Research Paper

LA 8
Persuasive/Research Report
Directions: Persuasion is all around us every day. We encounter it in our interactions with
others, in the media, in advertising, in political campaigning, in historical events. When speaking
or writing persuasively, we should use good reasoning and evidence (facts), and consider other
perspectives, to influence an audience to accept a "truth". These are the components of a good
"argument". In this assignment, you will research a chosen topic about which you have
developed a point of view. Be sure to give a description and background information about the
topic, present your point of view clearly, address opposing views, and back up your position with
research-based facts and evidence. Persuade your reader to if not agree with you, at least to
understand your perspective.
Pick a topic and write a research question
Locate the best sources of information
Find the information you need within those sources
Read/view/listen to information carefully and take notes
Organize and present the information (write your report)
Review and evaluate; prepare final copy
Pick a topic and write a research question.
The following are suggestions. You may pick one of these, or think of one on your
own. Topics must be approved before you begin work.
Food/Health: Advantages/disadvantages to being a vegetarian; junk food is bad/not
that bad; why it is important to have a healthy diet; what school cafeterias should be
serving; what is a good exercise regimen for a teenager and why.
School Issues: Cell phones should/should not be restricted at school; pros/cons of genderbased education; Civil Rights issues (freedom of speech, press, religion, right to
assemble, petition) at school; the importance of getting an education.
Sports/Leisure: the pros/cons of athletic competition; why (pick one) is a good sport or
hobby to get involved in; the advantages of learning to play a musical instrument;
advantages/disadvantages to playing video games; the benefits of owning a pet; ___ is a
good place to go on vacation.
Political/Societal/Global Issues: Pick any social, political, or environmental position you
have and defend it. For example, discuss who should be elected president in the next
election and why; what should be done about illegal immigration; should the draft be
reinstated or not; voting or driving age should be raised/lowered; any animal rights
issues; pick a recent scientific discovery and discuss its importance; what is a good
alternate source of energy and why; your thoughts about the current space program.
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Topic I have chosen_______________________________________________________
Research Question
Examples: Why is Florida a great place to go on vacation?
or What should teenagers be doing to prepare for the jobs of the future?
My research question ______________________________________________________
Locate the best sources of information
You must use at least five different sources of information in this paper. At least one
must be from a non-computer source (reference book, biography, film, documentary,
magazine, newspaper, interview, etc.). Sources will be listed in a Works Cited/ Bibliography page at the end of your report. You can use EasyBib to create this.
Pick your sources carefully. Computer sources can be substandard in quality. Therefore,
you must also complete a website evaluation for each computer source you use. See for form. Use the following criteria:
A poor source… is very difficult to understand, has a format that does not help you to
find information, doesn’t answer your questions, contains incorrect information, has a
one-sided viewpoint.
An average source… is somewhat understandable, has a format that helps you to find
information though maybe with difficulty, partially answers your questions,
contains good though incomplete information, reflects a particular viewpoint but does
reference other viewpoints.
A good source… is easy to understand, has a format that helps you to find information
quickly, answers your questions, contains complete and accurate information, and
represents all points of view equally.
Write down some key words/phrases that may aid you in your search for
sources of information:
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Find the information you need within those sources
Write down questions you will need to answer (see Part V below):
Read/view/listen to information carefully and take notes
Notes must be written by hand on forms provided (see attached; more can be obtained
from Mrs. Eddington or printed from website). Be sure to write down source information
for citations and Works Cited/Bibliography page. In-text citations (required for this
paper) are needed for direct quotes and paraphrases.
For example:
"The purpose of a persuasive essay is to convince readers to accept a particular
point of view on a subject." (Sebranek 126)
A persuasive essay's purpose is to influence readers to accept a point of view on a
subject. (Sebranek 126)
*See in CKJH library site for more
Organize and present the information (write your report)
First, write an outline (form attached) to organize your research information into
introduction, body, and conclusion. Then write a rough draft, making sure to
provide appropriate transitions and connections to the thesis statement throughout.
The following contains suggestions of information to appear in each section:
Introduction: Name and identify the topic you've chosen. Write your thesis
statement. Your thesis statement answers your research question (which reflects
the purpose of this paper) with supporting statements. Example: "Florida is a great
place to go on vacation because it is affordable, it offers many beautiful beaches
and sites to visit, and it has unusual and fascinating wildlife to see."
The introduction should also include an interesting opener such as a quote, a
description or definition, or an attention-getting fact. You could give examples, or
discuss its history and/or its current status, why it is an important topic currently,
or any other pertinent information about it.
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Body: The body (middle paragraphs) of your paper must address the supporting
statements (arguments) you made in your thesis statement. Use a separate paragraph for
each statement. Be sure to support each statement with research-based facts and
information, and cite your sources. In one paragraph, you should consider and address
any opposing viewpoint that might exist, and write a rebuttal to it (defend your
position against the opposing position- again, with research-based facts).
Conclusion: Reword your thesis; wrap up main points. Emphasize your strongest points.
You could make a suggestion, predict the importance of this topic in the future, give
some helpful recommendations, include a quote or fact; just make sure your conclusion is
strong, to make a lasting impact on the reader.
*Remember to include well-documented facts/evidence from texts at every step
to support your position, and cite your sources. Report should be at least three typed,
double-spaced pages long.
Review and evaluate; prepare final copy
Obtain at least two evaluations of your rough draft from others (see attached form). Your
rough drafts should indicate your own editing as well. Your final product must be neatly
presented (in following order) with attractive cover, title page, outline, report, Works
Cited/Bibliography, notes, rough draft (s), and evaluation forms. Number outline through
Works Cited/Bibliography pages. Final copies of title page, outline, report, and Works
cited/Bibliography can be handwritten, or typed double-spaced with a serif font size 1214. Blue or black ink must be used.
In Addition:
-Reports will be shared with the class in an oral presentation. See attached page.
-Include at least one visual display with your report. Visual displays can include pictures, photos,
examples, charts, posters, recordings, or power point presentations. Present them where
appropriate. They can provide a focus for your oral presentation as well.