ASSIGNMENT Writing Project 3 – The Argumentative Essay

For Writing Project 3, you will write an argumentative essay addressing what needs to be done to diminish social tensions in America and what needs to change in order to create a less divisive society. Since successful academic inquiry depends upon understanding the many facets of the debate you are entering and locating reliable sources to represent various points of view, you will need to pursue BOTH internet (popular) and library (academic) research not only in order to be equipped to enter one of the many on-going academic debates on the politics of contemporary American social tensions, but also to be able to pose a viable and convincing solution. In order to organize your ideas, you may choose to explore several facets of social disparity or discrimination, such as differences in rates of hiring/pay scale between groups, varying incarceration statistics, media portrayals of different groups, and documented instances of profiling for differing groups of people. You should plan on using our classroom approach to analyzing rhetoric in social movements as a model for your inquiry of any group-specific inequity of your choosing. You should also feel free to focus on issues related to your personal experiences and/or take up the research methods of something that you are interested in.
CONTEXT
The argumentative essay is the foundation of academic writing. It displays your ability to convince your audience of the importance of your topic and your point of view. It allows you to join the conversation surrounding an issue or debate by supporting your claims with evidence, considering counter arguments, and using multiple sources. We construct an argumentative essay by combining the skills and concepts learned in the previous WPs: discourse communities, genre analysis, rhetorical appeals, claims, evidence, and research.
In order to set the stage for this project, we will observe not only the ways in which academic researchers address the problem of race-based discrimination, but also the ways in which writers for popular media pick up and distill this research for non-academic audiences. After comparing how academic and popular media sources address these topics and work toward possible solutions, each student will choose a well-defined topic of particular interest.
FORM
Your argumentative essay should be 5-6 pages, double-spaced, properly formatted, typed in no larger than 12-point font, with one-inch margins. I will be looking for in-text citation and works cited page even in your first draft. You are required to utilize at least three sources– one of which must be academic– documented in MLA format.
TARGET AUDIENCE
Your instructor, peers, and the wider academic community at UIC. Although this audience might be somewhat informed, you are still addressing them as the expert source on your particular topic – pay close attention to the academic writing conventions and the use of external sources to strengthen your ethos.
SLOs for WP 3
• Demonstrate rhetorical awareness of audience through different genre-based assignments
• Read texts in a variety of disciplines and genres, using critical reading strategies
• Draw connections at the level of ideas across multiple texts
• Defend a position in relation to the range of ideas surrounding a topic
• Demonstrate knowledge of writing as a process
• Demonstrate sentence-level correctness

EVALUATION CRITERIA
• Contains clear, well crafted, and grammatically correct sentences
• Clear evidence of close reading of at least three carefully chosen sources
• Begins with a strong introduction that includes a clearly discernible thesis
• Supports claim with well-reasoned and properly documented evidence
• Anticipates opposing arguments and defends position throughout
• Includes a thought-provoking conclusion

 
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