Communications Question

COM 102Argumentative Research Essay
(25 points, 2500 words)
Topic
There is a debate over the return on investment, given the exorbitant cost of the undergraduate
degree.
Objective
Building off the skills developed in the first three essay assignments, the writer presents a
position statement on an arguable topic and incorporates high quality research. The writer must
rebut a major opposing argument that is research-based. This assignment requires a wide range
of cognitive skills including comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. All
course learning outcomes are employed in the planning, research, and composition of the
assignment.
The Task
The student shall write a 2500-word essay that asserts a claim, supports it with research, and
addresses an opposing perspective. The essay must be argumentative, not merely informational.
The essay must adhere to MLA 9 th edition formatting.
The Nature of the Beast
The thesis must be arguable. This is not merely informative. For example, you may not write
about Catholicism in South America, but you may write about how Catholicism has had a
positive or negative effect on contemporary South American politics. This invites an opposing
viewpoint that must be addressed in your essay. Keep in mind that your topic must have the
approval of the instructor. Pursuing a topic that has not been approved shall result in a
grade of zero. Likewise, changing your topic without approval shall result in a grade of
zero. Your reader, though not an expert in any field, is both intelligent and skeptical.
Secondary Sources
You must employ a minimum of seven sources. These can range from books and academic
journals to interviews. Use high quality sources. Poor sources will hinder your essay and most
certainly reflect in your grade. Sources like Wikipedia, About.com, and the like shall result in a
grade no higher than a D at 65%; given other factors, the grade could be lower. There must be a
variety of sources. For instance, a paper that uses sources solely from the Internet is unacceptable
and shall receive a grade of zero. Keep in mind that sources found in the databases are not
considered to be online sources.
Format and Length
Your essay must adhere to MLA format for research essays. Nothing else is acceptable. If you
are uncertain, ask me. Your essay’s outline might be like this:
1. Introduction-Context and Debate
2. Thesis and Rationale, Discussion Points
3. Theory (optional)
4. Argument
5. Transitional paragraph
6. Opposing Viewpoint
7. Response to Opposition
8. Conclusion
Certainly, there are variations and alternative approaches to the organization. This,
however, is the most commonly used model. As you can tell, it will be no problem filling the
2500-word requirement.
Organization
Remember, this is a high-impact assignment and your time for composition is brief. Do not
procrastinate. Define reasonable daily goals for production and work on it every day.
Requisite Elements
✔ Address a general audience
✔ 2500 words
✔ 7 sources
✔ A variety of sources
✔ Research-driven argumentation
✔ Research-driven opposition
✔ Strict MLA 9 format or formatting otherwise required at the instructor’s discretion

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