Writing Your Senior Project From a Debate


    1. Read the description of the social issue paper on the “Senior Project” hand-out. Make sure you follow ALL of the instructions.


    Sample Essay


    2. Look at the guide linked below and to the right for some tips on organizing your paper:

    EBSCO Guide to Persuasive


    3. DO NOT use Debate terms!!!


        • “Harms” could be discussed as problems, difficulties, significant issues, etc.

        • “Inherency” could be discussed as the “reason the problems won’t go away” or “the current attitudes(or laws) thatprevent changes”

        • “Solvency” could be discussed as “A possible solution…”

        • There is no reason to really mention administration, etc. But, it may be important for you to discuss “the cost of fixing the problem” (funding) or “the ability to enforce the changes” (enforcement).

    4. Include a refutation where you mention the arguments against you and prove they are not important and/or valid. This may be at the very beginning of your paper, or at the end. Be sure to transition into refutations


        • Some people argue that….However, this is untrue because…..
        • Other arguments state that…..But, this is not the case because….
        • Although critics often claim that….Most people realize that this is not true.


    5. In fact, make sure you transition into all quotes!!!!


      • According to John Smith in his article “I Don’t Care,” the major cause of poverty is “the number of people who are unemployed” (79).


    6. Look up MLA format!!!

    You must cite all information that is not common knowledge. You do not cite web-addresses in the parentheses following a statement (“In-Text Citations,” 2010). A lot of you did that in your 1AC…DON’T DO IT IN YOUR PAPER!

    You do not need to put all of the info in your parenthetical reference. Your bibliography will list the rest. For instance, “In-Text Citations” comes from the Purdue On-line Writing Lab. I will cite all of the info for that (including the web address) in my bibliography.


    7. This essay is an Argumentative Research Paper:

    1st- Explain the problems. Prove that they exist and are significant (Harms). This will be the majority of your essay (at least ¾) and will include A LOT of evidence.


    2nd - Include a refutation at the end of your paper. Explain the MAJOR arguments against you and REFUTE THOSE ARGUMENTS!!! Explain why they are not significant/important/valid.


    8. When in doubt, cite a source. Even if you have merely paraphrased an argument, CITE IT!!!! It is better to be safe than sorry in this regard.


    9. Write your paper now. Let it sit for a few days and then re-read it. Revise it. Add things, delete them. Then….


    10. Get your essay read by the tutors in the library. More than once!!!! Then have your friends and parents read it. DO NOT HAVE ANY ERRORS ON YOUR FINAL DRAFT!!!