Writing a Essay with Multiple Sources



Helpful Hints

Assignment Requirements

Due Dates and Point Values







In successfully completing this assignment, you will be able to:

  • Discover and research a persuasive argument
  • Use multiple sources to support your argument in a way that is relevant and logical
  • Explain and substantiate a short written argument



1. For this paper, you will need to pick your own argumentative topic.

  • The topic must be something you choose to argue either for or against; it cannot just be an "informational" paper. It must be an argument paper.
  • This topic must be approved by me; therefore, you must e-mail it to me by midnight Sunday night.
  • If your topic is not approved, then you must re-sumbit. If you haven't come up with anything by midnight on Monday, you will get assigned a topic.
  • You may also use this topic for your reseach paper at the end of the semester, if you choose.


3. Just as we did for the single source essay, you must come up with reasons and submit a simple outline. I recommend you limit your reasons to three or four, since the paper has a word limit of 800-1100 words. Once you decide on your reasons, sketch out a rough outline. The outline that is due on Wednesday will be very basic, and just like the one here. Again, it will consisit of a thesis statement and statements of reasons, arranged in outline format which includes the intro/conclusion roman numerals.

4. The structure of this essay is really just an extended version of the Single Source Essay. As before, you must write a paper that contains an introductory paragraph with a clear thesis statement, body paragraphs with support for at least three reasons, and a conclusion paragraph. Title it something creative. It should be cohesive, focused, and well-organized (sound familiar?). It also must contain a Works Cited Page with the sources you use.

5. You must use at least two sources for this paper, only one of which can be from an internet source (you don't have to have any internet sources if you don't want to). Of course, all sources must be academic.

6. Use MLA format for the parenthetical documentation and the Works Cited page, as we have gone over in class. You know what's next: BE CAREFUL NOT TO PLAGIARIZE. Just like always, if you use a print source, you MUST make a photocopy of it and bring it physically to me (or scan it and send it to me) by classtime on the day it is due: Friday, Feb. 28..

6. A Rough Draft will be due on Sunday the 23rd at noon. This draft should contain all the required elements, including length requirement. We will peer edit them in class on Monday and Wednesday....we definitely need two days for this. And we are going to have to use a different system to avoid confusion....but we'll worry about that when we get to it..


Helpful Hints

  • Decide on a topic early, and send it in quicky. This way, if you need to change it, you can do so before it becomes too late. After Monday night you may not change topics.
  • Of course you decide your thesis first, but think of more than two reasons. Think of a lot of them and then pick the best - you don't want to be stuck with a reason that's not working simply because it's the first one you thought of.
  • As in the past, it is permissible to simply write one paragraph for each reason; however, you may write more if you wish - just not less.
  • You must use all your sources in your paper (whether direct quotes, paraphrases, or both) - this is "Works Cited," not "Works Consulted." You know the drill...you may not use more source material than your own explanation! We've discussed proper use of quotation and paraphrase before, so I won't get into that.
  • Use transitions
  • The title should not only make your topic clear, but your point of view on that topic
  • Don't forget to put your name in a heading!
  • This never changes: Remember that everything must be connected with logical reasoning and explanation, from support to reason to argument/thesis.
  • Afraid of accidentally plagiarizing? Do the strategy of highlighting the passages you used from your source, holding them up next to where they are in the paper, and checking back and forth to see if you got it right. That's how I do it when I check for plagiarism.


Assignment Requirements
How well you meet these requirements determines your grade. A good persuasive multi-source essay is just like a Single Source Essay in many ways. It will:

  • Have a clearly stated thesis statement in the introduction
  • Have an introduction which leads smoothly into the body
  • Have clearly stated reasons
  • Have direct explanation of why those reasons prove that your argument makes sense
  • Make good use of a well-chosen, relevant academic sources, inserting them when needed but not going overboard
  • Have all sources documented in the paper, right after they are used!
  • Have logical connections between points
  • Have clear, logical organization and transitioning
  • Be focused - everything must go towards proving your thesis!
  • Have a seperate Works Cited page that lists your sources - papers without this will not be accepted
  • Have a photocopy/printout of the pages you got your quotes/paraphrases off of (you don't need to copy the whole thing, but you can't just do the title page)- papers without this will not be accepted


Due Dates:
Sunday, Feb.16 at midnight: Topic Due for Approval (5 pts)
Monday, Feb. 17 at midnight: Topic Must be Cemented

Wednesday, Feb. 19 by classtime: Basic Outline Due (15 pts)
Sunday, Feb. 23 at noon: Rough Draft Due (50 pts)
Friday, Feb. 28 at classtime: Final Draft Due (105 pts)

Maximum Total Score: 175 pts.


Home | Syllabus