Paper 4: Argument Synthesis
As we have discussed in this unit, an argument synthesis is a genre of paper in which you advocate for a particular claim or position using two or more sources for support. This kind of paper features a strong, arguable thesis, and attempts to persuade readers to adopt that position by supporting it with detailed, relevant evidence. The goal here is to utilize multiple sources in an effort to demonstrate why your argument is so convincing, taking specific elements of those sources to use as evidence for (or, in the case of counterargument, against) your position.
For this assignment, you will write an argument synthesis that attempts to answer the question that our readings for this unit have all, in different ways, addressed: when pursuing a career, should you try to do what you love? To answer this question, you should draw upon all three of our assigned readings: Steve Jobs, “Do What You Love” (WRAC 461-3); Jeff Haden, “Do What You Love?: #@&** That!” (WRAC 463-5); MiyaTokumitsu, “In the Name of Love” (WRAC 468-472). After reading all of these pieces, construct a thesis that answers the question of whether or not people should do what they love when pursing a career, and make use of all three readings to support your position. Note that these readings are all very different from one another, so the evidence you provide from each one does not always have to agree with your position. You might use some of the readings to support what you’re saying, and then use others as counterarguments against which you will defend your own argument as superior.
Things to Keep in Mind
• Your essay should have a clear, arguable thesis that answers the assigned question. That thesis should appear early in the paper, and every subsequent paragraph should help support it in some fashion.
• You should support your thesis with evidence from all three sources: Jobs, Haden, and Tokumitsu. Remember to cite your evidence consistently within the text, and to include a list of works cited at the end of the paper.
• Your synthesis should be logically organized, with each paragraph offering a single, consistent point related in some way to your thesis. For ideas on how to organize your paper (e.g., using a problem/solution, multiple sides of a controversy, or comparison-and-contrast approach), see WRAC 162-163.
• When planning your essay, consult WRAC 102-103, which provides several ideas for drafting your argument through a clear, logical method.
• Your conclusion should not simply summarize what you’ve already done in the rest of the paper, but should instead offer a discussion of the larger significance, or motive, of your argument.
Use of Sources
For this assignment, you must utilize all three of the assigned readings for this unit. If you would like some additional support for your argument, you may also use Carl McCoy’s “Dear Grads: Don’t Do What You Love” (WRAC 466-467). However, that source does not replace any of the other three sources – all three of those sources must still be present in your paper, even if you also include McCoy’s piece.
Other than the sources from our textbook described above, you may not use any other sources for this assignment. Outside sources are not permitted.
Papers should be 4-5 full pages long (no less, and not significantly more), typed in 12-point, Times New Roman font, and double-spaced. All papers must include a list of works cited, and all in-text citations should be provided in MLA format.
All papers must be submitted to Moodle by 1pm on Tuesday, Nov. 17.
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