English Question

8 Pages
The purpose of this paper is to exhibit your understanding of concepts we have learned this
semester: critically summarizing academic arguments in a lit review, making synthetic thesis
statements, proving this thesis with argumentative topic sentences and appropriate quote
analysis, framing your argument effectively with introduction and conclusion paragraphs, and
properly presenting your writing in a citation system. Everything we have learned up to this
point has been to prepare you for this research paper and to set the foundation for future
academic, professional, and scholarly research you may do. Rhetorically, you must convince me
of your ethos as an academic writer by utilizing the skills you learned in English 101/3 and
102/203. Think specifically on how I have outlined my expectations, and how you might best
meet them.
As advanced college writers, you are situated to decide the organization that will best pursue
your argument. That said, I encourage you to utilize the intro-definitions-lit review-primary
sources/solutions/advocacy-conclusion strategy discussed in class. Rhetorically speaking,
this is the most common construction in academic writing and allows you to develop your
ideas as your paper progresses.
Make sure to put your most important secondary sources into dialogue with one another in
your lit review sequence. What have others said about the issue, and what added nuance or
detail is needed to bring to this debate?
Grading Criteria:
A word on the grading of this paper: This will not be graded on a participation level and will be
graded by the standards established in class up to this point. Many students expect that because
we spent a good deal of time on this paper that they should be given a higher grade. While your
participation in the process of this paper builds your academic ethos with me, it does not
guarantee that the final product will succeed in the following categories, listed from most
important to least.
1.) Thesis: A synthetic thesis statement that incorporates both your context and your
a.) ex: “Mental illness in cats is a problem that affects many cats contrary to popular
belief.” – This is a poor example. It does not include the context I plan to bring in, or
highlight my specific argument.
b.) ex: “Given the increasing diagnosis rates of mental illness in cats, it is paramount that
cat owners have increasing awareness to the problem, reject the popular notion that cats
are intellectually incapable of having such problems, and have better access to veterinary
help.” – This is an excelling example. It highlights some of the primary information I
plan to bring in (diagnosis rates), some secondary notions I want to reject (that cats can’t
have such a problem), and a specific solution I want to put forth (increasing access to
veterinary health).
2.) Citation: You must use the MLA citation system effectively in this paper. This paper
requires 7 sources. The breakdown for what kinds of sources needed are up to you, but you
do need at least 1 primary source. Each dishonest or flagrantly incorrect use of the MLA
citation system and its formatting will result in a 20 point deduction off your final grade outside
of the holistic √-, √, √+ grading system used to grade the paper. Include in-text citations and a
works cited page.
3.) Topic sentences: Each paragraph must begin with a sentence that makes an argument that
proves your main argument, or establishes the relevance of the topic to your thesis.
a.) ex: “The symptoms of mental illness in cats are markedly similar to those
experienced by humans.”
b.) ex: “Even with these similar symptoms, many critics are skeptical to the
measurability of this phenomena.”
4.) Quote Framing and Analysis: You must introduce your quotes and where they are from,
and analyze them with appropriate depth (at least 2x the length of the quoted material.)
Remember our analytical structure. Begin by summarizing the meaning of the quote, and then
analyze the base elements of the quote, picking out individual words or ideas that are worth
expanding. Work generally back to your thesis, such that by the end of your analysis your quote
proves your topic sentence and thus your thesis.
5.) Introduction and Conclusion Paragraphs: Utilize our general to specific and specific to
general (respectively) strategies. The introduction and conclusion paragraphs are critical in
papers of this length. Give them special attention. Also, do not use “in conclusion” or “to sum it
all up.”

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