English 103 Assignment #6: Research Essay
Signature Assignment – Due Thursday of Week 8
This assignment fulfills the AA program learning outcome for Program Learning
Outcome #7: Information Literacy: Evaluate and cite various information resources
necessary to complete an academic research essay.
Write a 2,000 to 2,500-word research essay that persuades a skeptical audience to
agree with your position on one of the issues below. Your topic must be debatable–
meaning a topic about which intelligent, well-meaning people disagree.
The argument should be supported by information from credible written sources such
as scholarly journals and books. You may also take advantage of credible websites,
radio, or even television programs. Consider interviewing someone with deep
experience in the field, if possible—the interview would be a source. Your sources
should be current (usually not more than seven years old) unless you are providing
historical background. All quotations, summaries, and paraphrases must be correctly
cited and documented using the APA documentation system. References to the citation
system are in the APA tab of the Hacker textbook, The Writer’s Reference.
Most of your final paper should be in your own words. Do not make your final paper a
simple collection of good quotations from other sources.
1. Before handing in your final paper, you will have passed five checkpoints: (1)
Research Proposal; (2) APA or MLA citation list (3) Argument Analysis essay, (4) Research
Essay Outline, and (5) review of your Research Essay draft by both CorrectEnglish and
2. You must present opposing viewpoints (counter arguments) fairly and logically refute
3. Use at least FIVE different sources by at least FIVE different authors from different
4. Avoid plagiarism by handling and documenting your sources appropriately.
5. Your essay must be in either APA or MLA style: standard margins and spacing, Times
New Roman with 12 point font, and a References or Works Cited page that is
formatted correctly. Use your textbook’s APA or MLA guide for help.
(You are encouraged to select your own topic, such as an issue you deal with at work.
To do so, check with your instructor (an email is fine), who will make sure your topic is
appropriate for the assignment).
1. Should governments have the right to monitor public places, even if there has been
no threat lodged? (Think red-light cameras, facial-recognition cameras, or China’s “social
2. Should the public school day begin after 9am?
3. Are workers more or less productive when they work from home?
4. Should Internet influences be allowed to use their children on their shows? (This
might also be applied to more traditional forms of media like the “reality” show).
5. Is the current tax system in your country fair? (This one can focus on a lot of
different sub-topics, like a flat tax, corporate tax law, etc.)
6. Should it be mandatory for all companies to offer paid maternity and/or paternity
leave? Who would pay for it?
7. Should social media platforms be allowed to sell the user data they have collected?
8. Is climate change caused by humans?
9. Are children of illegal immigrants entitled to a public education?
10. Should the government provide everyone a universal basic income?
11. Should the US have more restrictions on gun ownership?
12. Are standardized tests (SAT/ACT/GRE/MCAT/LSAT) an accurate predictor of
13. Should student loan debt be easier to discharge in bankruptcy?
14. Should the process for electing a US president (or the top official in your country) be
15. Will we find a cure or effective treatment for Alzheimer’s in the next twenty years?
(You can substitute any disease or condition here).
16. Should college athletes in Division 1 programs or their equivalents be paid?
17.Should the US require that every teen fulfill a term of national service? (This might be
military, but could also be working in the national forests, in poor neighborhoods, etc.)
18. Is mass consumerism the biggest threat to our environment?
19. Should we provide universal preschool for all children?
20. Is it unethical to eat meat? (Or wear fur, etc.)?
English 103 Assignment #6: Research Essay