The purpose of this essay is not to prove whether you are right or wrong but to objectively present differing viewpoints about you

Week 6 Assignment: Writing a rough draft of an academic essay "Dieting Makes People Fat"

In previous assignments and discussions, you selected a topic to write about, explored its exigence, audience, and purpose, and researched the topic using credible, scholarly sources. Now you will pull all the information together into a rough draft of an academic essay. 

The purpose of this essay is not to prove whether you are right or wrong but to objectively present differing viewpoints about your topic and contribute in a meaningful way to an ongoing conversation about the topic. You may think of your essay as an “argument of inquiry”; intended to lead your audience to a deeper understanding of an issue that affects them. The topic, purpose, and supporting points of your essay are stated in a thesis statement in the first paragraph of the essay. 

To get a feel for writing academic arguments, please review the following sample student essays. Each was written by a previous student in EN102. 

Sample Researched Argument 1

Sample Researched Argument 2

Sample Researched Argument 3

The textbook, Becoming Rhetorical (Chapter 13) has an example of an academic essay as well. Content and format requirements Content:  

  • A clear thesis statement in the first paragraph that states the purpose of the paper and supporting points
  • A minimum of one differing viewpoint (counterargument) that is supported by a source.  Refute (weaken or dismiss the counterargument or concede it (it’s valid, but the points presented in the paper outweigh the validity/impact of the counterargument).
  • A conclusion that effectively wraps the discussion.
  • Include quotations, paraphrases, and summaries from peer-reviewed sources (academic journal sources) representing more than one side of the issue.


  • Between 900 and 1200 words
  • Organized into paragraphs
  • Multimodal elements, such as photos or graphics, may be included at your discretion

Organization requirements

  • Information is presented in a logical, sequential order
  • Transitions link ideas within and between paragraphs to unify the discussion

Source/Support RequirementsFive peer-reviewed sources; other credible sources may be used in addition as appropriate

  • Authors qualified
  • APA in-text citation
  • APA Style References page

Technical requirements 

  • Written in third person (objective voice)
  • Withholds personal opinion
  • Uses standard conventions of English: punctuation, capitalization, complete sentences
  • Spell Check and proofread your work

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