Purpose: This assignment will give you practice with using rhetorical techniques to support a persuasive argument. You will continue to synthesize sources—in this case, weaving them together and responding to them as you present your case. You’ll perfect your skills with direct quotation, paraphrase, and appropriate citation.

What to do:
The work you have completed up to this point in the semester has prepared you to join a conversation as an informed, experienced, and engaging writer. Among other things, you have identified relevant topics, gathered various types of information, and analyzed arguments. Your aim, now, will be to compose an argumentative essay in which you position yourself within an ongoing dialogue or debate related to the topic you have been pursuing all semester. Please consider the following as you undertake this assignment.
Focus: You will need a narrow, original focus that positions yourself within the ongoing dialogue. Simple pro/con statements should be avoided because they are too broad and lack insight.
Example: Many parents and conservatives commentators criticize Common Core for restricting teachers and making simple topics overly complicated. Yet Common Core is indeed working—teachers are digging deeper, test scores are rising, and the students are improving overall. If teachers could help spread the word of their success, perhaps they could change minds about the role of Common Core education in America.
Suggestions for getting to an original topic.
1. Address your ideas to an audience that hasn’t been part of the conversation before—i.e., Why should African American pastors care about the #metoo movement?
2. Add a concern to the topic that previous writers have not considered—i.e., How does active learning affect translingual students?
3. Apply the conversation to a local community—i.e., How can Auburn High students benefit from a limited offering of single gender science classes?
4. Help find a potential compromise between opposing views. Both sides can find common ground if they . . .
 Propose an original (but reasonable) solution to a problem.
English 1100 / Dr. Carrie Spell
Development: You should direct ideas toward a specific audience that you choose: who needs to be persuaded of your idea?
Introduction: Start by introducing your topic and defining the scope of your paper. Offer some background on your topic (appropriate for your audience) to get your audience interested.
Body: The body paragraphs should develop “reasons” (relying on logos, ethos, and pathos) to support your main idea. Back these reasons with evidence.
As you incorporate your source material, write in conversation with it– not only repeating the sources you agree with, but commenting on the sources, analyzing/evaluating them, extending them, and even criticizing them in ways that strengthen your position. Use sources to help set up potential counterarguments against your claim and then respond appropriately to strengthen your argument. Avoid dropping in sources without engaging with them on the page.
Conclusion: Ultimately, you should draw a conclusion about the topic that adds something new to the conversation. Conclude by answering the “so what” question and leaving your reader something to think about (such as pointing toward additional research and analysis that can be done to better understand the issue as part of an ongoing conversation).
Style: Write in a clear, precise, and energetic prose style appropriate for the audience you’ve chosen. Consider where you might expect this essay to be published and write for that publication and audience.
Conventions: Include a title that reflects the spirit and scope of the essay. The essay should be double-spaced, with one-inch margins, and in one of the following fonts: 12 point Times New Roman or Garamond or 10-point Georgia or Calibri. Follow MLA Format for all citations in-text and on the Works Cited page.
Grading: A separate rubric will explain criteria.


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