• Research proposal– This includes a working thesis statement, 3 possible sources cited using MLA format, and an outline of the argument that you think you will be following.



  • Develop a subject in depth, using outside sources;
  • Learn to acknowledge and document sources correctly;
  • Improve your ability to work with and incorporate sources into your writing;
  • Improve your writing and critical thinking skills;
  • To show that you can create a sustained argument that uses a variety of sources in a college-level paper;
  • Improve the following skills: summarizing and paraphrasing of information;
  • Present a strong claim with supporting evidence;
  • Improve paragraph development and topic sentences.


The proposal argument paper not only provides a clear articulation of the writer’s position on an issue, but also provides viable solutions to that issue. A Proposal Argument is a paper that argues for a specific thesis or claim, arguing for one side of an issue, and provides evidence to back up that viewpoint. You are to clearly explain the position you take on your topic, why you take the position you have taken, and provide proof from various sources to show the validity of your point. Toward the end of your paper, you will suggest a viable solution(s) to your problem.


For a proposal argument paper, writers will do the following:


  1. pick a current social/political issue that has 2 sides. You may refer to articles from nytimes.com or any other online news-source that you feel strongly about and have something to propose in order to make better. There is also a list of possible topics on the Library Research page of the Course Menu titled, Research paper and argument topics;


  1. pick a topic that allows you to do both-have a position and a proposed solution. A topic without a possible proposed solution is not going to be an effective proposal argument paper;


  1. ascertain that the topic is relevant to socio-politico-cultural contexts of your time, and to your experiences as a thinker, scholar, and writer within the context of college or higher education;


  1. work on expanding and/or fine-tuning the thesis and argument so that the argument is organized and manageable;


  1. think and plan carefully how the paper appeals to your audience;


  1. think and plan carefully about how the paper maintains clear, logical progression of the argument as you write;


  1. develop a counter-argument: after you have drafted sections speaking to the primary points as evidence in support of the primary claim of the paper, you will research and develop a section which provides an overview of possible counter-arguments to the your position;


  1. research and provide a rebuttal (a refutation) to the counter-argument. Research-based refutation/rebuttal sections will speak to the points made in the counter-argument. Thus, you will end up arguing why your particular position and your particular proposal is more valid than, or at least as valid as, the counter-arguments;


  1. use multiple academic sourcesbooks, journal articles, or valid academic internet websites– to develop the refutation to the counter-argument in making a powerful case for both position and proposed solution;


  1. use multiple academic sources in order to make the transition from specific topic to its relationship to a larger, socio-politico-cultural context, and thus enlarge the context of your argument paper.




1.) The research paper will defend an argument based on a current social/political issue that interests you, and it will give possible solutions to said issue. Issues that are off limits: gun control, abortion, religion, steroids, animal rights, euthanasia, etc. Remember, this is not an informational report, but a paper that defends an argument based on a current social/political issue. Once you decide on a topic, you need to limit your topic and develop an opinion about your topic. Your opinion will be the foundation of your thesis statement, which will guide your entire paper;

2.) Length: 6 pages, typed, double-spaced (not including the title and Works Cited page);

3.) MINIMUM of six credible sources that support your thesis (Required: one book and one scholarly journal);

4.) Use parenthetical citations to give credit to the words and thoughts taken from others, and cite them according to MLA guidelines as discussed in class (See The Little, Brown Compact Handbook for more information on MLA documentation guidelines). Remember to follow MLA guidelines for all aspects of this paper and include a properly formatted Works Cited page.

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