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ENGL 155 Woodlief Fall 2015  

Last Updated: Nov 16, 2015 URL: Print Guide

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English 155/Woodlief     Fall 2015        Essay #4:  Research-based Argument Essay

Due dates:

Mon, Nov. 23:             Introduction due + In Class Debates

Weds Nov. 25: F         Full outline due + Works Cited list

Weds Dec 2:               Draft due for peer review (intro + at least 3 body paragraphs to not lose points); peer review in class          

Weds Dec 9:              Final essay due (no class = final exam date) – Submit it via Turnitin by 11 am!


 Length:  6 - 8 pages (1,700 – 2,600 words), double-spaced, typed + Works Cited list in MLA Format --- Cite at least five credible sources

 For your final essay assignment, choose one of the debate topics below and write a research-based argumentative essay, arguing for one side of the debate. Make sure your essay has a clear arguable thesis supporting only one side of the issue. You should also include a refutation/rebuttal of at least one major point from the opposing side as a separate paragraph.

Use several different types of evidence and support in this essay, such as quotes from experts, statistics, surveys, personal experiences, etc. Beware of using logical fallacies, especially when using personal experience. Be sure to qualify your examples to avoid overgeneralizations. You may assume your audience is college students.


Topic choices – Choose ONE topic.  We will be watching debates on each topic, from the website Intelligence Squared.

  1. “Smart Technology Is Making Us Dumb”
  2. “Too Many Kids Go To College”;                                                  
  3. “Income Inequality Impairs the American Dream”

We will also debate these topics in class, with each side providing a variety of evidence to support its claims. You are welcome to share research with each other  for use in your essays.



  • Your introduction should explain key background information about the issue, and identify the various perspectives people have on the issue, to put your views in context of other competing interpretations.
  • Each topic sentence/body paragraph should offer ONE reason in support of your argument and each body paragraph should include outside sources to support your points.
  • Make your refutation/rebuttal paragraph either the first or the last body paragraph.





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