Essay on a controversial contemporary social issue , English

In this essay you will write an argument paper is which you present at least three reasons to support a conclusion that you have reached on a controversial, contemporary social/political issue in Canada today. Each of your reasons must be supported by your research. Unless there were problems with it, you will choose the issue and conclusion that you identified in A1. You will also use the outline that you produced there, again as long as there were no problems with it. Finally, you will use all of the sources that you identified in A1; you may use additional sources as well if you wish.

VALUE:  20% of your final grade

FORMAT: Essay format is required for this paper. You are required to use APA format for your in-text citations throughout the body of your paper, and for your list of references (bibliography) at the end of the paper. See COMPONENTS below for more details.

GRAMMAR AND PUNCTUATION: Please note that there are marks for grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation in each of these papers. Every error will result in a 0.5 deduction up to the maximum allowed.  Five free mistakes are allowed.

LENGTH: 750-1000 words excluding the references list and the scoring grid.

Penalties for Not Meeting the Minimum Word Length:  Failure to meet the minimum word length can result in a deduction of up to 50% off your mark, depending on how short of the minimum you are (e.g. ½ as long as it should be   = -50%). So use the word count feature in Word to check the number of words that you have (Tools/word count)! I will use the word count feature on each paper.

RESEARCH REQUIREMENTS: You will be required to use at least six different sources in the assignment:

  • You must have at least two different sources to support each reason that you present to support your conclusion (two sources for each of three reasons, equalling a total minimum of six sources in the paper). Each source must be a credible source; you may not use material from blogs; only one of your sources can be from Wikipedia.
  • One of your sources must be a recent Canadian telephone survey by a reputable polling organization, or a recent Canadian statistical or experimental research study. Be sure that you include all significant details about the survey/study right in the body of the essay; i.e. name, date, and sample size and error rate.

 So your List of References must contain at least six entries.


Base this essay on the issue and conclusion that you presented in your Research Report (A1) unless your professor has asked you to change your issue or your conclusion in that assignment. Include the following elements in your essay:

1.      Title page with the title of your essay, your name, the course name, your professor's name and the date.

2.      An opening paragraph that begins with a motivator (lead/hook) and ends with a thesis statement in which you present your conclusion on the issue. The thesis statement should include your three reasons in grammatically parallel form.

  1. Three body paragraphs, one for each of three reasons you will present to support your conclusion.

    a) Format for each body paragraph: Each body paragraph needs to begin with a topic sentence that contains the following elements.
  1.  a transition.
  2. a restatement of your conclusion
  3. the reason that will be developed in that paragraph.


First of all, I support same-sex marriage because our Charter of Rights guarantees freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Notice that the sentence begins with a transition (First of all), then repeats the conclusion (I support same-sex marriage), and finally ties the reason to the conclusion (because our Charter of Rights guarantees freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation). This would be the first sentence in an entire paragraph that is devoted to this reason. In the paragraph I could include quotes from the Charter; I could also include quotes from parliamentarians who acknowledge this to be true (expert testimony), and/or I could include quotes or paraphrases from the judges' decisions on the issue presented in court (more expert testimony).

Additional transitions for the rest of the body paragraphs include words such as second, third, fourth, last, in addition, next, also, etc.

b) Evidence in each of the three body paragraphs: The body of each body paragraph must contain the evidence that you will use to support the reason that you are giving in the topic sentence of the paragraph (See Research Requirements above).

  • Each body paragraph must contain information from authoritative sources to support the reason you are presenting. The information from these sources can be presented in quotes; paraphrases from respected writers, scientists, or experts in the field; numerical data from opinion polls, and other numerical data. A personal opinion that is not supported is just an unsubstantiated claim, and therefore can not be accepted as a valid reason. You may rely on some personal observations, but this is a research paper, so you will be expected to integrate information from at least SIX different sources into this essay, two per reason. Wikipedia counts as only one source, no matter how many articles you use from it.
  • For one of your reasons you need to include information from a recent telephone survey of Canadian public opinion, OR evidence from a recent, Canadian statistical or experimental research study. Be sure to give your readers, right in the body of your paragraph, all the data they need to assure them that it is a valid survey or research study, such as the sample size and error rate, type of study, credentials of the researchers, etc.

c) Documenting Sources in Body Paragraphs Using the APA Style Guide


  • You must document all your sources using in-text citations; an in-text citation goes at the end of every sentence containing borrowed information. Therefore your paper should be filled with in-text citations as you will be relying very heavily on your research material.
  • Every time you include a direct quote, be sure to identify, before the quote, the name and credentials of the author of the quote so that your reader will know why you consider him or her to be an authoritative source. The in-text citation goes after the quote.
  • Every time you give a statistic from a source, or paraphrase information from a source, you must also document it by using an APA style in-text citation. A penalty will be given for using old-fashioned footnotes rather than the in-text citations.
  • See the sections below entitled "Avoiding Plagiarism" and "How to Document Borrowed Material in Your Essay" for more details on documentation.
  1. A concluding paragraph in which you summarize the main points in your essay and restate your conclusion.
  2. A copy of the essay scoring grid (rubric).
Posted Date: 2/27/2013 4:07:56 AM | Location : United States

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