Argumentative Essay

Argumentative essay about how money affects happiness. 5 pages.

English 102

Spring 2017

Synthesis #2 Assignment Sheet

(6-8 pages due April 26 in class)



The last major assignment of the semester is also the longest and requires the most work with argument and revision. I hope you are up to the challenge.  This final Synthesis #2 essay can be on any topic from class discussion or the list of topics I posted on BB and should include at least 8 secondary sources.


This final synthesis essay gives you a chance to really stretch your writing muscles and discuss your topic in numerous ways to persuade your reader. Of course, this is an argument synthesis so you are arguing a specific point and using sources to help your point come to light and appear logical and persuasive. Your sources will be valuable in providing examples or support for your ideas as well as counter arguments or ideas that you will shoot down or dismiss as you extend your critical thinking.


The Assignment

Compose a 6-8 page/8 source argument synthesis on a topic of your choice. If you do not do the topic in your Proposal Assignment, email me your intended topic so I can approve it and make sure you are on the right track. Remember, you must argue a position in this essay and use sources to help prove your point. I am also asking that you include a counter argument or two to show your versatility in arguing and seeing different sides of the topic.  We will work with counter arguments in class discussion as well as in They Say/I Say.

Remember: this is not a summary essay, this an argument essay based upon research (the use of secondary sources, not primary sources such as your own experience).


Composing Advice

As with Synthesis #1 you want your sources to have a dialogue and work on your terms. Do not simply support one of your sources as the only way to see something; instead, decide your approach and use the sources to help you build points. You may certainly string together points that you like from several sources and combine them into a persuasive statement of your own. This is one way to see how a synthesis builds. Your job is to conduct the orchestra and use the skills you have summarizing, critiquing and arguing to bring the reader to your point of view.


Yes, 6-8 pages and 8 sources might seem a monstrous task as you first read this. But slow down a minute. If you break your argument into three or four main points and build each point at 1-2 or so pages, you have quite a bit there. Expect a page or so for the introduction and conclusion, together, and you are right around 7-8 pages. So work on this essay in “chunks” and perhaps think about your sources coming in line with these chunks too. Could this mean that you are writing 3 or 4 small RRs or critique papers and then revising to make them all flow together? It could. I will help you see the drafting here in stages and peer writing groups will also help you develop your essay.


Other Requirements and Due Dates:

  1. Rough Draft of Proposal and Bibliography due March 22
  2. Peer feedback on sources April 5
  3. Final Bibliography due on April 10 (50 points)
  4. Rough Draft due April 19; workshop drafts in class
  5. Final version of paper with Bibliography due April 26 (200 points)


Nuts and Bolts

Typed, double-spaced, 1″ margins.  Please use Standard Written English!

MLA Style and Works Cited Page please.


Struggling with any aspect of this? Please come talk to me at a mutually convenient time. I am on campus every day but Wednesday; we can find a time! Email me:

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