Independent Argumentative Research Essay Assignment
Now that you have completed a guided argument paper, designed to teach students how to develop an argument, it’s time for you to develop a researched argument on your own. While there is a broad common theme for this assignment, it is your job to choose and research your own individual topic. For this paper, I’d like you to choose a controversial issue in a STEM field and build a specific argument using academic sources. I encourage you to think of a topic that interests you as it can be painful to write (or read) a paper that does not intrigue the writer. To make this assignment manageable, I would encourage you to consider the cultural or social implications of science, engineering or technology (which is distinct from scientific research). For example, you might consider:
Whether we should continue investing in the space program Whether google is making us “stupid” Whether diversity (gender, racial, ethnic) leads to greater scientific innovation Whether ethical guidelines limit scientific discovery Whether people should be forced to vaccinate their children Whether caffeine (or alcohol) is healthy Whether robots can improve medicine Whether alternative energy companies should get government subsidies You may also choose a topic not on this list, if it focuses on a STEM topic. Remember, an argument is a paper that takes a position on an issue and works to persuade readers that this position is correct. In your independent researched argument, you will conduct research and develop an argument on your own. It is your job to find a topic and develop this argument by finding supporting evidence from research articles in the library databases. Be sure to include the necessary background information (context) so that readers can understand the topic. Provide sound reasons to back up your position. Give “convincing evidence” to back up your reasons, including “facts, statistics, expert testimony, anecdotal evidence, case studies, textual evidence” (169). The evidence you use must include a minimum of four academic sources-dating back to 2000 and no earlier-in a thoughtful way. Your essay must also include one counterargument (the opposite view of your position), as well as your rebuttal (response) to this opposing viewpoint.
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