For your third and largest paper, you will revise and add to your previous analyses and evaluation, constructing a carefully researched argumentative essay in which you ultimately argue for a solution(s) to the political or social problem about which you’ve been writing. This is your chance to display how far you’ve progressed as an academic writer by making conscious choices about rhetorical strategies, development, evidence incorporation, and structure. To reach the minimum page requirements—which, as you can see, are substantial—you must go far beyond merely stating fact after fact. Instead, you must use those facts as part of a concerted effort to convince the audience that your argument is right.
Your essay should include three main sections:
1) A revised analysis of the problem’s causes and effects
2) A revised evaluation of solutions that have already been tried and proven ineffective
3) An argument in which you explain a solution or solutions to the problem and convince readers to agree with your approach.
Your essay will be evaluated by the following characteristics:
It must display a formal, sophisticated writing style that avoids casual language; direct references to the writer, reader, and/or essay (first and second-person references); trite expressions and clichés; etc.
It must include properly formatted MLA in-text citations and works cited page citations. Severe grade penalties will result if proper citations are neglected.
It must include properly incorporated and introduced evidence—quotes, statistics, facts, etc.—that support the argument but do not dominate it. Original thinking and explanations are of paramount importance. An over-reliance of quotes and/or paraphrasing will garner severe penalties.
It must make an actual argument, an attempt to convince the audience of an argumentative stance. It must not simply summarize the issue or the possible approaches to it.
It must be mechanically correct, avoiding significant errors in grammar, punctuation, and syntax. It must also utilize transitional devices and sentence variety to create a sophisticated, clear, and fluid writing style.
It must avoid committing logical fallacies, including oversimplification and slippery slope errors.
It must display proper MLA formatting.
It must include a substantial introduction and conclusion that both meet the goals discussed in class.
It must maintain a logical structure in which paragraphs are cohesive, well-organized, and purposeful.
It must display depth of analysis: the ability to make connections among ideas and effectively explain content, as well as the ability to move beyond summary and subjective judgments.
Please note that you will not be graded on your opinion or the suggestions you select. You will instead be graded on how well you express your argument, persuade your audience, and employ the rhetorical techniques and strategies we’ve been studying. You will also be evaluated on how well you revised and edited the two previously written sections of the paper.