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English9A: The Argumentative Essay  

Last Updated: Nov 10, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
The Argumentative Essay Print Page

Identify the Problem & Ask Questions

After exploring the complexities of a controversial issue, take a stance on an aspect of the topic and write an argumentative essay.

  • What questions do you have about the topic?
  • What will make the written argument stronger?
  • What will make the written argument weaker?

    Assignment Specifics

    What is the best way to communicate information persuasively?

    • Responsible persuasion acknowledges the complexity of controverisal issues
    • Authors effectively and artfully incorporate persuasive strategies

      Search Strategies

      • Locate and search appropriate resources
      • Vary search terms (don't use the same search terms over and over again)
      • Think of synonyms
      • Use Boolean searching
      • Use "quotation marks" to search for exact phrases
      • Be creative

        Search Strategies: Key Words



        Usernames and passwords for subscription databases and e-books are located under the Contents section of the Edline homepage.


        Opposing Viewpoints Subscription Database (Gale)


        ProQuest Subscription Databases



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        Destiny Library Catalog

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        Select Catalog tab

        Search for print resources

        Free Online Resources

        Take a moment to read the 'About Us' information. 

        • Who is providing the information?
        • Where did the author find his/her facts, data, information? 
        • What is the purpose of the site? 
        • When was the site last updated? 
        • What is the possible bias?


        When you use someone else's words, work, thoughts, and/or ideas, you need to give the person credit. It doesn't matter whether you quote the person word-for-word or put it in your own words (paraphrase), you need to acknowledge where the words, work, thought, or idea originated. Otherwise, you are passing it off as your own.

        Be responsible.

        Be honest.

        Show integrity.


        Record Bibliographic Information

        Don't forget to record the following for each source you use:

        • Author/creator
        • Title of article, chapter, film, webpage
        • Page number
        • Name of magazine, newspaper, journal, book, website
        • Publication date
        • Name of subscription database (if used)
        • Format (web, print)
        • Date of access (if found online)

        Modern Language Association (MLA) style is most often used in the humanities, arts, and literature. MLA Handbook, 7th ed.


        • NoodleTools
          NoodleTools is a bibliographic software tool to assist you in creating accurate source citations in MLA and APA formats.

        Citation Resources


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