Assignment 4 – Academic Argument: Considering the research question that you had explored within your Research Proposal and subsequent Annotated Bibliography,
look at the subject through those eyes. Perhaps the aspects of the research area differ from what you had pursued. Evaluate the research question with which you have been working and modify any aspects that might have changed with your increased level of knowledge of the subject.
Considering these changes, form a general hypothesis about the subject(s) addressed, then write an essay that presents the primary questions surrounding your hypothesis and try to explain the hypothesis to the best of your ability. You will need to write an academic argument essay that will display your familiarity with the subject and that puts forward your hypothesis in a manner consistent with inductive reasoning. This assignment must follow MLA style. (12 – 15 pages; rough draft 50 points; final draft 200 points; presentation 100 points.
What this syllabus description should mean to you in practice:
You have picked an area of study that is situated within the primary text supplied in the course. You have researched, (or are in the process of conducting research) and have written an annotated bibliography of your research materials. Now it is time to put all that work to use in writing an essay that explores your views and opinions regarding the theories and research that you have come across or have pursued during the time of your research.
• Using the research you have done thus far, form a hypothesis regarding your subject of interest;
• If the research does not seem to be complete enough for you to be able to form a hypothesis and you are aware that there are parts you just can’t think of too clearly, read around in the field to fill in the blank spot; do keep in mind that you may have to do this in order for your hypothesis to hold water, though it does not mean that you should conduct an entirely new round of research on a brand new subject (in fact, do not choose another topic); no subject is actually easier than any other if you give it the attention that it deserves;
• Your hypothesis should look much like a thesis
(as simply as it can be written out, a thesis is an Assertion combined with a Claim), though when it comes to a hypothesis, it is better to begin with a research question that you will then lead your readers to follow to its logical conclusion; this logic should be based within the evidence taken from your scholarly research and any primary sources on the subject that you wish to include;
• Just because it should look like a thesis does not mean that the structure of your academic research essay should follow one that places the thesis up front, then allows the whole of the essay to support whatever the argument might be; remember that just because you have an opinion / hypothesis does not mean you should force it down your readers’ gullets;
• Try to structure your essay in a manner suitable for an academic audience, an audience which needs to be provided with ample evidence, whether that evidence is research data from the social sciences or a hypothetical and theoretical framework from the humanities;
• Assume that your audience is as well versed in the subject as you are and write for that level of knowledge: DO NOT DUMB DOWN ANYTHING;
• You can draw upon all of the research materials you have reviewed thus far, regardless of the field of study. Simply write what you think needs to be written on the subject you had outlined in the Research Proposal, support it with evidence from your research, cite and format it in MLA style, and make certain that you explore your hypothesis in a high degree of detail .
Remember that this essay is about what you think about a subject. This means that you need to think about what it is that you are writing and write that down, along with the things that support and contradict what you think. Anticipate objections and address those with reasoning and evidence, just as you build your hypothesis on evidence and reason.
Introduction – in which you outline the subject and present your questions (these should be leading your audience to be interested);
Explanation of issues (general overview) – this section should outline the issues (overview) that the subject presents to researchers and theorists; it can also introduce the different ways that differing scholarly camps view the subject and the issues; if you use specialized terminology, this is the section in which you will want to explain those concepts / terms;
Exploration of the questions / issues (detail exploration) – in detail, explore the concepts that seem to be those most important to your line of thought;
Application of questions / issues (can be combined with the section above) – explore the questions and issues as they are presented by others in detail, taking textual evidence from your research and explaining the manner in which it may be correct or incorrect according to you in others’ works.
Hypothesis (elaborate version) – present what your theory / hypothesis is as firmly and logically as can be done, while calling on your readers’ knowledge of the subject, in the way that you have explained the issues so far.
Conclusion (short / condensed version) – the short version of your hypothesis and necessary supports; perhaps include the significance of your hypothesis in its effect on the subject or a larger, societal effect.
Works Cited – in which you list all materials cited, referenced, or consulted in your writing of this essay.