This assignment will introduce you to the world of persuasion... for the remainder of your academic career regardless of the...

ENG 100
Paper 2
This assignment will introduce you to the world of persuasion and research—skills you will need
for the remainder of your academic career regardless of the field you are in.
What is persuasion?
At its simplest form, it is rhetoric— the use of language to accomplish a goal. Generally, these
goals are aimed at persuading an audience of the importance of being informed of your topic or
to believe as you do about your topic and then perhaps respond to a call to action that you are
asserting. You will be arguing that your audience should see things your way. A well-written
persuasive essay will leave your readers having difficulty arguing against your point of view.
Your reader will not have an opportunity to point out flaws in your argument that could
ultimately lead to proving you wrong.
Why is research a necessary component of persuasion?
Research can enable us to become effective participants in the “conversation” that is happening
around a topic and to know what the important components of the topic are. While your personal
experiences will probably influence your viewpoint, EVERY point that you make needs to be
supported with evidence. Your entire argument should be based on evidence from reliable
We have looked at the terms Logos, Ethos, and Pathos and have learned a great deal about
author’s style. You have analyzed how these strategies assert themselves within writing. This
means that you are familiar with some of the ways in which writers create effective persuasion.
For this essay, you will most likely ally yourself closely with logos through your research,
though ethos and pathos will also play importantly in the discussion of your topic. Voice and
audience awareness will be of central importance to this essay. Now it is your turn to participate
as a writer yourself.
The Assignment
You are to research and compose an argumentative or persuasive essay as an extension of the
previous educational justification assignment. Argumentative essays enlighten your readers to
the rationale behind your position on a debatable issue. However, persuasive essays not only
enlighten your readers to your position on an issue but also attempt to coerce readers to take
some sort of action. Your essay should encourage the reader to act upon your proposal
Kay M. Hedrick
ENG 100
rev. 01/13
This assignment has two parts: two (2) bibliographic entries and one (1) persuasive essay.
You should be thinking about how this assignment can aid you or be relied upon for your final
paper (the researched persuasive paper). In that assignment you will need to make an argument
about your topic that you can support with evidence. The research you gather now can help you
build your own position by either agreeing with you OR disagreeing with you. Sources that take
a similar position as you do can be used to further your argument. Sources that take a dissimilar
position as you do might be something you wish to respond to or to refute (prove the argument to
be weak).
Part 1
You will create an annotated bibliography with a minimum of two (2) entries. In addition, you
will complete a web evaluation of each source, if the source is not found in print. By now you
should know some more about evaluating sources. For these entries I set no limits to the kind of
research you could use.
Each bibliographic entry must be at least two paragraphs and include a summary plus a critique
of the source. The critique should examine the following:
(1) Aims & Research methods
(2) Usefulness (to your research/ to a particular topic)
(3) Limitations
(4) Conclusions
(5) Reflection (explain how this work illuminates your topic or how it will fit in with your research)
Part 2
Your essay must be 1000-2000 words, 4-8 pages in length. You must include at least two
outside sources. In addition to the standard format previously used, you must include a fourth
point which addresses any counterarguments that might be made.
The research part of this assignment is one of the most important and also one of the most timeconsuming. Do not procrastinate!
Kay M. Hedrick
ENG 100
rev. 01/13
Last revised: January 2011
Checklist for Evaluating Web Sites
Why evaluate Web sites? No one judges the quality or accuracy of information found on
the World Wide Web before it is published, so you must evaluate what you find for yourself.
Some sites are created by experts; for example, the University of Maryland Libraries site is
authored by librarians who have expertise in the field of information science. However, the
vast majority of World Wide Web sites are designed and authored by non-experts.
1. Carefully read through and answer each question.
2. After filling out the page, hand it in to your instructor.
3. Attach a printout of the first page of the Web site you are evaluating to this
What is the URL or Web address of the Web site you are evaluating?
What is the title of the Web site?
Anyone who knows a little HTML coding and has access to a server can create and load a
Web page. It is important to find out the author's identity and his or
her qualifications orexpertise, in order to determine the credibility and reliability of the
Who is the author of the Web site?
I couldn't tell
The author is:
What authorship clues did the URL (Web address) provide? Check all that apply:
company (.com)
non-profit organization (.org)
academic institution (.edu)
country-specific site (e.g., .uk)
U.S. Government agency
U.S. military site (.mil)
personal Web page
Other? Please describe:
network of computers (.net)
Kay M. Hedrick
ENG 100
rev. 01/13
What are the qualifications of the author or group that created the site?
I couldn't find this information
The author's qualifications are:
Determine the purpose of the Web site by looking closely at the content of the information.
Some sites provide links to information (e.g., an About Our Organization or Mission
Statement page) detailing the purpose in creating the Web site, while the purpose of others
might not be obvious at first. Take the time to thoroughly explore a Web site to determine if
the information is mostly subjective (biased or opinionated), objective (factual), or mixed.
What is the purpose of the Web page or site? Check all that apply:
A personal Web page
A company or organization Web site
A forum for educational/public service information
A forum for scholarly/research information
For entertainment
An advertisement or electronic commerce
A forum for ideas, opinions or points of view
Other? Please explain:
In your own words, briefly describe the purpose of the Web site.
What does the Web site provide? Check one:
Balanced, objective or factual information
Biased, subjective or opinionated statements
(Are the arguments well supported?
Both objective and subjective information
I couldn't tell
Other? Please explain:
Kay M. Hedrick
ENG 100
rev. 01/13
Does the Web site provide any contact information or means of communicating
with the author or Webmaster?
Yes, the site provides:
The currency or regularity of updating information is vital for some types of Web sites, and
not so important for others. For example, Web sites that provide historical information,
such as the presidential papers of George Washington, do not have to be updated as often
as sites that provide news stories or stock market information.
When was the Web site last revised, modified or updated?
I couldn't tell
It was updated:
Is currency important to the type of information available on this Web site?
Yes. Please explain.
No. Please explain.
Is the site well-maintained?
I couldn't tell
Are links broken (do you receive error messages)?
I couldn't tell
Kay M. Hedrick
ENG 100
rev. 01/13
Design, organization and ease of use are important considerations. Web sites can provide
useful sources of information. However, if they are slow to load or difficult to navigate,
search and read, then their contribution and usefulness will be lost.
In your opinion, how does the Web site appear overall? Check all that apply:
Well designed and organized
Poorly designed and organized
Easy to read and navigate
Difficult to read and navigate
HELP screens are available
HELP screens are unavailable
A search feature/site map is available
A search feature/site map is unavailable
© 2006 University Libraries. University of Maryland. College Park, MD 20742-7011, (301) 405-0800
Last modified: January 28, 2011
Kay M. Hedrick
ENG 100
rev. 01/13