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English 102: Argument and Research with Professor Williamson

"Argument and Research" focuses on analysis, sythesis and evaulation, logical thinking, the techniques of argument, writing about literature, and preparation of the documented essay.

English 102 Objectives

This guide is designed specifically around your course, and is intended to help you fulfill the objectives that Professor Williamson has laid out in her syllabus.  By the end of the course you should be able to:

1. Conduct research (both in the library and on the internet)

2. Carry out basic primary research

3. Evaluate and use sources to develop an argumentative essay

4. Demonstrate improvement in critical reading skills

5. Analyze and interpret literary works

6. Understand the writing process

7. Demonstrate proficiency in the development of a formal essay

8. Document your citations according to MLA format

9. Edit and proofread your writing

10. Show an appreciation of the diverse cultures that make up American society

Understanding your Assignment

Before you get started on any assignment, you're obviously going to want to make sure that you completely understand what you're being asked to do.  Your prompt (or assignment) should include several vital pieces of information and it will help you to keep these in mind from the very beginning.

  • Due Date - when is the assignment due?  Does it need to be submitted in class, or can you send it electronically?  In case of emergency, what is your teacher's policy on late assignments?  
  • Research requirements - how many sources do you need (if any)?  Do you need print sources, or electronic sources, or a combination or both?  Are there any date requirements related to your sources?  For example, do you have to use only sources from the last ten years?  Or do you need primary (historical) sources?
  • Page length and formatting - how long does your paper have to be?  What citation style should you be using?  Do you need footnotes?  Internal citations?  A works cited/references page?

After you've spent some time analyzing the assignment you should be able to answer the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of this assignment?
  • Who is my audience?
  • What resources do I need to begin?

The answers to those questions will guide you as you start the writing process.