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The Importance of Everyday Objects: An Argumentative Essay


As you know already, the general topic for the research paper is: The Everyday Object, the same topic you wrote about for Essay 2 and Essay 4:

For this course, I am asking you to consider the word “thing” literally—focusing on a concrete object created by humans that you could find in the world around you. Based on this idea,

1. What arguments are focused on a particular object that exists around us but that many of us don't usually think much about?

2. How does this object relate to or emphasize something important about a particular culture and society or possibly changes in or directions for this society or culture?

3. Why is this object important? How does it affect our lives or how have our lives been changed because of it? What positive or negative effects have occurred because of this object’s impact on humanity?


Construct an argument essay based on your research on your object. Use and cite appropriately at least 5 sources in this essay. Of all of the ideas you've discovered while researching, focus on one and work to convince a reader to be persuaded about your position on this topic. Use the argument essay to emphasize a concept of importance culturally, socially, politically, or some other way to suggest how crucial your object is to humanity. Use the elements of argument and research we've been examining.

1. You should have five (5) print or online sources by the time you write this essay. Choose sources that reflect differences in their origin or strategies of evidence (scholarly/expert opinion; primary sources/perspectives of average people; popular sources in print or on the web, interviews, data from surveys, etc.). Make references to each of these sources as you address the following issues. Using intext citations (signal phrases and/or parenthetical references) and a works cited page, cite these sources when you’re using words or ideas from them. Use both (1) quotations and (2) paraphrases from these sources (not necessarily both of these from each source) in your essay. When you use quotations, remember how to edit quotations (brackets, ellipses, [sic]) and use one or more of these one time.

Demonstrate that you understand the strategies for editing quotations, for cutting or adding information, for using indirect quotations, and for acknowledging errors in quotations as appropriate.

2. Use several of the strategies of argument we've been examining when looking at how writers use evidence: primary sources, secondary sources, expert opinion, common knowledge, arguments from the heart, character, facts and reason, etc. You don't have to label what you're doing (unlike what we did with essay 3) and you may find that several of the strategies work at the same time. Demonstrate 2 or more strategies of using evidence as you craft the text of your essay. You don’t need to use the terminology below! (If fact, most likely don’t at all!) But show from how you construct the paper that you are using the concept as you connect and develop ideas. (Refer to the strategies we examined for essay 3 and listed below.)

3. Be sure that you use MLA style of documentation to document the use of these sources with in-text citations (use both forms—signal phrases and parenthetical references) and a works cited page. I grade this essay with a modified grading profile, to account for MLA style issues.

4. Be sure you are not plagiarizing: quote sources if you are using their words and cite sources when you are using their ideas. In your essay, do not present as your own sentences and phrasing that you have not written.

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