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child abuse or teen alcoholism.

ENG 1101
Research Project
Write a paper persuading your audience to agree with you about an arguable, controversial issue based on the research you used for the synthesis. You may switch topics, but you will have to find more sources.

The paper should be:

4-5 pages in length (which is 1,000 -1250 words)
based on research from 5-7 sources
12-point font in Times New Roman or Arial
submitted with an MLA Works Cited page

More Specifics:
Thesis Statement
Your thesis for this paper must be arguable and clearly state your side on the issue.  In other words, it must be a statement that reasonable people could oppose.  Sometimes students want to write about topics like child abuse or teen alcoholism, arguing that they are wrong and should be eliminated.  Is anyone out there for teen alcoholism or child abuse? Even teen alcoholics would say they’re not alcoholics, and child abusers would insist that they’re just administering proper discipline.

No reasonable person is in favor of child abuse or teen alcoholism.  These topics could become arguable; however, if you argue that the best way to combat child abuse is a prison sentence for the first offense, or that the best way to combat teen alcoholism is to raise the drinking age to 25.  People might argue that these measures are too severe or would not solve the problem.

You must choose a side in this paper.  It is not enough to choose a controversial topic — teen curfews, for example — and tell your readers the arguments for both sides.  You must argue either for or against teen curfews, and your thesis statement should clearly indicate your position. This is where you will incorporate your sources to support your thesis. Be sure to quote experts, use statistics and facts to give your case credibility and authority in order to persuade readers.

Your goal in this paper is to persuade your readers to agree with you — or to at least reconsider their stance on this issue.

Your tone in this paper should be respectful and reasonable.  After all, are you more likely to be persuaded by someone who is screaming hysterically at you, or someone who is speaking to you in a calm and reasonable way?  Don’t insult those who oppose your position; your reader might be offended. Ease them into your argument by building common ground with your reader. Tell them a story that sets the scene or present a fact that is not arguable. Then ease us into your thesis.

Also, you must anticipate objections in order to strengthen your argument. If you can’t see the other side, your readers are going to lose respect for your essay.  If you argue for condom distribution in high school as a way to combat teen pregnancy, you know that some readers will object that abstinence is the better method.  You need to address that issue in your paper, or your audience might think you aren’t aware of the opposing arguments.  You want them to know you have carefully considered the opposing arguments and still believe in your position.

When you raise opposing arguments, describe them briefly but fairly. You don’t want to accidentally convince your readers that the opposition is right by letting them win.  Distance yourself from them by labeling them as the ideas of others, so people don’t think that you are contradicting yourself.  You might begin by saying, “Some people might argue,” or “Critics disagree.”  If you know exactly who your opponents are, you can be even more specific.  If you were arguing for gun control, you can mention that “hunters” might have objections, for example.

Once you raise objections, you must respond to them in some way.  You might show that they’re wrong, or you might admit that they’re valid objections, but that the arguments in favor of your position are stronger.


Consider ending your paper with either a call to action or a scenario.  When you end with a call to action, you spell out what you want readers to do:  write their Senator, sign a petition, complain to businesses, march on Washington, or whatever.  When you end with a scenario, you describe the world either as it will be if people agree with you or as it will be if people are not persuaded by your arguments.

If, for example, you are advocating condom distribution in high schools, you might end with either a vision of how condoms will reduce teen pregnancy, limit the spread of sexually transmitted disease, and save lives — or a vision of how doing nothing will mean more teenagers will face pregnancies they can’t handle, more teens will lose their fertility to s


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