For this paper, you need to persuade your reader that you have a potential solution to a current problem. This paper should be 1,400-1,800 words (the works cited page is in addition to these) and be supported by at least four outside sources. Sources may include interviews, pamphlets, lectures, government documents, t.v. programs, books, journals, magazines, and newspaper articles, and reliable internet sources. Dictionaries and encyclopedias do not count as adequate sources for the paper. Do not use Wikipedia. For this paper, you must use formal, MLA documentation style. Be sure that any time you use ideas or material from any source, even if you put those ideas into your own words, you credit the source; otherwise, you are plagiarizing, and that will result in a zero for the paper. And if you do use the exact words from your source, be sure to put those words in quotation marks and credit the source to avoid plagiarism. This paper is worth up to 300 points.
You should choose a topic that you feel strongly about and have thought about. Narrow your focus to a manageable topic that can be developed in depth within your word limit. You need to have a clear position put forward in a well developed thesis statement which lets readers know you will be proposing a solution to the problem. A thesis statement should be in the form of a statement, not a question. Remember, a controversial thesis statement may need more of a lead in than a less shocking position would. Think of your audience. Develop and support your thesis throughout the body of the paper. You may use your own experience as well as material from your sources to support your claims; however, you may not count your experience as one of your four sources. Do not use inflammatory language, faulty analogy, or any of the other logical fallacies.
Remember to narrow your focus. For example, do not just say that you want to discuss spousal abuse; say that you want to propose a method for rehabilitating abusers. Or, you want to argue why there should be stricter laws protecting abused spouses. If you try to cover too large a topic, your information will stay on such a general level that you will not tell your readers anything they do not know already. You do not have to solve the ENTIRE problem. Most problems are too big and complex. But, explain to your readers that your solution will help minimize the problem in some way: fewer people will suffer, costs will be lessened, etc.
Because this is an argument, you must build into your essay a response to the questions your opposition would most likely ask. (For example, who will pay for this plan? Or, who will provide this information to the public?) And explain why your solution is better than any others that might be out there. This does not mean that you split the paper into an equal discussion of the points made by both sides. Your main discussion and support is for your solution, but you must demonstrate to your readers that you understand the entire debate and do have a rebuttal to your opposition. If you have not found any other solutions proposed, do not skip the rebuttal section. Just point out that in your research no other solutions were found, so we should try your solution till a better one comes along.
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