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Hillary Weiss

GSW 1120

Essay # 2: Multiple Source Essay (MSE)


Task/Objective
For your second essay, you will be synthesizing information from five or more sources to
support your position of an issue. This essay is due Friday, February 27th at the beginning of
class. Remember, this essay is revisable.
Preparation
Read Chapter 4 Explanatory Synthesis and Chapter 5 Argument Synthesis, in WARAC.
Read Chapter 18 Summarizing, Paraphrasing, and Quoting Sources and Chapter 19
Synthesizing Sources in Kirzner & Mandells The Brief Wadsworth Handbook.
Topic Choice
Throughout this essay, you will be answering the question, What is the most prominent source
of happiness? using the articles from WARAC and articles provided by the instructor. If your
answer is that money is the most prominent source of happiness, you need to use the sources to
aid your thesis. Answers to this question may include:
- Experiential purchases
- Meaningful relationships
- A strong support system
- Setting and completing goals
- Something else
Make sure that you include reasons why this topic is the most prominent source of happiness.
For example, if I was arguing that volunteering is the most prominent source of happiness,
perhaps my reasons (body paragraphs) include:
-

It helps you connect with people


You are improving other peoples lives
It is a win-win situationyou are improving others lives and the volunteer also feels
good

Again, you must develop an argument based off only the articles in The Pursuit of Happiness
and the outside sources the instructor provides.
These outside sources come from Jerome Librarys EBSCO Academic Search Complete and reputable
websites, resources that student may choose to use for future essay writing.

Structure or Organization
Introductory Paragraph(s)
An effective hook which makes the reader want to read the rest of the essay (i.e. an anecdote, a
surprising example or statistic, a memorable quote) and general information on the topic that
leads to your thesis. The thesis must be argumentative and should include your points/reasons
that support your argument.
Point/Reason Paragraphs

Topic sentence --your point/reason in your own words, not from source --reflects what the
paragraph is about --serves as a transition between points/reasons
Explain your point first
Then, incorporate sources (at least 2 different ones) --introduce sources used for the first time-full name, information on author(s), name of work, etc.; once they're introduced the first time,
you may refer to just their last name(s) --discuss the source info you integrate (explain what the
author means, its relationship to your point/argument); don't just "stick" your quote in (no standalone quotes); remember to cite source info. Use words to signal synthesis between sources and
between sources and your argument. Wrap up your point in your own words, not a source's.
Tie discussion back to your point of argument.
Counter-arguments
What does your opposition say about your argument as a whole or some of your main
points/reasons that support your argument? Explain how they disagree with you in a counterargument paragraph.
Place counter-argument either before or after the point/reason that it addresses or if it is a
counter-argument to your argument as a whole, place it after your introduction
You must either refute (argue back) or concede (make concession that they bring up a valid
point but that your argument is still the most reasonable for certain reasons) the counterarguments.
Make it clear to the reader that someone else is presenting the counter argument and also make
it clear that you are speaking when the answer to the counter argument begins.
Concluding Paragraph
Wrap up your argument
Highlight/Remind readers of your main points
Explain why your argument is important or should be considered
Consider pointing out consequences if your argument isn't considered

Checklist for your Multiple Source essay


Has a clear and debatable thesis--not stating a topic or making an assertion.
The focus is on an argument--not a descriptive or informative focus.
Is organized according to points and not around sources.
Shows a true synthesis and integration of sources.
At least two paragraphs with synthesis
Sources are not used to argue the thesis, but used for support of your argument.
Shows your involvement in the debate of the issue--the sources do not dominate the essay.
Includes all the elements of an argumentative essay.
Consistently maintains a reasonable tone and attitude--no ranting or raving.
Reads clearly, logically, smoothly, and coherently.

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Due Dates for the Multiple Source essay


Typed Initial Proposaldue at 5:00 PM Thursday, Feb. 5th,
Typed Sources Proposaldue at the beginning of class, Monday, Feb. 9th
Typed First draftdue at the beginning of class, Wednesday, Feb. 11th
Typed rough draftdue at the beginning of class, Wednesday, Feb. 18th
Final typed draftdue at the beginning of class, Friday, Feb. 27th

Format / Length
The essay should be approximately 4 + pages, word-processed or typed, double-spaced using
MLA page format. The works cited page does not count toward 4 pages; itll be page 6. Use
one-inch margins on all sides of the pages, standard 12-pt. font. No handwritten or sloppy drafts
will be accepted.
Required:
You must have at least 5 cited sources for this essay. All sources must be a combination of
articles from the WARAC Pursuit of Happiness chapter and sources the instructor has
provided on Canvas. At least three of the sources must be WARAC articles.
You must document (MLA style) your sources parenthetically and on a works-cited page.
Follow the MLA documentation.
Important: Save all your prewriting, including the research proposal, assignment sheet, note
synthesis sheets, source annotations, peer review worksheets, outline, and all rough drafts,
including the rough draft with my comments. You must submit these, along with your selfevaluation sheet and final draft, and during the portfolio submission.
Final Comments
Final drafts receive final evaluations; however, a revised final draft can be submitted within one
week after the finals are returned in class. I encourage you to schedule conferences with me
and/or with a Writing Center tutor, as you need assistance with your essay.