Here are the instructions for the argumentative essay as described in the syllabus:
Choose ONE of the three writing prompts below and write an essay in which you make a statement of intent regarding a topic and then report on that topic using at least EIGHT secondary sources. 5-6 pages. Here are the prompts:
 The Great Gatsby is set in what has been referred to as the “Jazz Age.” Write a research essay in which you report information on this topic, accounting for Fitzgerald’s novel in your discussion.
 The Great Gatsby is a product of American modernism, an early twentieth century literary and artistic movement. Research this topic and write an informative report. In addition to F. Scott Fitzgerald, be sure to discuss some of American modernism’s leading figures.
 Another cultural movement that took place during the Jazz Age and the rise of American modernism was the Harlem Renaissance. Research this topic and write an informative report.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Wikipedia, Spark Notes, eNotes, Cliff Notes, About.com, dictionaries, and other encyclopedias are not viable secondary sources.
AN EVEN MORE IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember to revise your writing thoroughly. The argumentative essay will be graded as much on content as on grammar and writing mechanics. I can't stress the vital role of revision enough. A useful way to do so is to read your final product in three different contexts—on-screen, on paper, and aloud to yourself. Many of you will find that you stumble upon errors in one context that you don't detect in another. I use this technique to revise every piece of my writing, ranging from prose poems, short stories and novels to book reviews, literary criticism and theoretical essays. It works! DO NOT RELY SOLELY ON YOUR WORD PROCESSOR TO DETECT AND CORRECT ERRORS FOR YOU. Word processors are not always the good friends they promise to be.