Rhetorical Concepts: After completing the inquiry essay, you should have a great deal of familiarity with the literature on your topic. That understanding will now allow you to navigate the conflicts and enter the academic conversation with an informed argument on the issue you are researching. For this paper, you will employ a useful set of argument terms from the philosopher Stephen Toulmin. Toulmin’s Model assumes that all assertions and assumptions are debatable and reminds rhetors not to construct an argument that appeals only to those who already agree with us. In short, it helps arguers tailor arguments to their audiences. Purpose & Task: In Essay Four, your task is to cast a focused argument (a stance) in a particular stasis, informed by a narrowed view of your topic. Your assignment is to craft an argument from a specific point of stasis – fact, conjecture, and definition; resemblance; cause & consequence; evaluation; or proposal, generated from your inquiry essay. Texts: Your paper will use evidence from the sources you analyzed in Essay Three. However, it is very likely that you will need to find some new supporting sources that provide more direct evidence for your argument. To support your argument, you will use a minimum of nine sources: five scholarly sources (any combination of books and journal articles), three additional sources of any kind (including popular), and one source chosen from your classmates’ student-lead discussions. You may use more sources if you choose, but be sure to cite them all! Requirements: • The genre is a research-based argument. The goal of a research paper is not to inform what others have to say about a topic, but to draw on what others have to say about a topic and engage the sources to thoughtfully offer a unique perspective on the issue at hand. You are forming an argument within one level of stasis on your issue that presents a clear, unique stance. An important goal of the research-based argument is persuasion, which means your thesis should be debatable or controversial. • You will use Toulmin’s Model to generate ideas and organize your argument. Provide compelling evidence for your supporting reasons. Follow up with careful analysis (critique) and synthesis (comparison). You will also consider multiple points of view and thoughtfully predict and address counterarguments. • Make sure that you don’t rely too heavily on any one source to support your argument; most academic audiences would not find this convincing. • In order to achieve the requirements of this assignment, draft 10-12 full pages (not including the abstract or the works cited page). You may write more, but your page limit is 15 pages. • In this paper, you will summarize and paraphrase frequently. You are required to give in-text citations for all quotes or paraphrased material. Occasionally, you may have a few short quotes. Remember to prepare a works cited page to document your sources. • Please adhere to MLA style (8th edition). Your works cited page will be on its own page and does not count toward the minimum page requirement.
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