Researched Essay

Overview of the Assignment: Research that Affects You and Your Audience

Your assignment is to choose a research question about a national or global issue or concern that has clear relevance to you, research it, and then make a clear, compelling argument to your audience (e.g., me and your classmates). Gallaudet University has a wonderful overview of the iSearch process and how to get started on this writing assignment:

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A successful researched argument will:

Have a narrowed scope and clear, precise thesis statement

A clear sense of purpose, focus, and perspective

Relevant and effective examples that illustrate and support the thesis

Appropriate detail, research, and examples

Language and style appropriate to the audience and context

Proper mechanics (spelling, grammar, punctuation)

Essay formatting guidelines:

Five (5) pages typewritten, double-spaced, 1” margins all around – please note: DO NOT exceed five pages.

MLA style and formatting conventions for Page 1 (see: and a separate Works Cited page (immediately following the essay) for outside research, including direct quotes and paraphrases from your textbook and supporting sources.

Accepted fonts include: Times New Roman, Calibri, or Garamond.

Accepted font size: 11 or 12 point font only


After selecting your research question, you will need to conduct research using the St. Louis Community College Library or a neighborhood library to help you contextualize your subject matter. For this assignment, choose no more than four (5) outside sources. Your research should go above and beyond general online research (e.g., avoid tertiary sources such as Wikipedia,,,, etc.). If you have questions about what a reputable and effective college-level source is, please ask.


Introduce your research question and topic by providing a hook, context, and a thesis (your ideas should move from general to specific). To contextualize your thesis, you will investigate and examine a cultural issue that has a global context (ideally an issue outside of your own culture). As you integrate research, make sure you cite your sources using MLA in-text citation and a Works Cited page.

Use a variety of writing strategies to make a clear argument about the global issue. Consider organizing each paragraph around a different writing mode:

Paragraphs employing description and narration to detail your response to a particular research question.

Paragraphs using exemplification to give examples to help the reader understand your researched argument. These examples should come from textbook readings and outside research; by this point in the semester, this essay should move beyond personal examples.

Paragraphs using analysis and argument to show how or why you have come to this conclusion about this global issue and why this issue is worth exploring? What is significant about the subject matter?

Draft a conclusion that leaves the reader with a final impression about your argument. The conclusion of an argumentative essay often ends by focusing on the significance of the issue and its global relevance. In other words, why does this topic merit a deeper examination? Your conclusion should summarize your “final researched thoughts” on the issues.


After you have written an initial draft of your essay, go back to your thesis. Does your argument reflect a detailed investigation into the research question and surrounding issues? Is your thesis clearly stated in one of the first three paragraphs of your essay?

Continue to revise your essay to make sure you have effectively used various writing modes (or strategies) to make an argument about the global concern. Do you use enough examples and outside research to help the reader understand this issue and why it should be important to others?

Consult the rubric for this assignment to ensure you have met the specific evaluation criteria.

Carefully edit your final draft for punctuation and language conventions.

The final draft should, for the most part, be written in third person, with limited yet appropriate use of the first-person “I” when relating specific, contextualized personal observations within your argument. Important: Do not use second person (“you”) under any circumstances, please.

Rubric / Evaluation Criteria

Your essay needs to have a clear purpose with ample detail to support your researched argument, and your essay should have a recognizable thesis or organizing idea about the subjects you are examining. It should have a beginning that generates interest, an ending that provides a sense of closure, and the parts in between should be arranged in a logical and effective sequence. Essays should demonstrate stylistic maturity and mastery of editorial conventions (proper spelling, grammar, etc.).

Points Breakdown for Final Draft of Essay 4

An effective Researched Argument Essay …

Provides a concise, focused, and descriptive argument about a global or national issue that is relevant to the writer’s life and/or interests.

20 points

Offers an effective thesis that directs the argument of the essay and the overall examination of why this issue matters. Has a thesis that offers insightful analysis about how culture, values, assumptions, beliefs, politics, etc. affect an international problem.

10 points

Offers strong support for the thesis by using specific details, examples, and outside research (at least 5 library sources) of how your argument is appropriate, compelling, and relatable to your audience (Your audience is your classmates and I). Show evidence that you have read and applied the concepts from class discussions, required readings, and an outside source.



Contains a clear organizational structure and each paragraph of the essay advances the overall definition with strong topic sentences, illustrations, explanations, and transitions.

50 points

Uses third person voice to present a researched argument about an international issue, only using first person where appropriate (e.g., sharing an important personal observation or insight about the issue). Note: No second person (“you”), please.

20 points

The writing conveys the writer’s argument with minimal distractions in grammar, mechanics, and usage. Sentences are varied in structure and are expressed as complete thoughts. It is evident that the writer took care with his or her words and revised the final draft from the first product.

30 points

Total points possible

150 points

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