A controversial issue (formal essay one) 439

 

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A controversial issue (formal essay one) 439
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In The Devil’s Dictionary, the great American writer Ambrose Bierce described “controversy” as “a battle in which spittle or ink replace the injurious cannon-ball and the inconsiderate bayonet.” We may not lob too many cannonballs these days, but we certainly live in a world where passions explode into hostility all around us. 
With all the controversy apparent in our current social climate, identify one issue of interest to you. 
The essay assignment involves choosing a controversial topic, presenting arguments in support of your position on that topic, and marshalling authoritative evidence to support and lend credibility to your assertive claims. 
Your essay need not argue for your audience to take any action. Begin with an introduction that explains the topic, the position you hold on that topic, and why it is important. You will build up the body of the document by explaining your views and arguments and how they validate your thesis. The topic may have many issues and themes and you need to take up a few main issues and offer arguments about them. The paper should end with a conclusion that provides a statement on how your stand is justified. 
REQUIREMENTS
Page length: Your essay must be four (4) typed, double-spaced pages so that you can adequately argue your position and address the relevant counter-objections.
Writing mode: Argumentative. (You are taking a side and asserting your position.)
Audience: Adults/college students. (Assume your readers are critical thinkers like yourself.)
Purpose: To assert your position on a controversial issue and convince a reasonable reader that your position is valid. Your audience does not necessarily have to agree with you, though.
SAE: Remember, your paper must follow the basic conventions of Standard American written English (correct mechanics, usage, grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, and so forth).
REMINDER: This essay must be written in the third person, 
USING AN OUTSIDE SOURCE:   Cite from two academic sources (not Wikipedia). Consequently you must use the MLA in-text parenthetical citation method and add a Works Cited page at the end of your essay (see text and TCC library MLA guide). You should use citations to lend credibility to your claims You may use Pro-Quest or Ebsco search engines through the library website.
Below is a method that may assist you to develop your thoughts. 
Topic: the topic selected from the list provided. 
Rationale: why you have chosen to research and write about this particular topic.
Focus: a narrowed form of the subject, and the issue or debate involved. 
Opinion: your subjective opinion on the debate or issue.
Thesis: your opinion, worded objectively.
For example: 
Topic: Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia (Note: this is not a real topic choice!)
Rationale: I selected this topic because I work in a critical care facility with many permanently disabled and even comatose patients. Many of the patients’ families have to confront this issue regularly, like whether to “pull the plug” as it were, and I am not sure how I feel about it myself.
Focus: Should physician-assisted suicide be legalized for terminally ill patients?
Opinion: I think that assisted suicide should be okay, if the person is already dying anyhow.
Thesis: Voluntary physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients warrants legal status to eliminate prolonged suffering.
Select one of the following broad topics, many are connected to or loosely based on essays we are reading this quarter. These topics need to be further restricted, so narrow and focus the topic yourself; then, compose your assertive thesis statement, as above.
I.   Race or Gender:
         Affirmative Action
         Gender or racial biases in American education or in a specific industry
II.  Marriage and Family in America:
         Gay Marriage
         Rights of Domestic Partners
         Are Families Dangerous?
         Alternative or Non-Traditional Family Structures
III.  Science and Technology:
         Social Networking 
         Cyber Harassment/Bullying
         Climate Change (i.e., the Climate Change “Debate”)
         Alternative Energy (i.e., pro or con one form)
IV. Education:
         Economic, gender, or racial biases in American education
         School voucher programs
         Teaching Intelligent Design in public schools
V. Society, Individual Rights, and Obedience to Authority:
         Compulsory military (or alternate) service 
         Government “wire-tapping”
         Social Pressure and “Social Media”
         “Group-Think ” and Mob Behavior

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