Plastic Contamination in the Planet - Essay Prowess

Plastic Contamination in the Planet

Plastic Contamination in the Planet

Eng 1020 Mid-Term Argumentative/Persuasive Essay Assignment, 4-6 pages, APA or MLA format (Check schedule in course shell for details on due date)

I want you to examine a (global or local) social issue, event, or condition that you believe is culturally important and make an argument about it. This can be a trend found in pop culture, news, entertainment, family life—there are no restrictions on the topic as long as it directly affect people today. For example, you may want to write about why a specific audience should engage in a particular dietary lifestyle, what is causing obesity, why you should not donate to Green Peace, why we should ban plastic bottles, why we should label foods with genetically modified ingredients, why women/men should get maternity leave, why all children should receive free pre-school, etc. You could approach this paper as a solution to a condition or issue such as homelessness, under-vaccinated children, domestic violence, opioid use, or gentrification. You could also make an argument about the effects of a particular phenomena or trend on society—tinder and dating apps on romance, helicopter parents, childhood obesity, etc.

Be clear and specific with your thesis statement; make sure that it takes a clear stance on the issue. This is not an “overview” paper where you summarize the topic / arguments for and against the topic, and leave it up to the reader to decide—you have to take a specific position on your topic and persuade them that your position is the correct one.
In addition to taking a clear and specific stance (helps establish good ethos) you need to include dissenting voices/arguments/CONS (opposing ideas) of an argumentative issue.

In addition to acknowledging the opposition, you need to establish some kind of common ground with them, but then explain why their arguments aren’t adequate or why yours are better.

Write as if you are trying to persuade a reasonable, open-minded, neutral audience to adopt new beliefs or behaviors utilizing effective rhetorical strategies. However, just because your audience is reasonable does not mean they don’t hold preconceived positions, opinions or misconceptions when it comes to your topic. Make sure to appeal directly to your intended audience and tailor your flow of information and examples to them. For example, if your topic is under-vaccinated kids in Colorado your audience will probably be Colorado parents, so establish the 3 appeals accordingly.

You may utilize personal experience and interview in order to personalize and charge your topic emotionally but be aware of logical fallacies like emotional manipulation, either-or reasoning, slippery slope, and generalization if you do.

Organization will be important in this essay. Each paragraph should support your thesis and provide examples and evidence of why your audience should agree with you. All argumentative topics have PROs and CONs. Before starting to write, it is imperative to make a list of these ideas and choose the most suitable ones among them for supporting and refuting. In addition to acknowledging an opposing audience, you need to build some kind of common ground with them, but then explain why their arguments aren’t adequate or yours are better. You do not need to stick to a strict 5 paragraph format, but it is a good place to start. Here is a suggestion of what a 5 paragraph outline might look like for this assignment:
Paragraph 1: Intro with background and Thesis statement:
Paragraph 2: CONS, refutations, building common ground
Paragraph 3: evidence/reason 1 we should agree with you
Paragraph 4: evidence/reason 2 we should agree with you
Paragraph 5: Conclusion- use to project outward. How would the world be changed if we all adopted your thesis statement?

Your argument/thesis must be supported by research. You must include at least 4 credible sources written by 4 different authors from the library databases that you use to support your argument. You need at least 4 in-text citations (1 from each source) and a works cited or references page which serves as the last page of your essay but does not count toward the page minimum. Remember: this is your argument in your own words, not a regurgitation of other people’s argument(s)–you are using research as an appeal to logos & ethos, ie facts, data, statistics, studies, expert opinion, that help prove your thesis true or worthy of adoption.

Large, complex issues like “immigration” or “education” need to be narrowed down to a specific aspect. In general, the more specific the topic, the better. Do not pick something so personal and emotionally charged that you cannot look objectively at both sides or receive constructive feedback.

Also, your thesis should be debatable. That means that reasonable people would possibly disagree with your position. For example, the thesis “Obesity is caused by laziness, a bad diet, and genetics” is something that almost everyone would agree with. “Obesity is caused by irresponsible marketing, toxic environments, and genetically modified organisms” is much more controversial and ultimately, interesting.

Please do not choose topics that have already been exhausted/fully articulated: abortion, legalization of marijuana, death penalty, gun control/mass shootings, physician assisted suicide. Even though these topics are interesting and important, they almost always lead to unfocused or extremely broad thesis statements. They’re hard topics to stay specific and focused on because of their complexity/multifaceted nature. If you are interested in any of these topics talk to me first and we may be able to find a specific approach that is unique enough to work.

You may also choose to make an argument about historical figures or events (as long as you tie those events to people and events today (for example: civil rights movements, MLK and black lives matter, Lebron James, Colin Kaepernick)), but please clear your topic and thesis with me before you begin writing.

Rubric – 85 points
Specific and clear thesis that is arguable- 15
Ample background/context depending on audience & topic- 10
Effective use of evidence and use of the 3 appeals- 20
Effective use of an opposing viewpoint- 10
Effective organization, use of paragraphs- 10
Correct MLA/APA citation- 10
Correct grammar, mechanics- 10

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