Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Rock Creek Library 213

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

6:30 p.m. - 7:20 p.m.

Library instruction for WR 122 / Paige Talbot (RS)

Instructor's Name: Paige Talbot
Instructor e-mail: paige.talbot@pcc.edu
Instructor's Phone: 5035164527
Instructor's Location: Rock Creek
Refer to me as:
Preferred contact: e-mail
Course no. or title: WR 122
Course CRN: 45101
# of students: 26
ADA provisions needed: no
Preferred Date: 2012-11-15
Alternate Date:
Preferred Time: 6:30 pm
Alternate Time: 7:00 pm
Duration: 50
If other:
Do you need time to discuss non-library matters with your class on the day of
library instruction? No
If yes please specify:
Assignment description and sample topics:
Essay 4: Argumentative Research Essay

For this essay, you will choose a topic that interests you. This topic
could be anything from stem cell research to public school vs. private school
to alternative energy solutions. Be creative with your topic and make sure
it is something that deeply interests you; it should be something that you
want to learn more about because you will be spending over three weeks
researching, writing, and thinking about this topic.

From your own personal opinion on the issue and from the research and support
you find on it, you will come up with a thesis that states your side of the
issue and why. This paper should be your opinion and argument and not
somebody else’s; the outside sources you use in your paper are going to
support your argument, NOT make your argument. Your own words and manner of
persuasion are the most important factors of proving your thesis. The thesis
statement should be the culmination of the gathered evidence presented in
your paper. In other words, be sure that you use the sources in your paper
wisely; don’t just drop them in because you need quotes in your paper –
use them to prove a particular point or to show another side of the issue.

In a research paper, you are expected to develop a point of view toward your
material, take a stand, and express some original thought.

This essay should persuade the reader to agree with your side through your
effective reasoning skills and the outside sources that are credible and


• The essay must include a thesis statement, which appears in the
introduction and clearly explains the purpose of the essay. It should be
obvious from the thesis statement which “side” of the issue you will
• While the majority of the essay will be catered to your “side,” you
must also consider the “other side” at some point. (We will discuss
counterarguments in class.)
• Your essay must have a strong introduction and conclusion.
• Your essay must have solid main points. All main points must relate to
the thesis statement and must be backed up by or draw upon outside sources.
• You are permitted to incorporate your opinion and personal experience
into this essay. However, do not overuse “I” statements.
• Your essay must be in proper MLA format, including in-text citations for
all direct and indirect quotations and paraphrases, proper paper setup, and
an accurate Works Cited page.
• You must include a minimum of 6 credible sources in this essay: Three of
your sources must come from the online databases that are available through
PCC’s library resource page. Where you find the rest of the sources is up
to you. Remember: personal interviews also count as sources but they must be
relevant interviewees.
• If using the internet for your sources, be sure that the website is
credible and not some homemade website that goes unchecked for accuracy.
• You must attribute your sources correctly, i.e., proper quoting and
• Grammar, mechanics and punctuation must be correct and clear.


The essay must be between 5–7 pages in length. You can include images in
your papers as visual aids, if helpful to the reader, but these graphics do
not count towards the minimum six pages of length. All drafts must be typed
in 12-point Times New Roman font, double spaced, with 1” margins. The
final draft will exhibit evidence of careful proofreading. You will also be
required to include a Works Cited page in appropriate MLA format that comes
at the very end of the essay; remember, the Works Cited page lists only the
material that you are quoting or paraphrasing from. Be sure that you have an
engaging and original title.

For more on hints for this paper, use your textbook; the sections on
argumentative writing and research are extremely comprehensive. So, please
read chapter 10 (Argumentation) and chapter 14 (Writing a Paper Using
Research) in Steps to Writing Well. To see a visual example of a student’s
research paper, look at pp. 422–30. Again, I encourage you to use these
wonderful chapters as you write this essay. We will go through some of this
textbook material in class, but when you get stuck, check these books for the
answers; they’ll likely have them.

Due dates

First Rough Draft due beginning of class Dec. 4
Second Rough Draft due beginning of class Dec.6
Final Draft due beginning of class Dec. 11

Students will be able to (check all that apply):
- Develop a search strategy based on their research topics (15 minutes)
- Perform an efficient search of the library catalog for books and other
materials (15 minutes)
- Differentiate between scholarly journals and magazines (15 minutes)
- Construct a query for journal, magazine, or newspaper articles and
evaluate best choices in the results list (25 minutes)
Other notes: In summer term, Sara Seely gave a wonderful presentation to my WR 122 students. This presentation focused mostly on where to look for
specific topics. It was wonderfully presented. I would like to briefly
discuss the presentation with the librarian before it occurs. Thank you!!!
You guys rock.

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