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ENGWR 300 (Graham)

ENGWR 300 (Graham)



Welcome to the LibGuide for Frank Graham's ENGWR 300 classes.  This guide will help you with library research on your research assignment. It will present information on searching books, databases and web sites that will help you define your topic and support your information and arguments.

Use the tabs in red to the left to navigate the resources.


An argumentative essay is like persuasion.  You will take a topic and research it and attempt to convince or change another's beliefs or actions on a particular issue. You will take a side and, using research and supporting data, create an essay on why something is good/bad, right/wrong, moral/immoral, or justified/unjustified. Just as you look at one side, you must also look at the other side.  If you have no conflicting opinions, where would you have the argumentation?

Your argumentative essay will take a side of a problem or issue facing our city today. Up to three students may work on the same topic, though each essay must be decidedly different. This essay must utilize no less than four sources to back up the paper's claims: At least three peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles must be listed in the works cited section and used as in-text citations. 

Topic suggestions include homelessness, flood protection, drought protection, affordable housing, education, teen suicide, MLS soccer team expansion, redevelopment, high-speed rail, employment, arts programs, waste management, transportation, crowding, traffic, crime, illicit drug use, gangs, violence, urban sprawl, mental health, health care, parks, public art, public facilities, river management systems, recreation.


The topic for this paper must have something to do with literature or writing. So, two poems or two essays could be compared and contrasted. You could compare and contrast the movie of your favorite book to the actual text; or, you may put the biographies of two historical or contemporary writers to a similar test. 

 At least three sources must be used and documented in your works cited section. At least one peer-reviewed scholarly journal must be used for your paper. Consult with a librarian to find an appropriate peer-reviewed scholarly journal article if you do not know how to find one. The other works cited may be any form, including books, films, online journals, etc. 

Each student must complete a first draft of this essay and that draft essay needs to be peer reviewed the Wednesday prior to the due date of the final essay before handing in the final copy. Papers that have not been peer-reviewed will be subject to the late penalty of ten points. Every class day the essay is late will result in a penalty of ten additional points. No papers will be accepted after one week of the date the paper was due.  


An expository research paper will explain something.. The success of your paper will depend largely on the quality of research you are able to conduct on a particular issue. The word requirement is a bit more than your other essays, at a total of 1,500 words. This translates to about six pages of writing; and, as with other papers, you may use your works cited section in the word count. Because this paper is a little longer and more in-depth than your other papers, it may be necessary to begin work on the paper earlier in the semester. You should at least develop a topic that interests you, write a tentative thesis, and begin accumulating resources by the midpoint of this semester, or week three. 

For this paper, your own interest in a topic of your own choosing will be the guiding force. I believe it would be of most value for you to consider doing research in your field of study. If you are a business major, you might want to examine the value of certain types of investments within the economic cycle. If you are working on an associates degree in biology, you'll want to focus on a topic related to disease, health, or some other matter within your range of intellectual curiosity. 

The works cited section of this paper must include at least five sources, four of which must be peer-reviewed scholarly articles. You must use each of your sources in at least one in-text citation. 

The first draft is to be peer reviewed and handed in on July 6. The second draft is to be peer reviewed on July 11. The final draft is to be handed in on July 12.


  • Are you interested in this topic?

         Your research will be less tedious if you are looking for something you have a personal interest in.

  • What exactly is your assignment?
    Check with your instructor and read your research assignment to make sure that you are following the instructions properly.

  • Questions that can help clarifying your thoughts:
    • WHY did you choose the topic?  What interests you about it?  Do you have an opinion about the issues involved?
    • WHO is your research about?  Adults? Women? Children? LGBT? Who is affected by the topic?  Do you know of organizations or institutions affiliated with the topic?
    • WHAT are the major questions for this topic? What are the major aspects of the topic? Political? Ethical? Psychological? Are there a range of issues and viewpoints to consider?
    • WHERE is your topic important: at the local, national or international level?  Are there particular areas that the topic is pertinent to this topic? 
    • WHEN did your topic become important?  Is it a current event or an historical issue?  Do you want to discuss your topic in the history context?
  • Is my topic too broad or too narrow?
    • If you get too many hits in the library catalog or in the research databases, then your topic may be too broad.
    • If you get very few or no hits in the library catalog or the research databases, then your topic may be too narrow.