Research for a General Argumentative Essay

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Academic Research

Academic research often involves developing good argumentative essays. A well structured argumentative essay begins with a thesis that supports one particular perspective of an issue over another. A series of arguments supports the thesis against other positions.

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

All research involves acquiring, evaluating, and synthesizing information created or acquired by others. One of our obligations as researchers is to basically give credit where credit is due by documenting the intellectual discussion. In this way we are able to document those ideas that influenced our thought while identifying our own unique contribution to the topic.

Researchers carefully keep track of the materials used for research and cite those sources used in the body of the paper (parenthetical documentation) and reference them in a bibliography (works cited, footnotes, endnotes, etc.). There are several standard styles that determine the formatting: MLA, APA, Chicago, Turabian, etc. A tool like RefWorks can help you collect and organize the citations used for your research. RefWorks can also help format your bibliography and parenthetical references in your paper.

How do I find a topic?

When given the chance, write about something you care about. If you are not sure of a topic, a good place to start is by browsing Opposing Viewpoints. This database collects scholarly articles covering both sides of many timely controversial topics.

How Do I Find Resources Like Books and Articles?

Once you find a topic and choose a position, your thesis should flow from that. Now you need to acquire materials to build your argument. You can search for books from the UA Libraries in the UA Library Catalog. You can also find and borrow books from other Ohio academic libraries through the OhioLINK Library Catalog.

Two good general resources for acquiring scholarly journal articles for argumentative essays are Academic Search Complete and LexisNexis Academic.

Please use the related research tools links to access the resources mentioned above.