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Justice: L9 Argumentative English Essay


“The way things are does not determine the way they ought to be.”
― Michael J. Sandel, Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?

ASSIGNMENT: Select a significant aspect of injustice about which you feel strongly. Gather information from a variety of credible sources. Craft a thesis of your own creation. Write an argumentative essay proving your thesis. 

Below is the process that every Lise 9 student will follow to craft their argumentative research paper. Your teacher may choose to supplement this process. 


  • Craft a research question related to an aspect of injustice in which you are interested.

    • “Can minorities get fair trials in the justice system?”

    • “Are women equally represented in public life?”

    • “Is it possible for displaced people to successfully integrate into society?”

  • Work with your teacher to refine your research question. Each student in the class will have a unique question.

  • Once approved, use your research question to guide your inquiry.


  • Gather a variety of credible sources. 

    • Some resources to consider: library, EBSCO, JSTOR, etc. 

    • At least one should be an academic database.

    • At least one should be a physical article or text from the library. 

  • Read. A lot. Be prepared for the reading. 

  • Annotate while you read. 

    • Information that supports your ideas.

    • Information that complicates your ideas. 

  • Make careful notes of the research and your thoughts. (5 points)

    • Work with your teacher on an appropriate process and product. 

  • Create an annotated bibliography with 10-15 sources. (10 points)

    • Once approved, use your annotated bibliography as evidence for your paper.


  • Craft an outline. 

  • Write a first draft.

    • Choose the best 6-10 sources from your annotated bibliography. 

    • Synthesize your sources. Do not continuously use one source per paragraph. Some paragraphs should refer to multiple sources.

    • Correctly cite and integrate your evidence according to MLA guidelines. 

    • If you find a better source after choosing your original sources, you must have it approved by your teacher and add an entry to the annotated bibliography. 

CONFERENCE: (5 points) 

  • Have a conference with your teacher.

    • The expectation is that you bring your…

      • Notes

      • Annotated bibliography

      • Outline

      • First draft


  • Edit your paper and write another draft.

    • Use feedback from teacher and peers to refine your writing. 

    • Repeat as necessary. 


  • Put your paper into MLA format (header; TNR 12 pt. font; 1 inch margins; double spaced)

  • Write 3-5 pages in double spaced text.

  • Submit to by 7:50 AM on Wednesday April 15, 2020.





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Integration and Citation 

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Argument is insightful and significant. 

Argument convincingly addresses counter arguments.

Argument skillfully synthesizes all sources. 



Convincing and relevant evidence used from 6-10 sources. 


Insightful analysis makes up the majority of the paragraphs. 

Introduction engages the reader’s interest and focuses the essay with a precise thesis. 

Excellent and varied use of transitions both between and within paragraphs. 

Conclusion considers the significance of the argument.


Evidence is consistently well-integrated and cited correctly.


Skillfully uses a variety of integration techniques. 


Works cited is present and correct. 


Very few or no errors relative to length or complexity. 


Errors have no impact on meaning or understanding.


Uses precise and varied vocabulary, including subject-appropriate vocabulary. 


Intentionally varies sentence structure to emphasise points or meaning. 




Argument is effective and relevant. 

Argument effectively addresses counter arguments. 

Supports argument  by effectively synthesizing all sources.


Effective and relevant evidence is used from 6-10 sources.


Thoughtful analysis makes up the majority of the paragraphs. 


Introduction focuses the essay with a clear thesis. 

Good use of transitions both between and within paragraphs. 

Conclusion synthesizes claims.


Evidence is mostly well-integrated and cited correctly.


Effectively uses a variety of  integration techniques. 


Works cited is present with numerous very minor errors (grammatical).


Few errors relative to length and complexity.


Errors have little impact on meaning or understanding.


Usually uses precise and subject-appropriate vocabulary.


Demonstrates sentence variety.




Attempts to make an argument but it  may be obvious or irrelevant.  

Argument attempts to address counter arguments, although may be unconvincing. 

Some effective synthesis; not all sources may have been used.


Adequate and relevant evidence from 6-10 sources is almost always used.


Basic and limited analysis makes up roughly half of the paragraphs. 


Introduction and thesis may be basic but give some focus to the essay. 

May need clearer transitions either between or within paragraphs.

Conclusion restates the thesis and summarizes claims. 


Some issues with the integration and citation of evidence.


Attempts to integrate evidence are clearly made with minor issues.


Works cited is present, but formatting is incorrect. 


Multiple errors that interfere with understanding.


Errors are disproportionate to the length and complexity of the piece.


Lapses into informal vocabulary and/or fails to use subject-appropriate or precise vocabulary. 


Lacks sentence variety. 




Irrelevant or unclear argument.

Argument does not address relevant counter arguments, but attempt is still made. 

Lacks comprehension and/or lack of synthesis.


Limited evidence or evidence is sometimes irrelevant. Uses less than 6 or more than 10 sources.


Simplistic analysis is used sparingly or analysis is the minority of the paragraphs.


Introduction does not provide focus. 


Few or weak transitions or only one body paragraph.


Conclusion does not provide summary.


Major issues with citation. 


Little attempt to integrate evidence or attempt made with major issues.


Works cited is present, but inaccurate or missing no more than 1 source.


Noticeable or obvious errors. 


Errors interfere with understanding or demonstrate lack of mastery over usage.



Noticeable issues with vocabulary.


Sentence structure not varied.


(below 59)


Argument not stated or not comprehensible.

Argument does not attempt to address counter argument. 

Lack of comprehension of the topic and/or sources.


Insufficient evidence or evidence is mostly irrelevant. Uses less than 6 or more than 10 sources.


Little to no  analysis. 

Missing an introduction.

Ideas may be presented as an unprioritized list or may be random. 


Missing a conclusion.


No citation.


No attempt to integrate evidence.


Works cited list is missing multiple sources. 


No works cited is an automatic 0 in this category.


Frequent, distracting and/or major errors.


Errors impede meaning.


Significant issues with



Significant issues with sentence structure.

Other 25% to be clarified at a later date

all or nothing by a certain date

  • Annotated bib 10%  rubric to follow

  • Research questions  5%

  • Notes 5%

  • Conference 5%