Critical Thinking & Gurevich
In class we will review the steps involved in writing the college-level research essay. Then you will pick a topic that is currently being discussed and/or argued about in the larger society. Examples include: immigration, gun control, taxation, foreign policy, reproductive rights, the environment, religion in the public sphere, terrorism and education. You may select one of these issues or another one not mentioned here. Explore the origins of the argument, all relevant sides, testimony from experts and those with the authority to discuss the topic intelligently and rationally, and those most affected by the outcomes of the issue. Present your findings in a final essay that includes your research, analysis and final educated opinion on which side(s) of the issue you feel are the strongest and why.
Clearly define what you are claiming about the topic in a thesis statement and how you intend to develop that claim (pattern of development). Use examples from relevant sources (in the form of quotation, summary, and paraphrase) and your own ideas/experience/reasoning to create this thesis-driven essay. Try to move beyond just retelling your experience or opinion. You need to look at the underlying claims ABOUT the topic as well as what the most reliable and authoritative sources you can find have to say about it. 5-7 Pages, Double-spaced, MLA format.
Be able to analyze a larger cultural issue and respond to it
Be able to use relevant, reliable, authoritative sources to support and develop a thesis
Be able to clearly present your interpretation of the issue, without undue personal bias
Be able to use summary, paraphrase, and quotation in your analysis
Be able to clearly express your own thoughts about the topic under discussion
Be able to create graceful transitions, introduction, and conclusion to tie together the various parts of your essay
Be able to use MLA style to document your source(s)
Please type your paper, double-spaced, in a readable font (about 12-point). Be sure to have someone look over your paper, after you have polished the final draft, to catch any mechanical errors. Final drafts turned in should be entirely free of such errors. Have a Works Cited page that includes a citation in MLA style for each source that you’ve used in your paper.
Present your argument or position in a clear thesis statement in the introduction.
Support your claim with evidence and examples from relevant, reliable and representative sources. The body of your essay will explore the major points related to your thesis.
Make sure you are using the elements of argument construction and analysis we have learned this term to strengthen the presentation of your ideas. For instance, make sure you have established proper authority with your sources, have sufficient and reliable data, make appropriate appeals to pathos, and have a proper warrant that connects your evidence to your thesis.
Make sure to consider and include substantive responses to the major arguments on both (or all) sides of the argument in question. Especially those in opposition to your thesis.
Present one major point (presented in a topic sentence) per paragraph and explain it fully, with detailed support and examples, before you move on to your next point/paragraph.
Wrap up your essay with a conclusion that revisits your overall topic, theme and argument.
5-7 pages, double-spaced (not including “Works Cited” page).
Works Cited or Works Consulted page in proper MLA format
Note: Tutors are available every day in the Learning Assistance Center (upstairs in the library). Try to make an appointment well in advance. They also have online tutoring. See our Portal page for more details.