The Researched Argument, Part Two 

The goal of the semester paper is to have you research and write an argument about an issue that matters to you. That issue should arise from a community to which you belong, and, ideally, your essay should allow you to contribute to the dialogue about that issue in your community. 

In order to facilitate your increased competence in writing persuasively, the semester paper will be broken down into four interrelated parts, each part devoted to answering an essential question about your issue. When completed, your semester paper will be approximately 10-12 pages and include a separate Works Cited page. 

No final papers will be accepted that have not moved through this drafting process. You must secure instructor approval to change the issue of your researched argument, and you will be required to submit a new version of both this assignment and Part One. 

Process for Part 2 

Your task for this second part is to write a 3-4 page paper (typed, double-spaced, with MLA citation and a separate Works Cited page) in which you endeavor to describe the origins and causes of the controversy you have chosen to write about: 

• What are the historical dimensions of this controversy? That is, where does the issue come from? What started the controversy? historical events should not date back more than 1990’s unless briefly being used due to being relevant to your papers topic

• What are the causes of this problem?

Put most simply, your task in this paper is to answer as fully as you can the following 

essential questions about your issue: How did it begin and what causes it?

In this paper, you should not explain why you believe one way or another; you should 

not argue for a particular course of action. All of that will come later. 

You will have to continue your research for this paper, and you should include specific references within your paper that you have found thus far that you think are important to understanding and defining your issue. 


This is considered part of a longer paper, so this writing task is a draft (which counts for credit). My expectation is that this draft has been thoughtfully researched and composed (and proofread). Your paper will be deemed Exemplary, Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory based on how well and how fully you address the aspects of the paper noted above. Because you will revise this paper and incorporate it into the final semester paper, my comments will not be corrections but revision directions and suggestions. 


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