Addressing Issues Research Essay

Write a research essay in which you analyze a problem of wide interest to one or more social groups and offer a specific insight, perspective, strategy, or policy that addresses the problem in ways that will move the conversation forward.

In your research essay, define the problem and address its social context. What existing perspectives give relevance and urgency to the problem? Offer a novel strategy, solution, policy, perspective, or insight into the problem that you believe addresses the problem in ways that audiences will value and support. As you write, make sure that the purpose of your argument is clear and that your proposed strategy or insight addresses the possible implications of the problem that you have identified. Additionally, make sure that your writing shows careful attention to organization, academic conventions, and to the support you offer from outside sources.

The task of writing a research essay requires students to demonstrate that they can make several moves at once.

  • The writer must analyze a specific issue or problem in enough detail to convince an audience that the problem is relevant.
  • The writer must also offer a specific approach or perspective that addresses the issue they identify (if not solving it outright). This approach could include a combination of evaluating, responding, finding causes, proposing solutions, or extending existing arguments
  • In structuring the essay, the writer must give enough context to convey the relevance and urgency of the issue to one or more social groups. The writer must also acknowledge other existing perspectives and appeal to these perspectives where possible. Overall, the goal is to move the conversation about the issue forward by leaving audiences with new insights, understandings, or perspectives on the problem.
  • The writer must also decide about form and formal conventions. Research essays typically take the form of academic arguments, which show original thinking and offer insight into issues with reference to outside research. However, alternative or additional forms for the essay may be explored with instructor permission and advice.
  • Using evidence from reliable sources, the writer will support their insight into a social or cultural issue and address how their insight might have a positive effect on the way an audience perceives the problem or takes action in relation to it.
  • The writer will make use of important skills in written communication and critical thinking, culminating in an essay that showcases their rhetorical abilities and writing processes.
  • Format: Typed, double-spaced, submitted as a word-processing document.
  • 12 point, text-weight font, 1-inch margins.
  • Length: 1600 – 2500 words (approx. 7-10 pages)
  • Value: This project will be graded out of 100 possible points, and will be part of the Unit 3 Assignment grade, worth 30% of the grade for the course.
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