Overview: Use the writing process to write a researched argumentative essay of a minimum of 1200 words to convince readers to accept your point of view (your position on an issue).  As Peter Adams asserts in The Hub, An argument is a piece of writing that takes a position on an issue, provides various types of evidence to support that position, and acknowledges and addresses valid counterarguments (512).  You must include a works cited page as part of your research documentation; however, the works cited do not count as part of the required 1200 words.

Deadlines: The first draft of the researched argumentative essay and one peer review are due by Monday, December 6, at 11:59 p.m.  The final researched argumentative essay is due by Friday, December 10, at 11:59 p.m.

Topic: Choose a topic that can be argued/debated and that is interesting or meaningful to you.  Consider controversial topics that may affect us locally or a current international/global topic in which you are very interested and invested.  This is your culminating assignment for your college writing course; your topic will directly reflect your ability to think critically.

Research: This is a researched essay.  You are required to use a minimum of four credible, scholarly sources.  Two (or more) of these sources must come from the CPCC online databases, such as ProQuest or Opposing Viewpoints.  You must include correctly formatted in-text citations and a works-cited page.  You cannot use Wikipedia, Debate.org, ProCon.org, The Onion, Daily Mail, or any fake news web site; these sources are not considered credible for college-level writing.

Plagiarism: Your essay will be automatically submitted to Turnitin to check for plagiarism.  Plagiarized essays will earn a grade of zero.  Please review the plagiarism policy as stated in the course syllabus.

Length: The essay must be a minimum of 1200 words in length.  The works-cited page may not be included in the word count.

Format: Use current MLA manuscript formatting for the header, title, heading, etc., and MLA research-documentation formatting for the in-text citations and the works-cited page.  Refer to the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University (OWL) for current MLA instructions and examples. 

Language: Use third-person point of view and a formal tone.  Do not use contractions, slang, or other informal language.  Include          persuasive words, such as should, must, will, can, need to, etc.  Do not use first-person pronouns (I, me, my) or second-person pronouns (you, your).

The Topic: School Start Times

Question on which to take a stance: Across the U.S., public K-12 schools begin at various times during the day, some as early as 7:00 a.m.  Though there are various reasons why schools start at a certain time, there are also various debates about the impact of early start times on student health and academic performance.  Should school start times be moved to later in the day?


Any topic (writer’s choice)