Argument paper -01


Based on Taylor Swift’s “Calm Down”

Your task: Analyze and to synthesize the lyrics of the song with the corresponding petition composed by Swift (e.g. the petition that the music video encourages viewers to sign via call-to-action at the video’s end), OR you can do a compare contrast to another Taylor Swift song, such as “Look What You Made Me Do,” in which case this Rhetorical Analysis Notes for “Look What You Made me Do” might be very useful. Rhetorical Analysis Handout for “Look What You Made me Do.” You are not confined to 100% rhetorical analysis. I leave you free to compare/contrast other elements of the songs as you see fit.

This will certainly get interesting!

Here are some student papers for “Look What You Made Me Do”: however, it was a different assignment, so be careful what you choose as (Student example, see attached file)

Page Requirement: 1000-2000 words

Other features I will be looking for:

  1. A compare/contrast thesis sentence
  2. An introduction paragraph that leads up to and presents your argument thesis sentence as the last sentence.
  3. 4-6 paragraphs that present the “evidence” that back up your point of view in your thesis. A good basic paragraph shape for this kind of paper is:
    1. Topic sentence
    2. Restriction sentence that says more
    3. The lines you are quoting or a description of a still frame you are going to discuss
    4. Two or three sentences analyzing or discussion your evidence
    5. Then a concluding paragraph that just doesn’t repeat the thesis: Ideas for Conclusions here
  4. A counter argument--usually the last paragraph before the conclusion
  5. Development using one of two ways to develop compare/contrast.
  6. A Works Cited page. This will be your Annotated Bibliography trimmed down to only the “Works” you end up “Citing” in your paper.
  7. You know how I feel about immaculate editing.


In this class, you aren’t really writing a “research paper” so much as using some research as “evidence” to back up your points.

?To begin your paper, first decide what you will do in terms of a project; for example, “I will compare and contrast Swift’s “Calm Down” to her “Look What You Made Me Do.”

?Then put together an outline. The most useful kind of outline–even a scratch outline, is a full question outline instead of just keywords. That is because the brain likes to answer full questions and it tends not to do much with keywords. This is a formal example of a full question outline, just to give you the concept. Like I said, you can adjust it to fit your style.

?For research, you aren’t looking for facts (common knowledge–no citation needed). You’re looking for commentaries, arguments, opinions, or discussions in the Lane Online Library.

?When you open that page, don’t look at the top at “books” because you don’t have time for books.

?Look for the section “Start Your Research.” Use those videos to inform yourself. People come into WR 122 with different levels of library experience, so find what you need at the level you are at.

?Then use the Gale database Academic OneFile or something similar and do a search. For example, I did a search for “Taylor Swift Women in Music” and got a good article from Billboard with several possible quotes I might use. I scroll to the bottom of the page, and I see a citation that I can “copy to NoodleTools.”

?When I typed in “Kaepernick + Nike,” I got a good National Review article that might have a quote I can use. Make sure all your citations copy into ONE NoodleTool list–you only want one for all your sources. You will use it for your Google searches, too.

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