English 1301­028: Yellow is the New Red


Researched Argument


Write a 1000 word (minimum) to 1500 (maximum) researched argument on one of the topics from the list of approved topics.  You must incorporate three credible sources, which may be an article from a scholarly journal, an article from a reputable newspaper, an article from a credible website (.org, .mil, .edu, and some .coms—if you are not sure, show me the source).  You can mix the sources; therefore, you do not have to have one of each.  Some of you may have three of the same kind since some of the topics are so current that not much scholarly research has been done on them.


Choosing the issue is only the first step; you must then develop a sufficiently narrow thesis statement. Remember, the narrower your thesis is, the easier it is to develop an argument to support it. For example, “illegal immigration must be stopped” is too broad a thesis to argue successfully in four pages. It leaves open the “why” and the “how,” and four pages would likely result in a report on the problems that illegal immigration causes, rather than a researched argument that argues a specific perspective or approach to a problem, offers reasons and evidence to support it , and responds to opposing views respectfully and carefully.

The thesis statement is an arguable claim made by you that you will support with reasoning and evidence.  Be very careful about writing a thesis statement that claims something is either “good” or “bad” (binary).  For example, “Chocolate ice cream tastes good.”  This statement is not arguable as it is a matter of personal taste.  On the other hand, you can claim something is beneficial or harmful.  For example, “Chocolate ice cream is beneficial to one’s health as natural ingredients found in chocolate promote a sense of well-being.


Being able to persuade a target audience that consists mainly of neutral members, some skeptical members, and a few mildly hostile members is something you will have to do both in your college years and in your professional years. Since the target audience members are primarily open-minded, using the classical argument is logical and effective approach to appeal to them to accept your claim. Your target audience for this assignment is your classmates and me, so your target audience is an academic-level audience; therefore, your prose must meet the expectations of academic writing, both rhetorically and stylistically.  This means no slang, text lingo,  informal speech, or wordiness;  the text must be grammatically correct and in MLA formatting.


A classical argument has a fairly straightforward organization plan.

Outline Guide for Argument

adapted from Classical Argument Outline in Everything is an Argument

The different types of arguments follow a certain structure.  The outline below is the structure for organizing a researched argument.  You MUST organize your paper using THIS OUTLINE.     

Please note the numbers DO NOT indicate the number of paragraphs for this paper.  The numbers are used for organizational purposes only.  Also, depending on your topic, you may not need to include the part that “establishes your qualifications to write about your topic) in the introduction or the part that “reinforces your credibility” in the conclusion.  You only need to include these two parts if you are writing on a topic from the aspect of your personal experience.

  1. Introduction
  • Gains reader’s attention and interest
  • Establishes your qualifications to write about your topic
  • Establishes some common ground with your audience
  • Demonstrates that you’re fair and evenhanded
  • States your claim (Thesis statement identifying the problem/your topic.) For example:  The current laws pertaining to child pornography are not appropriate for teenage sexters.  
  1. Background
  • Presents any necessary information that is important to your argument
  • credible sources may be used here to put your topic in to context for the reader
  1. Lines of Argument – 3 or 4 paragraphs
  • Presents good reasons, including logical and emotional appeals, in support of your claim.
  • credible sources should be used here
  1. Alternative arguments
  • Acknowledges alternative points of view / opposing arguments to your claim
  • Notes advantages and disadvantages of these views
  • Explains why your view is better than others (such as the opposing ones)
  • opposing view may come from one of your sources
  1. Conclusion
  • Summarizes the argument
  • Elaborates on the implications of your claim
  • Makes clear what you want the audience to think or do
  • Reinforces your credibility