First, your topic. Your topic can be anything, provided it meets the following conditions:
- Your subject matter admits of objectively correct answers, e.g., math, science, morality, etc.
- The central claim of your essay is controversial. By ‘controversial’ I mean non-obvious. Can reasonable people disagree about it? If you can’t imagine what would count as a reason on the other side, it is best to pick a different thesis statement.
- You can find evidence for your view and against your view. (This relates to (b), but is stronger in that you’ll actually find an article where the opinion disagrees with you.)
Second, you will write a short argumentative essay, structured in the way described in Module 12. You will argue for a thesis statement and organize your essay in accordance with the argument type most suitable to the claim you pick.
Essays must be at least 3 pages, or about 900 words. You will write in complete sentences of standard written English, using appropriate spelling and punctuation. You will have a Works Cited page. You must use at least two sources, one which supports your view and one which disagrees with your view. Your sources must be reputable, i.e., they must be legitimate sources of journalism or scholarship. No blogs, twitter feeds, wikipedia entries, etc. Feel free to read whatever you want for ideas, but they cannot be cited, quoted or paraphrased in your paper. You must include at least one relevant quote from each of your sources.
Style: MLA, APA, Chicago are all acceptable (ask me if you have questions)
Grading: I will use the general rubric for homework. An A on this assignment will mean excellent work. I will carefully read each essay. Make it a good one.
You may brainstorm together in the discussion forum on ideas and formatting/organization, but you will write original work. Make sure you do the writing on your own. Subminssions will be analyzed using SafeAssign.
Remember, you’re trying to support a claim. Write clearly and succinctly. Write as if you’re trying to convince a peer. Avoid unnecessary jargon.
For this assignment, you must save your submission as either an Adobe file (.pdf) or Word file (.doc/.docx). Any other format is not accepted. Additionally, you must attach a file to the assignment in Blackboard. Do not write in the “Write Submission” blank or in the “Comment” field. Ask me in advance of the day before the deadline if you have questions. I’m happy to read drafts in advance. Just stop by my office.
Do not type your submissions in the “comment” box. Click “Write Submission” and type it there, or attach a Word or Adobe (.doc/.docx, .pdf) file only.