The Persuasive Research Essay


This is the major project of the course and consists of 4 assignments: 1. An Interview 2. A Survey 3. An Annotated Bibliography .all building up to 4. The Persuasive Research Essay (and eventually 5. Persuasive Research Essay Revision).

To complete your research and write your argument, this assignment requires you to support a persuasive claim in a ten- to twelve-page persuasive research paper. You will need to find at least eight reliable research sources to function as evidence for your argument. You will also use ethos, pathos, and logos to appeal to a target audience and follow MLA documentation guidelines to format your paper.

Crucial for the PRE Project:
•All writing is to some degree persuasive, but in your Persuasive Research Essay I want you consciously to attempt to change or broaden a reader’s mind about your subject.
◦Remember, this should be written as a critical RESPONSE to the issue. Not as simply a researched report.
•Your paper needs to demonstrate and understanding of how to effectively use the key elements of the art of persuasion as well as the writing techniques discussed in class.
•You will also need to purposefully use ethos, pathos, and logos to appeal to a target audience.
◦Because establishing your credibility, creating emotional appeals, and identifying convincing evidence for a specific audience will make writing your persuasive research paper easier than trying to accommodate a general audience, you should target a prospective community of readers.

A part of the process of research and writing you will be required to complete an annotated bibliography as well as to conduct an interview and a survey.

Annotated Bibliography

•Establish yourself as a credible researcher by providing appropriately formatted bibliographic information.
•Demonstrate that you have read your sources critically by assessing their author, content, and reliability.
•Explain how you have thoughtfully considered your sources by providing context.

•4+ typed, double-spaced pages
•Adherence to proper MLA annotated bibliography formatting
•8 annotations with appropriately formatted bibliographic information
•Two (2) scholarly/peer-reviewed sources included in annotated bibliography
•Sources from at least four (4) different genres

Make sure that you summarize, evaluate, and reflect in each annotation.

Make sure that all bibliographic information is properly formatted.


People who are involved in your topic are among the best sources of new information and lively material. An interview can provide ideas about what else you should read/research or who else you might talk to, and it can be a source of quotations, anecdotes, and even case studies that will make the next draft more interesting.

For this assignment you need to find an appropriate individual (or group) involved in your topic to interview. You will need to compose questions beforehand, take notes during the interview, and write a 300 word summation of what you gained from the interview and/or how you plan on using the material you gained. This must include a visual.

Look for email links to the authors of useful documents you found on the web and write them with a few questions. Interest groups, newsgroups, or electronic mailing lists on the web can also provide the voices and perspectives of people with something to say on your topic. Remember to ask permission to quote them if you decide to use something in your draft.

Web discussion groups:

Google groups & Yahoo groups allow you to search for online discussion groups.

Catalist is an official catalog of electronic mailing lists


This assignment will give you the opportunity to find out “what people think” and use it to support a claim. After considering how you can use a survey to support an aspect of your thesis, you will write a survey of at least 5 questions, test it, and administer it to a target audience of at least 50 people. You will then write a 300 word interpretation and analysis of your results. This must include a visual.

For Writing Response 7:

To get you thinking about possible topics to explore and research for the PRE Project, complete the following “Fastwrite” activity:

FASTWRITE for 10 minutes (aim for at least 1 full page)

Some situations in everyday life are obviously significant – what they mean for our lives, or for the lives of others, is apparent. When our country goes to war or when a new president is elected, for example, most Americans understand the significance.

Many situations however are far more subtle; their potential meaning is hidden by life’s hustle and bustle. To understand their meaning, we must stop in our tracks and focus on them. Use the following suggestion and questions to explore possible topics. If a question seems engaging to you, or if you associate some emotions or ideas with the questions, start writing. Ask yourself: “Can I change someone’s mind about this situation or issue?”

School: What lurking attitude is ruining the learning process? If we’re a country of progress, why should history be taught anyway? How is mainstream fashion brainwashing even the smart kids? How was Napoleon Dynamite’s portrayal of high school right on target? How are high schools destroying students’ ability to cope with the first year of college?

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Work: Do my co-workers get along? Do supervisors treat workers fairly? Are the work expectations fair? Are the hours fair to workers? Do fellow workers do a good job? What hidden forces or assumptions work against productivity?

Home: What does my neighborhood layout suggest about being a human? Does does the layout of my house or apartment or dorm help me to be a better person? What is the central appliance in my living space? Does that support my goals as a person? Should more people have gardens? Why?

Community: Does my town know what to do with teenagers? Does the water taste funny? Does my town offer ample mass transit? How does the police force function – as keepers of the peace or something else? How important are trees?

Pop Culture: How does American Idol impact popular music? Can a democracy seriously thrive without a good punk scene? Should we be leery or supportive of a whole channel dedicated to food? What does the Discovery Channel do for science? Why aren’t there any fun shows about language and writing?

You Major: Look through a current journal in your field to find a controversial issues: Are entry-level personnel in my field treated fairly? Is some research in my field or major controversial? Is my field undervalued by the public? Has my field changed any of its practices, for better or worse, in recent years? Should my field be more diverse (in gender and/or ethnicity)?

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