Argumentative-Research Essay and the Annotated Bibliography

Length: 7-8 pages
Points: 135 (125 Essay/10 Annotated Bibliography)

For this essay, you will explore a topic thoroughly, address the multiple sides an argument contains, take a particular stand, and utilize resources (research!) to support your position on an argument.

For this assignment, you will:

• Choose a topic from the link below—you have 400 to choose from!
You can also explore topics via the Gale Cengage Database. Go to—Search—Databases A-Z—Gale Cengage Learning—Opposing Viewpoints in Context.

• Develop your position—how do you feel about the argument? (In order for this to be an argument, at least one reasonable person has to disagree with your position).

• Research all sides of the argument (not just your position)

• Write a well-rounded argument that addresses all sides but ultimately, supports your position.

• Incorporate 7-10 sources into your essay and format your essay in MLA style. These sources must also be documented in a Works Cited page at the end of your essay (does not count toward the assignment’s page length requirement).
o Specific source requirements:
 You must use one book (hard copy or electronic).


You will follow the basic structure of a traditional essay—by including some type of an introduction, a body and a conclusion.

Amy Devitt et al. suggest that argumentative essays often follow the following pattern:

  1. Introduction—an attention-grabber or memorable scene
  2. Background/explanation of the issue
  3. Statement of the claim (the thesis or controlling idea)
  4. Presentation of the reasons to support the claim
  5. Summary of and refutation of opposing views
  6. Conclusion (summary or call to action)

Alternatives to this organizational structure are provided in the reading “Argumentative Synthesis” PDF on D2L.

Also, keep in mind who your intended audience is (me) and the purpose of your writing (to argue a position with evidence as support)—as this impacts the choices you make as a writer!

“Progress” Component: Annotated Bibliography

The annotated bibliography assignment will help you as you prepare your Researched-Argument Essay. The purpose of the assignment is to understand and evaluate your sources thoroughly, but also to help ensure you are making progress on your research. For this assignment, you will produce an annotated bibliography with three sources. You will submit this assignment in Week 7 via D2L (see D2L for specific due date).

The format of the annotated bibliography is similar to a Works Cited page in MLA but you also include the annotation of the source.

According to the Purdue Online Writing Lab, the annotations, should contain:
a) A summary of the source
a. What is the source about? What are the main ideas?
b) An assessment/evaluation of the source
a. How does this source compare to other sources?, Is the information reliable?, Is the source objective or biased?
c) A reflection on the source’s usefulness to your research
a. How does this source support my research?, Does it offer a counterargument?, Does it offer support for your position?

The annotations should be about 3-7 sentences (this varies) and should come right after the citation.
An entry should look like this:

Yagelski, Robert. “Evaluating Sources.” The Essentials of Writing: Ten Core Concepts. Stamford: Cengage, 2015. Print.
The chapter titled “Evaluating Sources” from The Essentials of Writing: Ten Core Concepts covers a variety of types of sources and the importance of evaluating them (Yagelski 211). Not only does Yagelski discuss the importance of establishing the credibility and the reliability of a source—but also the importance of evaluating whether bias is present (218). I plan to use this research to help support my argument that we must read source material critically before using it to support our own claims. There is tremendous value in this source for my research because the author is a well-respected scholar in the field whom people trust.

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