The Writing Assignment: Write an essay (4-5 pages long) on a real controversial issue, one that people can reasonably disagree on. (Beware fake controversies!) Study the issue in-depth and learn more about it, before taking a position on it. Present the issue to readers, and develop a well-supported argument for the purpose of confirming, challenging, or changing your readers’ views on the issue.
1. In this essay, you will write about a controversial topic by taking a position and supporting it with reasons and evidence. Remember that this paper is only 4-5 pages, so you must limit its scope. While the presentation of the evidence you gather may exceed the maximum length requirement, you must be careful in selecting the information you include as well as the information that you exclude.
2. This paper is based on argument not assertion. While an assertion means that you simply state your position, an argument centers on providing thoughtful reasons for your adherence to a particular position. While you will state your position in your thesis statement, your paper will be concerned with supporting that position in a convincing manner.
3. Like your previous essay, this paper will begin with an explanation of the issue you are writing about. Be sure to define any key terms you will be using throughout your paper. Once you establish the context for your argument, you will take a position and support it. Another important aspect of this essay is anticipating the objections that your opponents might have. A successful essay will manage to address these objections without damaging its central argument, unless of course, your argument is flawed.
A Well-Presented Issue: Effective Background Introduction and Analysis of the Issue A Well-Supported Position: Discussing Cause and Effect Relationships, Avoiding Fallacies An Effective Response to Opposing Views: Developing a Counterargument A Clear, Logical Organization – Readable Outline, Clear Thesis, Effective Transitions
At least four sources total, cited in MLA format. At least one of them must be a book from a credible and authoritative source. At least one of them must be a peer-reviewed journal article acquired through the OCC databases. The other ones can be news articles from reputable media outlets and newspapers that adhere to journalistic standards or a reputable website that ends with .org, .edu, or .gov and also passes the CRAAP test. Include a full Works Cited page (not part of the page count) with the final paper.