The Toulmin Essay
This essay should be between 900 and 1000 words. It must include a cover letter and an annotated bibliography.
This essay will help you practice what you have learned so far in this course. First, you will choose a topic of interest. Make sure that you choose a topic with two opposing sides. Then, you need to research that topic in order to specify the topic’s scope, so it can be easily discussed in a shorter, 1000 word essay. For example, you may be interested in learning more about traffic issues in the United States. However, that topic is too large to cover in a 1000 word essay. After researching peer reviewed articles that discuss US traffic issues in general, you may discover that the metro system in the District of Columbia is underfunded and underutilized. Through your research, you found that you could make a claim that more funds should be made available in order to upgrade the metro system, which would improve traffic issues in the District of Columbia. This would make for a stronger, specific argument.
This essay must include a minimum of five sources. Three should peer-reviewed sources, preferably from the APUS databases. You may use eBooks; however, as discussed earlier this semester, books generally are not as current as peer-reviewed articles. You may also use primary sources (interviews, statistics, etc); however, these primary sources should be obtained from experts within that field. If you cannot find strong sources for your chosen topic, then change your topic. If you have a question about the validity of a source, please email me, or post your question to the open forum.
Make sure to include the following sections in your essay:
· Introduction and claim.
Within the body of your essay, make sure to include the following in any order:
· Support for your claim
· Opposing or alternate views
· Strong, scholarly research
After you have written your essay, please make sure to revise the content of your essay. Lastly, be sure to edit your essay by checking grammar, format, and smaller technical details. Please make sure your essay is written in third person.
The Cover Letter
Each essay due in this course needs to have a cover letter (not a cover page). In letter for the Toulmin essay, I would like for you to answer the following questions. Each response should be at least three sentences, with the exception of question six. The questions are below:
1) What was the purpose of the essay? In your response, explore the deeper meaning of this question. The goal is not just to complete the assignment but instead to convey a message. What do you plan to accomplish with this essay? What do you hope the reader takes away from this argument?
2) What did you learn from completing this assignment? Did you experience a new understanding of the topic? Did you change your perspective after completing the research?
3) What difficulties did you encounter during the research, writing, or editing phases of the assignment?
4) What did you enjoy about this assignment?
5) What made you decide to write about this particular topic? Is this a topic that you are discussing in another course? Is this a topic that concerns you in particular?
6) Is there anything else you would like for me to know before reading your essay
The Annotated Bibliography
An annotated Bibliography (AB) is due with your Toulmin essay. Using the MLA guide, list each source as it will appear on the Works Cited page of your essay. In two to three sentences summarize the text. I will be checking for grammar as well. This is what makes it an “annotated” bibliography. A sample is shown below.
Clark, Irene L. The Genre of Argument. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace, 1998. Print.
Clark’s textbook identifies the major steps to developing a well-researched and well-written argumentative essay. Professional essays are included in the text as models.
Ward, Russ. Logical Argument in the Research Paper. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace, 1997. Print.
Augmenting the steps to writing an argumentative research paper is information about proper documentation. The Toulmin System, an important aspect of a well-planned paper, should be studied carefully.
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