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ENG101: First-Year Composition

Writing Center Help

Need help with your paper? Visit the Writing Center or reach out for Tutoring.


Argument/ Persuasion

An argument or persuasive essay allows you to investigate a topic that is open to discussion and debate

1. Collect, generate, and evaluate evidence

2. Establish a position on the topic

3. Use your most convincing evidence to support your position

Current Conversations

In most cases, you will choose a "hot" topic or current conversation which is being examined in society, debated in the media, or even discussed within your own family or social circle.

What TOPIC are you going to research?


A. Online Social Networks and privacy of information
B. Economic and/or social impact on states which have legalized marijuana sales
C. Economic and/or social impact on states which have legalized same-sex marriage

These social conversations are often complex, encompassing various SUB-TOPICS, none of which have simple "good" or "bad" sides, such as these--


Sub-topic A1 - Social Network providers may collect private information if users agree to their terms of service.
Sub-topic A2 - Revealing private information on social networking sites ican be dangerous, especially for young people.

Sub-topic A3 - The government can collect vast amounts of personal information from web site providers without users even knowing

Your instructor may ask you to argue a specific POINT-OF-VIEW, such as--


Point-of-view A3a - The government can use whatever means it deems necessary to priotect the country from terrorists, even if that means prying into people's private conversations held through social networking sites.

Point-of-view A3b - Individual privacy is paramount in a "free" country, so the government should have clear proof of suspicion and a court order before it is allowed to collect private information from social networking sites.

Collect Background Research

Use these databases to collect reliable, credible BACKGROUND INFORMATION on your topic.

Locate Issues Resources

Here are some places in the databases to EXPLORE "hot" topics or conversations--

(To connect from off-campus, enter your MEID and Password.)

Opposing Viewpoints   -- Click "Browse Issues" for a list a list of today's hottest topics.

Issues & Controversies  -- Click "Issues" to explore current hot issues.

Global Issues Click "Browse Topics" to explore issues.

Once you have decided on a topic, you can browse the various articles (reference, viewpoints, news...)

Find a Pro/Con Book

Collect Recent News

Use these databases to find specific EXAMPLES of how your topic impacts people in the real world.

Owl Purdue-- Argumentative Essays