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Homework answers / question archive / Essay #1: Exploring an Issue and Taking a Position - Argument Length: 3 pages First Draft Due: Sept

Essay #1: Exploring an Issue and Taking a Position - Argument Length: 3 pages First Draft Due: Sept

English

Essay #1: Exploring an Issue and Taking a Position - Argument Length: 3 pages First Draft Due: Sept. 27 Value: 15% semester grade Final Draft Due: Oct. 2 *(online and printed) Background: For an argument to be successful, you must have a clear and arguable position. This position—your claim—is presented in your thesis statement. Ultimately, everything in your essay should support your thesis in some way: background information helps readers understand your essay; reasons and evidence explain your position and show readers why your position is sensible; counterclaims—opposing positions—also support your thesis because as you concede or refute them, you present yourself as knowledgeable and wellreasoned. Assignment Goals: In this major essay, I’d like to see you weigh two sides of an issue related to technology. When we discuss and explore complicated issues, it’s important that we consider many perspectives. Essentially, your thesis statement (once you’ve read, researched, reflected, and wondered) should follow a version of these templates: While some people argue that technology _______, I posit that _________. We should recognize ________ about technology despite the fact that many believe _______. For this unit assignment, you’ll draw from our readings on technology as well as one article (or more) you find on your own. To get started, consider: • Research question – what is your initial inclination? Is technology good for us or is it harmful? • Consider subtopics you’re interested in: cell phones = too big a topic. But cell phone use among toddlers is narrower and will be more fruitful. Introduction This introduction has three purposes: pull your readers into the essay, clearly explain the issue being discussed, and provide a clear thesis statement. Ideas to consider in creating your introduction: • Hook / Attention Getter – consider using something from our readings • The background information / context about this issue 1. Background = history, what readers might need to know to understand where we are today 2. Context = what’s going on right now, how the issue is popping up here and now • End with a clear thesis statement that states your position Body Paragraphs The body of the paper is the heart of the essay. This is where you explain and develop your thesis statement. In this essay, you’ll be guiding your readers through the reasoning behind your argument – your evidence, your examples and testimonials, background information, data and statistics, etc. Since we’re asking you to address opposing or differing opinions and perspectives, remember to include a body paragraph (or paragraphs) that addresses this, too. Then concede or refute that point. You may do some comparing and contrasting. You may analyze the causes and effects of this issue. It’s likely you will have to define some things for your readers. Pay attention to what you learn from readings and research and try to anticipate what your readers need to know. An effective way to guide your reader is to have intentional and clear paragraphs. To practice this, I have a few requirements for your body paragraphs: 1. Include (perhaps begin with) a topic sentence that identifies what the paragraph is about 2. Make sure reader sees how this paragraph explains/supports/develops the thesis 3. Include support from readings. This support can be quotes or paraphrases. You may also need to briefly summarize a text to help your reader follow your argument. First person examples are permissible in many types of academic writing, but you must choose carefully and stay on course—this is not a personal essay. Conclusion The conclusion is your opportunity to pull the essay together and leave your readers with something to think about. For your conclusion, you have many options: • Review the hook you used in your introduction – can you refer to it or discuss it from a new, changed perspective? • Thoughts about the future – how might things look if we don’t intervene - in five years? In ten years? Additional requirements Your essay must be clearly organized, fully developed, and at least 3 typed pages, double spaced. Work hard to make sure you have included detailed explanation, description and examples to support each topic sentence. Proofread carefully to be sure that your essay: • is written in clear, complete sentences + has been spell-checked & been proofread. • is typed and double-spaced and MLA formatted • uses signal phrases for all borrowed material + a variety of quotes and paraphrases • Criteria Pts Introduction paragraph engages readers, provides a brief overview of your issue – and leads naturally to an explicit thesis statement. Thesis statement is explicitly stated at end of introduction + clearly and specifically sums up position 20 Organization: introduction, body, and conclusion work together. Body paragraphs are well developed and thoroughly supports your thesis. 20 Criteria Pts Sources material works to serve/develop thesis. Variety of quotes and paraphrases; all material is introduced and/or cited with a signal phrase 15 Utilizes focused, purposeful paragraphs to develop and explain the issue (context and background info), your reasons and evidence, other positions, etc. 15 Thoughtful conclusion works to wrap up essay 15 Correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling, with very few errors. Essay meets the requirements outlined on this assignment sheet 15 Total 100

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