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Requirement: 2-3 pages in MLA style
Directions to Students: In order for an argument to occur, there must first be an “issue,” which simply means an unsettled question that matters to a community. In this course you’ll be conducting research on an issue that you select, and since you’ll be reading and writing extensively on this issue throughout the term, it’s essential that you choose one that truly interests you. As you consider potential issues, you may want to do some background reading to ensure that you are truly interested in the issue and that you can find enough sources to support sustained research. Please note: all the major assignments in this course build on one another, so once you select an issue, you may not change it. For this paper, you will take stock of what you already know about the issue you select, organize and develop your thoughts, and sketch a plan for your research. Your audience will be your classmates and me.
Invention (or discovering what you’re going to say in this paper)
1. You must first make sure the issue you’ve selected is arguable. If you cannot find at least 3 positions for your issue, change or modify your issue until you can.
2. Your classmates and I will want to know more about the issue and your relationship to it, so brainstorm/freewrite/draft answers to the following questions: How would you introduce this issue to an audience who knows nothing about it? What do you know about the issue already? How did you acquire your knowledge about the issue? Why do you find this issue compelling? 3. Your classmates and I will also be interested in what you don’t know (or are at least unsure about) regarding the issue. Brainstorm/freewrite/draft answers to the following questions: What are the main questions you want to pursue/answer over the course of the semester? (Obviously these questions may change as you learn/think more about the issue.)