Researched Argument Source Worksheet

For the researched argument, sources, as they do for the op ed, have a function and value.
In class, we discussed kinds of sources. Look for more than of each as you work from first draft to final draft.

Part of your goal in composing a researched argument is to discover how an issue is discussed and disputed.

1. Get acquainted with the issue as its expressed generally, simply, and in complex ways. Learn about your issue as a topic.
You might begin with newspaper, web magazine, journal or magazine pieces that have reported on the issue and aspects of it.
Learn about the ways that your issue has been discussed or rendered as an issue in small and large ways.

2. Create the field of conversation.
Use your research to invite voices into the conversation. Start by finding ten.

You want voices that:
Describe the issue or problem
Concur with your position
Oppose your position
Express arguments that you find useful
Express the issue in specific ways that you find useful
Provide information relevant to your issue

2. Decide where the voices fit in the conversation.
Think of it like arranging a piece of music.
You might find several voices within a specific source.

Who concurs? How?
Who opposes? How?
What expression of arguments are useful?
What expressions of information are useful?
What relevant information is there?

3. Review the material you've already generated to state the issue, find arguments, and explore the dispute.
Arrange the data that you've found in terms of the issue, arguments, and disputants.
Are their gaps?
If there are, go back to step one and begin again, with a more specific goal in mind.

A note on credibility:
Your sources credibility in the use of sources depends on your ability to find sources with credibility.
Make sure your sources are credible.

You can use articles, Op-Eds or reports that appear in scholarly journals, magazines or newspapers.
You can use information from advocacy websites related to your issue as long as you identify them as such in your Op-Ed.
You can use sources gathered from blogs, websites, or online publications as long as you can establish their credibility as sources.

You cannot use wikipedia, though you can use wikipedia as a starting point to get situated in an issue. Also, the bibliography at the end of a wikipedia article can be a valuable map to use. Remember to investigate the sources of your sources.

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