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Introduction to the Midterm Research Paper-2

For the Midterm Research Paper, we will be dealing with the information from the Inductive Arguments and Inductive Generalizations sections. My interest here is that you pick a controversial issue that has been studied (social, medical, environmental, etc.) from different sides and has conflicting points of view. Your objective will be to find and analyze, critique, the studies in order to support one point of view. So, in essence, you will be arguing with a traditional thesis and support, but your research must reference and critique studies that have been done on the subject.

The nice part about the research assignment is that you get to pick your own topic of interest. The only requirement I have is that the topic is current and subject to debate. For example, I will use something that is out of date so that it will not restrict your options. The first arguments to ban smoking indoors in public places in California cited the dangers of secondhand smoke. These dangers were supported and critiqued from different sides based on the information presented through studies. Eventually, as you no doubt know, the side supporting the ban won out.

However, you can imagine the debate early on and consider that if given such a writing assignment it would have been your goal to argue for or against the ban, and in the course of your argument, you would have to cite studies from the different sides and then critique them (show whether or not they are valid).

If you are struggling to find an Issue to write about, I recommend going to SIRS Knowledge Source in the Library’s Articles and Databases (accessed online). SIRS maintains a running list of current controversial issues that can be browsed. Selecting any of them will then let you see articles on multiple sides so you can get a sense of what people are arguing about.

Here are the ground rules for the assignment:

  • Write a paper in MLA format that is at least 1500-2000 words in length.
  • Have an argumentative thesis that you defend throughout the paper.
  • You must have a minimum of 6 outside sources to support your argument.
  • At least two of your sources must reference studies conducted on your particular topic.
  • All sources must be cited in the text and on the Works Cited page in MLA format.