Cohabitation prior to marriage (pros and cons)

Goal: Write a 4-6 page argument essay that persuades a specific audience to change a belief or action, or the essay can propose a solution to a problem. Use logical reasons and refute the opposition’s strongest arguments with credible sources and document sources using MLA.
Topic: You must have direct personal experience with your topic, know your position (opinion) on the topic, and be able to understand opposing viewpoints. The topic must be arguable and have logical reasons; therefore, topics dealing with religion and politics will not work.
Skills: This assignment builds on previous essays. You will not only practice past skills, but you will continue to develop new skills. Therefore, work hard on each step of your writing process and spend ample time developing your essay, writing effective sentences, a strong introduction and conclusion, and well supported and connected body paragraphs. You will need to develop a thesis that clearly shows your view to persuade a specific audience.


Source Information: The number of sources will vary depending on the topic. Most essays will need at least four credible sources. Many essays will need more. Of these four sources, at least three must be scholarly magazines, academic journals, newspaper articles, or government documents that can be found in electronic databases or government web sites. Keep track of all sources you find and your search methods, but for your essay do not list all sources that you found. On your Works Cited sheet, only list sources used in your essay to support your thesis. Wikipedia cannot be used in the essay, but it can be a good place to find out general information and to discover more reliable sources and links that can be used in the essay.
The Internet offers a vast amount of information; however, most sites are not monitored so beware. You need to find reliable websites that provide accurate and current information. As a general rule, .gov and .edu sites are more reliable than .com and .org sites. Stay away from personal homepages, blogs, and sites sponsored by advocacy organizations. Question everything you read on the Internet. Print sources and electronic databases are usually more reliable so start searching in them. Use a variety of sources to support your argument. If several different types of sources list the same information, then it is probably reliable.
Follow directions carefully. Spend a lot of time analyzing and incorporating sources. Revise, edit, and proofread essay to produce a polished piece of writing that reflects your abilities.
Using Research To Support Opinion
Unlike other research papers that you may have experienced, this essay will involve your personal viewpoints supported with research. You will need to provide research to support your position while providing argumentation and possibly research to refute opposing points of view.
Remember that this is an essay arguing your position, not a report summarizing all the information that you have found. Unlike a report, an essay shows the writer’s view, and this essay will persuade your audience; therefore, the research will support your view and convince the audience (your opposition) to change their beliefs or actions, or at the very least to consider your position. You need to write a logical, persuasive essay using personal experiences and outside sources to support your points. Do not include all information that you find. Use only the information that logically supports your argument.
Consistent Point of View: This essay is more formal; therefore, use third person (he, she, they, or name the group of people whom you refer to) in your essay. Because this is a formal academic essay, do not use second person (you) in your essay. It is too confusing and not formal enough for this assignment. You can use first person (I, we) when you describe your personal experience. 



Avoid Redundancy: Because this essay shows your opinion and argues for what you believe, do not use any phrase such as the following: I believe, I think, I feel, etc. These are redundant because the readers know that unless you give credit for an idea or belief, it is yours. Therefore, do not make your essay wordy or insult the intelligence of your reader with these types of phrases. Be clear and concise.

Learning Letter: Your completed research essay will include a learning letter that explains the reasons for your choice of topic, the methods of research you employed, the ways you integrated the research into your persuasive essay, and any problems you encountered in finding credible research to support your thesis. Also, include the type of organization you used, why you chose that method, and state your audience. Type your thesis at the bottom of your learning letter.

Finishing Your Essay: Your final essay will have a learning letter attached to the front and a Works Cited attached to the back. Neither of these pages counts toward the 4-6 page requirement. Do not number your learning letter, but do number the Works Cited.

My view on this is œPro cohabitation prior to marriage. My husband and I lived together for 2yrs prior to marriage. I feel this is a good way to really œget to know your partner before you make the long-term commitment of marriage. Cohabitating lets you figure out if you’re œcompatible, establish financial responsibility, and hopefully reduce divorce rate.