Should the United States government impose an extra health tax
on purchases at fast-food restaurants?
The thesis of your paper must answer the question stated above. You ARE NOT allowed to answer, “Yes
and No.” The point of the research question is to pick one side and support it with research. This is not
science, though. There is no right or wrong answer to the question. Clearly, both yes and no answers can
be supported with credible research. You simply pick one side and find the research that supports that
position. This is a persuasive essay. This means that your goal is to convince someone who picked the
other answer to agree with your position. Do not state the obvious or make common sense arguments.
You need to provide information that is not already painfully obvious to the average person. The way to
do this is by providing insightful and credible research. Your paper must show evidence of critical
thinking – that you have analyzed the topic, not just reported on it.
• Your paper must be in MLA format.
• Your paper must contain at least 9 in-text citations from ″credible″ sources.
• Your paper must include at least 9 different ″credible″ sources on the works cited page.
• Each source on the works cited page must have a first and last name (see credibility handout)
• You must submit the paper to the assignment link in blackboard before midnight on the due date
listed on the assignment schedule.
• You must have at least as much of your own perspective and thoughts as you have citations from
other sources. This means that you cannot simply turn in a paper that is a collection of
supporting research for your thesis. You must personally contribute to the support of the thesis
by including your explanation, interpretation, and analysis of the research that you find.
• Additionally, your paper must contain enough specific evidence that supports your position so
that your opinion can be seen as valid and legitimate. No matter how much you have to say and
no matter how intelligent it sounds, your perspective is genuinely not worth listening to unless it
has credible research to support it. See credible research handout for more information.
Research should include quantifiable data from an expert in the field.
• Your paper must have a clear sense of organization and structure. This organization must be
clearly stated in the introduction AND clearly identifiable throughout the paper.
• Your paper must have a substantial introduction that includes the thesis statement and a preview
of the research project as a whole – including some kind of statement or comment that engages
the reader’s interest.
• Your paper must have a substantial conclusion that provides some kind of implication about your
research. The conclusion is not just a restatement of your main points but it is also some kind
personal interpretation of why your research is significant. Your conclusion should answer the
question… “So what?”