What problems have you observed in and around the community where you live?
What have you read and heard others say about these problems?
What can we learn from examining the arguments surroundings these issues?
In your view, what information (and analysis of information) might help your community to thrive?
For this assignment, you will identify a local issue that you believe warrants immediate attention. You might choose an issue that is currently creating controversy in your community, or that you believe has gone unnoticed and needs to be discussed. Alternatively, you could investigate an underreported subject statewide that you think needs more attention.
In a 4-5 page essay, present your views on this issue, and motivate your audience to care and/or take action.
Your claim may be a claim of fact, value, or policy. You might begin with a claim of fact or value, but as your argument progresses, you may wish to suggest changes in policy. Keep in mind, however, that claims of policy require careful consideration of both facts and values. Before you make specific recommendations for change, be sure to do the following:
• Present convincing evidence that a problem exists.
• Engage your readers with a combination of motivational appeals: rational, emotional, and ethical appeals (logos, pathos, and ethos).
• Anticipate objections to your argument, and present clear and effective counterpoints.
Also, do all of the following:
• Use the language of argument throughout your essay: claim, support, warrant, appeals, frames, logic, inferences, and fallacies.
• Use emphatic order (the 2,4,3,1 method) in sequencing the points of support.
• Use MLA style of documentation in citing sources you have quoted or paraphrased. To familiarize yourself with MLA style, read and study the format of the sample research paper on pages 412-416 of The Elements of Argument.
• Both the first and second draft of your essay must include an alphabetized list of sources on the “Works Cited” page, as well as parenthetical citations throughout the paper. Sequence information for each source as follows:
Author. Title. Publication. Date of publication. URL.
Parenthetical citations must refer to the alphabetized source listed on your “Works Cited” and not to other information embedded in the listing. For example, if you quote a work by Hansen that appeared in The New York Times, the citation must refer to Hansen, not The New York Times. Note: Your essay will lose points if the audience cannot easily locate the source on the “Works Cited” page.
Observe the following conventions when formatting parenthetical citations and “Works Cited” pages:
• Capitalize all major words in titles.
• Alphabetize by author’s names, and use the author’s name, not the publication’s name, in parenthetical citations.
• Indent the second line of each citation on the “Works Cited” page.
• Italicize titles of long works: The Elements of Argument.
Enclose titles of short works in quotation marks: “Civil Disobedience”
If you are unsure how to format various types of sources, see page 409 in The Elements of Argument for examples. You are also encouraged to consult tutors in PCC’s Reading and Writing Center.
Quote generously from your sources, but follow a general rule for essay writing: no more than 10% of an essay should consist of quotations. Be sure to introduce quotations in your own words. Avoid dangling quotations.
Possible topics include the following:
Affordable housing / homelessness / renters’ rights
Discrimination in employment and housing based on race, ethnicity, and gender
The increasing use of computer technology in education or the workplace
The effects of smartphones on learning and family life
Funding deficits affecting public schools
Gun violence / mass shootings / police shootings
Domestic violence / Animal cruelty / child abuse
Health care / preparedness and prevention for pandemics
Causes and/or effects of natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and wildfires. For more information on Local Issues Explanation visit this: https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences-and-law/political-science-and-government/political-science-terms-and-concepts/local-government
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