Writing Task

In an essay of at least 1,200 words (about 4-5 pages), chose a topic about which you can make an argument based upon a claim of policy. You may use one of the topics in the background readings listed above or you may decide to select a topic of your own.

Based upon the issue that you have chosen, what should or could be done about this issue? What is one way that it could or should realistically be addressed?

You will need to use at least three outside sources in your final draft. If you choose one of the topics suggested by the textbook readings, you may use one of the textbook readings as one of the minimum three sources. You may want to use more than one of the textbook readings, but only one of them will count toward meeting the minimum of three outside sources. 

Use MLA format when introducing and citing sources, including the readings from the textbook. You will also need to include a Works Cited list that includes all of the outside sources you used in your final draft. The Works Cited list does not count toward the minimum word count. 

Some notes to help you with writing your essay: 

1. Be prepared to describe the problem or issue to readers who might not be familiar with it. For example, you’ll need to establish how widespread or serious an issue or problem it is. Some data, statistics, etc. would be helpful in defining the problem for your audience.

2. Make a list of the cause or causes of the problem. Your solution should probably address them directly. If you can get rid of the cause or causes of the problem, maybe you can get rid of the problem itself.

3. Choose a specific action that you want to propose. Make it as clear and direct as possible. Your proposed solution could eliminate or just lessen the problem, but it should not be so broad as to suggest that “something should be done.” Be specific about what that “something” should or could be.

4. Clearly explain the steps that would need to be taken to implement your proposal. Be sure to include who would be involved in each of the steps and what costs (money, time, effort, etc.) might be associated with each step (and overall).

5. Describe what the outcome would be. If your proposal were implemented, how would things be different? In particularly, how would they be better than they are now? 

6. The counterarguments this time will likely be the other proposals that people have made regarding this issue or problem. You will need to describe them and then explain why your proposal is better or stronger than each of the alternatives. 


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