What is a Researched Argument

1) What is a Researched Argument?

A researched argument takes a stand on an issue using researched material to back up its claims. A researched argument is analytical, but it uses information as evidence to support its point, much as a lawyer uses evidence to make their case.

2) Making an Argument

Most likely every paper you have written in college (excluding narrative) has either been an argument or a research paper – Lets put it all together!

Arguments are abundant. Someone, somewhere has debated and argued for most of the material you learn in college, even if it isn’t presented that way. 

You will need to select a point of view and provide evidence to develop your own considered argument. 

3) Structure and Purpose

You should examine a variety of sources, including scholarly articles, which discuss a range of perspectives on the issue you are arguing.

These sources should be put into conversation with one another in order to analyze the different perspectives.

As a new member of the discourse you should find where your voice, perspective, and argument fit into the existing conversation.

You should be offering a new perspective on the issue. 

4) Choose something you care about!

I would like for you to choose an issue in your field, although I am not requiring it. This could get you more interested in your field of study and you might even enjoy it just a little.

5) When you find your issue, ask

What are the core controversies at the heart of the issue?

What do I need to define or explain?

What sources should I use? Are there gaps in the info?

What info am I seeking in other sources to fill these gaps?

Do sources agree on an issue? Disagree?

How do I respond to these sources? What do you think?

6) Genre Conventions

These are the rules and guidelines that your sources follow – structure, content, organization, etc.

What kinds of research questions are writers trying to answer?

How do they begin their piece?

How do they use evidence, including summary, paraphrase, quotation, and analysis?

How do they signal they are moving on to another portion of their argument?

How do they show their willingness to listen to and engage with alternative view points?

7)Develop a clear thesis

Demonstrate a range of perspectives on the issue

Analyze and complicate those perspectives (limitations)

Offer new insights on the issue.

5-7 sources must be used.

8) Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a list of sources on a particular topic that have each been summarized.

Although it takes extra time, an annotated bibliography can make the writing process 10x easier. 

These sources should be the ones you will be using for the researched argument. 

Purpose: To collect and organize sources that relate to a common theme, to connect those sources to each other, and your argument to determine their usefulness. 

9) Skills 

Researching by using the library, scholarly databases, and the internet for sources. 

Gathering sources that pertain to your topic into one list.

Indicating how each source will be used or how it relates to your argument.

Documenting sources using MLA works cited entries

Evaluating sources for credibility and bias.

10) Strategies

Focus on a narrowly defined and arguable topic.

Collect trustworthy sources that are relevant to topic

Organize sources alphabetically by last name

Read and annotate sources carefully

Document all sources using MLA

Summarize each source accurately – only the big ideas/ most important info

Write the annotation paragraphs in a style that is clear and readable.

11) Content

1.) Summary of the text, which includes,

an opening sentence naming author and their background

the thesis/argument/ purpose of the source

a summary of the logical progression of ideas

the best example or evidence provided 

the author’s conclusion

Content continued

2.) An evaluation which answers, 

is the author a credible source on this topic?

How did the author build ethos?

Was the logos for the argument convincing?

What types of pathos did the author use?

Did any fallacies compromise the info?

Did the author successfully address counterarguments?

Be sure to point out holes in all of the above categories. 

Length – 3-7 sentences (1/2 a page each)

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