For this essay, your goal is to identify and explain a social problem, discuss several different possible solutions to the problem, then argue that one solutionto this problem is preferable to or better than all the others, and address counter-argument to your solutions. Being able to identify a problem, think through the implications of that problem, propose possible solutions, and explain why different solutions are more or less practical than others is a valuable set of skills to possess, and they tie together a lot of the analysis, argumentation, and rhetorical concepts we have discussed this semester.
There are a couple of things your essay must include or accomplish. These are:
You will be sticking with the same general topic for the remainder of the semester, so you want to pick something you are interested in talking/writing about in a variety of contexts. Your topic must be a social issue, something that seriously affects the lives and/or livelihood of people in the community. “Community” here can mean any number of things: Howard County, the HCC campus, the individual town or city where you live, or a cultural community to which you belong.
Although I am willing to approve a wide range of topics, I do have certain topics that are off limits. These topics will not be approved, and any assignments written on these topics will automatically receive a 0/0%/F grade. Some of these topics are not appropriate for the scope of our class; some of them have just been done to death and there is nothing new to be said about them; others cannot be argued in a detached, neutral, objective way; and others have never resulted in good essays and I’m frankly just sick of reading about them. Off limit topics are anything related to abortion, capital punishment/death penalty, anything related to gun control and/or the second amendment, immigration, nuclear weapons/power, anything of an overtly religious or spiritual nature, advocating for or against war (current or past), advocating for or against a political candidate or party (foreign or domestic), allowing high school students to become professional athletes, concussions or other injuries in professional sports, performance enhancing substances, legalizing marijuana or any other drugs, or lowering the drinking age.
I know this probably sounds like I’m putting all the good topics off limits, but believe me, there is still plenty you can talk about. Examples of topics you may want to discuss include obesity, the opioid epidemic, food deserts, environmental destruction, human sex trafficking and slavery, gentrification, the objectification of women in the media, fracking, various types of pollution, the cost of education, and so on. These are just examples, you don’t have to pick any of them, but they give you a sense of what’s available. I suggest thinking about what issues impact you in your day-to-day life, and think of a way to address one of these issues in your work.
NOTE: Here are some additional topics that were brainstormed in class on March 29: homelessness, unemployment, home foreclosures, wage stagnation, electronic addiction, cost and access of public transportation, single use plastics, plastic pollution in the ocean, deforestation, air pollution from car exhaust, second hand smoking, anorexia.
All formal essays for this class, including this one, must follow MLA-style formatting guidelines. This includes 1-inch margins, 12-point Times New Roman font, double spacing, a title (something more catchy or interesting than Analysis Essay or Formal Essay #1), your last name and page number in the right heading of each page and an MLA header with your name, the professor’s name, the course title and the due date in the top left corner of the first page. You must also include a Works Cited page with correctly formatted bibliographic listings, and proper quote conventions within the body of your essay. None of this should be unfamiliar to you at this point; if it is, you’re in big trouble.
The essay should be no less than five (5) full pages. I am happy to read more than this, but anything less than five pages will not receive a passing grade.
Your essay should be written in a formal, academic tone. Strive to achieve a detached, neutral, third-person perspective; first-person “me” and “I” statements have no place in this essay.
You will write two drafts of this essay: a First Draft and a Final Draft. As you write the Final Draft you should strive not just to “correct errors,” but to understand how your own writing functions and work to make revisions that reflect a deeper understanding of the task, your writing skill, and a larger understanding of your writing process.
Annotated Bibliography of six sources separately
For this class, you will be writing Annotated Bibliography entries for research sources found for Essays #2: Argument Essay and #3: Proposal and Solutions Essay. You will be submitting two Annotated Bibliography entries to me for each assignment due date. This means you will need to research, read, and evaluate two sources every week, and write an Annotated Bibliography listing for that source, which you will then submit to me. Your submissions should include/do the following for each source:
PLEASE USE SYNTHESIS WHEN WRITING THIS ESSAY IT IS COMPULSORY !!!!!
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