Major Research Essay Assignment – Composition 201


Attach this to the front of your essay.  See format for essay in the text.


Choose a topic from one of the essays in the text, develop an argument about that topic either opposing or supporting the opinion of the original author.  Use that concept to develop a thesis, and then write a 1200 to 1500 word argumentative essay on that topic.

·        The idea is to approach the topic as a critical thinker would, posing an argument guided by a thesis statement.  Your goal is to prove your point, not unlike what we’ve done in the past.


This is the big research essay so you need to do all the things that a big essay entails: note cards (list form), bibliography cards (list form), outline, rough draft, final draft with parenthetical notes, and works cited.


All these items are required and will be graded.  It would be helpful to have a handbook of some kind (for example, a copy of The Scott Foresman Handbook for Writers or The College Writer’s Reference) to help you on the intricacies of MLA documentation (the required style for this essay).  The library has copies of the third edition so if you didn’t take Comp 101 here and are poor or cheap, the library is an option.


  • Come up with a thesis by  _______.
  • List of sources, details about sources, due by _____
  • Outline  due by _________  (seven sources minimum)
  • Annotated bibliography due by ________
  • Rough draft ________
  • Final draft _______  (includes all of above)


  • The essay has a well developed and coherently argued idea connected to the assignment topic:                                                  
  • Sources are smoothly integrated and cited using MLA techniques.  This includes all the MLA paraphernalia including note cards, bibliography cards, bibliography page, parenthetical notes and so on:                                
  • The style is smooth, clear and intelligent.  The use of figurative language is a requirement for the higher end of the grading scale.
  • The grammar, punctuation, spelling and sentences are all on the level one expects in a college essay.                                                  


This essay is three times the value of other essays this term.  For example, if the grade is a 3.0, then it will be valued at 9 points when factored in for the final grade.