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ENGL 155 Woodlief  

Last Updated: Nov 15, 2017 URL: Print Guide

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Welcome, English 155 Students!

Goals for today:

  • Learn to search our databases, especially CQ Researcher, Opposing Viewpoints, and SuperSearch
  • Learn to email articles to yourself and get the MLA citations
  • Find a bunch of sources. If you need 5, then send yourself 10 -- you will end up deleting some of them
  • Feel comfortable and confident in the library

English 155/Woodlief     Fall 2017        Essay #4:  Research-based Argument Essay

Due dates:

Mon, Nov. 20:             Bring two articles to class (one on each side of your issue)

Mon, Nov. 27:             Introduction due + In Class Debates

Weds, Nov. 29:           Full outline due + Works Cited list

Mon, Dec. 4:               One full body paragraph

Weds Dec 6:               Draft due for peer review (intro + at least THREE body paragraphs to not lose points); peer review in class  

Mon, Dec. 11:             Final essay due (no class = final exam date) – Submit it on the canvas page by 2 pm!



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 an arguable thesis supporting a clear position on the issue.

You should also include a rebuttal of one major point from the opposing side as a separate paragraph -- or acknowledge a valid point for the other side in one body 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.      “Policing Is Racially Biased” 

Watch the video and read resources from Intelligence Squared!      

CQ Researcher: Racial Conflict  

Opposing Viewpoints: Racially Biased Policing                       

2.      “Should we pay college athletes?”

Watch the video and read resources from Intelligence Squared!

CQ Researcher: Paying College Athletes

Opposing Viewpoints: College Athletes

3.      “Smart Technology Is Making Us Dumb"  

Watch the video and read resources from Intelligence Squared!

CQ Researcher: Impact of the Internet on Thinking

Opposing Viewpoints: Smart Technology

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 rebuttal paragraph either the first or the last body paragraph.

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