Documented argument rough draft #1 | English

* This goes with the Annotations*

In your first paper you explored different ways to categorize and analyze argument, now you need to interact with a controversy more comprehensively and report the different sides. By definition this paper requires you to find a controversy with multiple sides and perspectives. You will lay the groundwork for this paper as you research and construct your annotated bibliography. You should select a topic that interests you, provides a clear controversy, and for which academic sources exist.  Your role is as an informed observer of the controversy.

In preparing this paper you need to establish a background knowledge of the topic, perform thorough academic research on the topic, and present the findings of your research in useful and properly documented manner. Your paper ought to demonstrate an understanding of the key arguments surrounding the controversy. You will use APA format to document your research and for the overall format of the paper.


You are writing for a general academic audience. These are not private journal entries and will be heavily edited.


You can choose the controversy for your paper. However, be prepared to defend your decision by explaining the importance of the topic to this community, the availability of academic research on the topic, the appropriate scope for this paper length, and your ability to write on the topic in an objective manner.

Because of my experience with documented arguments, the following topics are off-limits for the paper:

  • Abortion
  • Capital Punishment
  • God’s Existence
  • Marriage Equality
  • Euthanasia

*If you have a topic closely related to one of these or similar in nature, please check with the instructor before beginning your research.

Manuscript Format:

Length: 5-7 pages (be within this range)

Reference List: Should include any outside sources used.

Font: You must use Times New Roman 12 point font.

Margins: 1” (one inch) all around. Please double-check your settings in Word. The paper is double-spaced throughout.

General information: The primary format for this class is APA, and you should continue using the APA format in this paper. We will cover the format at length in class. However, you need to double-check the APA Manual to verify the correct format.

Rough Draft 1 (Session 3): In the first draft start writing from the center of the paper by trying to balance the different voices in the controversy. Are there two or more sides to this controversy? Are some perspectives stronger or better represented? If you had to explain this controversy to a friend in three minutes, what are the most essential perspectives to include to understand the controversy? Do you have sources to support each of the emergent arguments? In this draft, work on structure and combining information from various sources. Also, you should begin citing your sources in your writing.

Length expectations: At least three pages for this draft

See rubric below for feedback criteria:

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