Bowie State University                                                           Fall 2016
Essay 4 is a persuasive essay. Your goal is to present a convincing argument on one of the prescribed topics by using outside sources to support your argument. You may use the documentary, The 13th as a support for your argument.
Genre/Medium:      Persuasive/Argumentative Essay—Typed

The persuasive essay is not merely your personal opinion about a topic, but an argument that provides scholarly evidence of research (i.e. various sources, interviews, quotes, and sufficient statistical data) to support your position.  Because of the length and complexity of this project, it is essential that you choose a topic that you really care about, one that you truly want to learn more about, and one that you will be interested in writing about.
Your seven-to-nine paragraph essay must contain a concrete closed thesis statement at the end of the first paragraph.  In addition to your introduction, three supporting paragraphs and conclusion, your essay will also contain a paragraph of opposition and a paragraph of refutation.  You will use MLA documentation to write your paper and we will consult with each other about your topic before the final draft is written.
This essay will target a scholarly audience.  Therefore, your language and style should meet the intellectual needs of individuals who read on a collegiate level. As you think about your audience, write to pique the interest of your audience by considering what your readers already know and what they need to know.
For this essay, it is imperative that you take a stance and present ideas that convey your stance throughout your essay.  Never contradict your thesis.
Although your final requirement for this project is a completed essay, you will carry out the steps for writing a research paper by participating in four separate graded activities that lead up to your final essay. Before you submit your final essay you will complete the following:
1.       The Research Proposal /Thesis Statement Defense
2.       An Annotated Bibliography
3.       A Peer Review
4.       Final Essay
Getting Started
Before choosing your topic you should consider what you want to write about. Once you have chosen your topic, you should decide where you stand on the issue.  Next, you want to develop your position with evidence—research—that will validate your point.  You will need to use at least 3 sources of support for your essay.  Finally, you will present your argument in a way that convinces the reader that your perspective is a valid one. Remember, this essay, like the others you have written, should have a specific, detailed, three-point thesis statement.
Dos and Don’ts
Ø  Don’t deviate from the topic.
Ø  Don’t debate the obvious; go beyond the surface.
Ø  Don’t rely strictly on your feelings to present your case.
Ø  Don’t contradict your thesis.
Ø  Do choose a topic you can personally relate to.
Ø  Do consider opposing viewpoints and refute them.
Ø  *Do check other sources beyond the Internet; be thorough in your research.  WARNING:  All sources found on the Internet or otherwise must be documented to avoid plagiarism!  If you fail to

properly document your sources you will receive an ‘F’ for the assignment and the course!

Research Proposal/Topic Due  11/18
Proposal Defense   11/18 &        
Annotated Bibliography Due 11/30
Draft of Essay 4 Due
Submit to Smartthinking
Final Research Essay Due   12/9


  • My essay is typed, and double-spaced.
  • My essay contains a three-point thesis that answers one of the prescribed prompts.
  • My essay includes at least five quotes from the text.
  • My essay includes at least 3-4 other sources.
  • My essay contains an introduction, body paragraphs that address each point of my thesis, a paragraph of opposition, a refutation paragraph, and a conclusion.
  • My essay follows MLA rules for documentation.

Since this essay is worth 20% of your final grade, you want to be sure you complete all components and submit all related assignments on time.  No late work will be accepted.