Paper #3: Using Research to Support an Argument about a Social Issue
LENGTH: 1000 words minimum (approximately 4 pages, plus a Works Cited Page)
One of the unspoken messages behind the material we are reading this semester is that the decision about what we do impacts more than just ourselves. As the selections assembled make clear, our actions and choices are but one link in a much larger chain, one that connects us to countless fellow citizens in so many ways.
Using an argument presented somewhere within the thematic readings this term, you will write a 4 to 5 page essay in which you explore an issue presented this semester in order to make the appropriate connections for your own position on a single controversial, arguable issue that was addressed in a few readings covered this semester.
The goal of the argument presented within your rhetorical analysis is not to debate pro and con, rehash old arguments, or to ridicule those who disagree with you. Instead, academic argument combines truth seeking and persuasion. A strong academic argument considers all the available information and views, realizing that the truth may lie somewhere between two established positions or within a third undiscovered position. In this essay, you will take a stand on an issue, offer reasons and evidence in support of your position, and summarize and respond to alternative views in order to bring your reader to a logical conclusion.
The quality of your research will be integral to the quality of your essay in using both the material we covered as well as sources you find outside of class.
Remember, quality research is defined as such: well-documented information that is framed to the audience properly and responsibly by using quotes, paraphrasing, and summation. While interviews and observations are welcome in the research process, for this essay, they are not necessary. Therefore, make sure you review the lessons on avoiding plagiarism and on the use of MLA citation style included within this course in order to prepare for this paper assignment.
You will be required to incorporate and properly cite at least THREE research sources for this essay broken down as such:
Use at least three academic research sources for this essay (periodicals, journals, books, and websites) which support your claim.
If possible, seek to include a current events article published within the last 12 months in a credible news source which highlights the issue found in society in order to demonstrate the timeliness of the issue.
You may use one of the articles read within our course as ONE of these potential sources, but you are not required to do so.
You may choose a topic that relates to a theme we covered this term. Below are a list of areas you may explore, or you may select one of your choosing with permission of your instructor.
Here are some areas you may want to research in order to narrow in on a specific issue you’d like to develop into a paper topic:
Explore how entertainment media (film, TV, music), news media, or social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc) impacts the way people perceive romantic or family relationships.
Explore how entertainment media (film, TV, music), news media, or social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc) impacts ideas about race, gender, OR sexuality (choose one of these).
Explore the role of immigration in contemporary American society. Some of the issues you might consider: What ideas about immigration are held within the broader society? How do these ideas impact immigrants? How does the immigrant experience impact family relationships?
Analyze a variety of social justice movements regarding equality. What are the most effective ways of creating social change in today’s world?
Examine how social media and/or the internet impact the way people perceive sexual activity and how it influences relationships and/or the way individuals perceive themselves, their worth, etc.
Analyze how the popular culture represents the relationship between economic class and family and/or romantic relationships.
Analyze how the popular culture influences ideas about beauty among either women, men, or both. Discuss the effects of these messages on the social behavior and psychological well-being of those addressed.
Investigate how social media/networking impacts ideas about social justice and inclusion. Beyond personal impressions, has this had a broader impact on society? On politics? On popular culture?
Examine how entertainment or social media/networking impacts people’s perceptions of gender and/or sexual orientation. What are the effects of these perceptions?
Investigate how social media influences professionalism within the workplace.
Examine how social media, texting, and related communications influence the way people think about broader cultural issues. Pick one or two key cultural issues to examine for this analysis.
Scrutinize how well educational institutions are using distance learning, social media, and other technologies to meet the needs of its student population. What are the best methods? What is least effective?
Examine how gender or racial inequalities and stereotypes are perpetuated through marketing and interaction via social media platforms.
Investigate the effects of online communication and social networking (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, Grindr, Snapchat, texting, etc) on social behavior and psychological development.
Investigate the psychological impact of experiencing grief or a traumatic personal loss. How does this impact people in ways that go beyond that which can be easily seen? What are the broader social impacts of these kinds of losses?
What can we expect in terms of the long-term impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, even after it has (hopefully) ended? As part of this, you might look at areas such as interpersonal communication, education, healthcare policy, economics, race, etc.
Please remember that you will need to narrow the scope of your topic once you’ve conducted enough research into your area of interest in order to write an academic argument essay in which you explore a single topic that is on a timely, complicated, controversial, and arguable issue.
Consult the Outline Worksheet for Essay #3 for details on how to organize this paper.
This paper must be typed, double spaced, font: Times New Roman 12 or Arial 10.
This paper must be must be at least 1000 words long. This generally equals 4 complete pages. Do not exceed 5 pages. The Works Cited page is not included in the page count. If you do not meet the minimum length requirement, you will not earn a passing grade on the paper.
This paper must supplies evidence from at least three sources as outlined above that are timely, relevant, and credible through the appropriate use of quotes, paraphrases, and summaries of new information that was discovered.
Your research must be cited properly in MLA Format via in-text citations AND a Works Cited page.
Any plagiarism on this paper or any of the steps in the writing process will lead to immediate failure of this course, so please do not make that mistake.
The Writing Process
To begin your thought process for this essay, and to find a suitable topic, ask yourself the following questions:
What issue found in society deserves an argument made for it?
What is an issue I would like to learn more about in order to become better informed?
What issues matter to my audience, in addition to myself? (Your audience being your peers and instructor)
What is a timely, complicated, and controversial topic relating to the themes we’ve covered in this unit (see above)?
Once you begin the writing process, please keep in mind these assignments for the unit:
MANDATORY: Submit the Outline Worksheet in the Assignments section of the course. This worksheet can be found in the Assignments tool and the Learning Unit #4 folder as a Microsoft Word document that you can download. It asks you to develop your thesis statement as well as the topic sentences for your body paragraphs. After you submit this completed worksheet, I will reply to you with feedback on your thesis & topic sentences and specific suggestions as to how these might be revised to more successfully craft a quality paper.
Submit the final draft of Paper #3 in the Assignments section of the course.
On your Outline Worksheet you will receive feedback and a grade that indicates credit for submitting the assignment. However, the grade is ultimately of less importance. Instead, the FEEDBACK provided by your instructor is of ultimate importance. Utilize this feedback to proceed in the writing process in order to develop a quality first and final draft that will earn a successful grade.
How is this paper graded?
I will grade your paper based on the following elements:
Proper essay structure, including a detailed, quality thesis statement that is based on the argument you are conveying to your audience.
Proper grammar, spelling, syntax, and sentence mechanics.
Appropriate academic tone.
A clear, thoughtful, sophisticated, intelligent, and well-supported argument, structured around a detailed thesis statement.
Clearly conveys research to the audience that logically supports the claim.
Provides detailed support for the reader in terms of what the issue is, and the possible solutions to the problem, including addressing (by refuting or conceding to) opposing views.
Supplies evidence from at least three sources as outlined above that are timely, relevant, and credible.
Appropriately quotes, paraphrases, or summarizes the new information that was discovered.
Exhibits effective ethos, logos, and pathos when detailing the argument.
Proper use of MLA in-text citations and a Works Cited Page are required. You cannot earn a passing grade on this assignment without these.
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