMENT: In your personal, academic, and professional life, you will encounter countless situations where you will

ASSIGNMENT: In your personal, academic, and professional life, you will encounter countless situations where you will need to convince family members, friends, coworkers, committees, and other audiences to adopt new policies, consider different processes and perspectives, or make changes that will impact others. 

Following the Assignment Guidelines below, choose an argumentative topic to research. The topic for an argumentative research paper must be a debatable topic, meaning that it involves conflicting viewpoints. 

A. Assignment Guidelines

DIRECTIONS: Choose a scenario below and create a research question, a working thesis, and a detailed outline. Your topic should be current, appropriate for an academic context and should have a focus suitable for a 6-8 page essay.

Step 1: Select a Scenario and Topic

Scenario 1: Community
Community-focused problems are issues that affect the daily life of individuals. These individuals can be from the same neighborhood, a neighborhood across town, or the same city. Have you ever wished the city would install more street lights, or put in a skating park, or did something about the persistent littering throughout the neighborhood?All of these are examples of community-focused problems.

The goal of this scenario is to persuade a community group to fund the solution that you believe will address a particular problem and benefit the area. How will you persuade the community group to give you what you’re asking for?

Scenario 2: Workplace
Workplace-focused problems involve issues or needs that affect employees at the office, department, or company. Some examples of workplace issues might include poor communication between departments, wasteful spending, lack of work-life balance, or a desire to have on site childcare. The goal of this scenario is to analyze the problem, then develop a solution that you think will resolve or improve the situation for the employees. How will you convince management to accept your solution?

Step 2: Determine Research Question and Working Thesis

The research question and working thesis are the driving force behind your research and eventual argument.

Possible research question stems:

  • How will benefit our workplace?
  • What steps will we need to implement in the community?
  • What are the costs associated with ?

Possible research question stems:

  • How will benefit our workplace?
  • What steps will we need to implement in the community?
  • What are the costs associated with ?

Step 3: Create Detailed Outline

Scenario and Topic

Have you identified a specific topic/problem to be addressed and explain why this topic is important to you?
Is your topic focused and debatable?

Research Question and Thesis

Is your research question a single sentence, framed as a question?
Is your working thesis a single focused sentence, framed as a statement that takes a clear position on the research question?


Have you included headings: one for each paragraph with a brief label of the paragraphs controlling idea(s)?
Have you included an introduction, at least five body paragraphs, and a conclusion?
Does your introduction include your working thesis?
Does each body paragraph have its own unique title and key points?
Do you have subheadings: two to five for each paragraph, below each heading, indicating key points that support the controlling idea?
Does your conclusion include notes on your final thoughts?
Do you have sources: one to three for each paragraph, as relevant, indicating the support for the key points?
For each source, did you include the authors name and the idea or information relevant to your argument (e.g. Lapp on mono-cropping corn/soy and production)?

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