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  • 1. Argumentative Essay Writing & Research Presented by: Megan Lowe ULM Reference Librarian
  • 2. Session Overview  What Is It?  Examples  Getting Started  Research  Quotations & Citations  Q & A Time
  • 3. What is an argumentative essay?  Is like a persuasive essay  Should present pros and cons of the issue  Should contain an argument  Should contain evidence or support for the issue (facts, statistics, anecdotal evidence)  Should concern a manageable topic Derived from the Bogazici University Writing Lab
  • 4. Examples of Argumentative Topics  Selling marijuana in public places should be illegal *  Polygamy is a natural state, and should be legal *  Assisted suicide should be legal ¤  Animal testing should be illegal ¤  Graphic video games make kids aggressive and/or violent  Vistas is a better operating system than XP * From Bogazici University Writing Lab ¤ From Glendale Community College English Department
  • 5. Getting Started  Picking a topic  Something of interest to you  Something interesting  Something controversial  Something argumentative  Getting organized  Outlining your paper  Creating a keyword list  Getting research
  • 6. General Outline of a Paper  Introduction | Thesis statement  Argument-evidence paragraph #1  Argument-evidence paragraph #2  Argument-evidence paragraph #3  Summary of Argument | Conclusion
  • 7. Example Outline Thesis: Beans are a more healthy source of protein than beef. 1. Beans are fat-free. (Or, you can point out that beef is not fat-free) 2. Beans are low-sodium. (Or, you can point out that beef is not low-sodium) 3. Beans are cholesterol-free. (Or, you can point out that beef is not cholesterol-free) Conclusion: Based on the facts that they are fat-free, low- sodium, and cholesterol free, beans are definitely a more healthy source of protein than beef.
  • 8. Research  Evidence for argumentative essays can be objective – like facts, statistics, and case studies – or anecdotal – your personal experiences  Objective evidence will require research – you can use sources like books, articles, websites, and even people!
  • 9. Research  Books can be found using the Library’s online catalog.  Articles in magazines, newspapers, and journals can be found using the Library’s databases.  Good websites can be found using engines like Google and Ask
  • 10. Keywords  Regardless of where you seek resources – books, articles, or websites – the best way to search for resources is keyword searching  Keywords represent the most important parts of your thesis statement or argument  Before you start searching, develop a list of keywords from your argument
  • 11. Keywords: Example  Thesis: Beans are a more healthy source of protein than beef.  Beans  legumes  Source  Healthy – health  Protein  Beef = red meat  Cholesterol You will combine them together using AND! Remember: you aren’t limited to the actual words from the thesis – use related words or alternate ideas! Also, look to your arguments for keywords, too – those are key ideas!
  • 12. The Library’s Resources: Books
  • 13. Looking Up Books: Catalog beans and health
  • 14. Catalog The Stacks are the books that CAN be checked out. They are housed on the 2, 3, 4, and 5 floors of the Library. The first letter will help you figure out which floor. • A-F = 2nd floor • G-P = 3rd floor • Q = 4th floor • R-Z = 5th floor Delta Stacks are in our Stacks, so no worries! Look! Additional keyword ideas!
  • 15. The Library’s Resources: Articles Remember: to find articles, you have to check the databases! Articles = Databases!
  • 16. Databases by Name
  • 17. Databases by Subject
  • 18. Databases by Subject
  • 19. Databases: Ebscohost
  • 20. Databases: Ebscohost Full-text articles in Ebsco will either be HTML, PDF, or both. If you don’t see HTML or PDF (or both), then the article is not available in full.
  • 21. Databases: Ebscohost Possible keywords! Abstracts are a summary of the article. This will cite the article for you!
  • 22. Databases: Ebscohost
  • 23. Quotations & Citations  Quotations: when you use text from a resource in your own writing  Citations: how you acknowledge resources you’ve used in your paper
  • 24. Quotations Indirect Quotation: Some researchers note that "children are totally insensitive to their parent's shyness" (Zimbardo 62). Direct Quotation: Zimbardo notes that "children are totally insensitive to their parent's shyness" (62). Paraphrase: While not all children are, research has shown that some children are insensible to the introversion or timidity of their parent or parents (Zimbardo 62).
  • 25. Citations  Book Langland, William. Piers the Ploughman. Baltimore: Penguin Books, Ltd., 1974.  Journal article Thibodeau, P.L., and S.J. Melamut. "Ergonomics in the Electronic Library." Bulletin of the Medical Library Association 83.3 (July 1995): 322-329.
  • 26. Citations  Journal article from a database Becker, Karen. "The Characteristics of Bibliographic Instruction in Relation to the Causes and Symptoms of Burnout." RQ 32.3 (Spring 1993): 346-357. EBSCO ERIC. ULM University Library, Monroe, LA. 19 May 2009. <>.
  • 27. Citations  Website Lowe, Megan. “Citations Guide: MLA Style.” Megan Lowe @ ULM. 8 June 2006. University of Louisiana at Monroe. 12 June 2007 <>.  Remember: citations are important for two reasons  They allow you to give credit where credit is due, which keeps you from plagiarism and cheating charges  Allows readers to retrace your research steps and look at the actual resources you used
  • 28. Question & Answer Time
  • 29. Argumentative Essay FYI  Presentation  Sites Consulted for Presentation Bogacizi University Writing Center Glendale Community College English Dept.  Don’t forget: the OWL at Purdue!  My Contact Info Email:
  • 30. Thanks for coming! Remember, if you need help, just ask at the Reference Desk; email us at; or call us at (318) 342-1071! You can also email me at: