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Assignment 2: Defense of a Pleasure (in 2 essay parts)
Write an essay that DEFENDS a topic of your choice – a specific, concrete object or action you love (i.e. enjoy / find great pleasure in) but that, in a certain context, is otherwise thought of as mundane, unnecessary, boring, irrelevant, forgotten, or generally in need of defense (basically, you know there are certain people who don’t care about the topic and/or who criticize it).
While the goal of the PRAISE was to celebrate your topic and show the audience the beauty / pleasure of it, the goal of this DEFENSE is to persuade your audience to think about your topic in a new way and change their behavior (i.e. develop an argument with a series of claims and evidence to prove to your audience that the topic is valuable / good / pleasurable).
Make sure you consider that your defense is needed, meaning that you’ve identified and explained a specific context (aka problem: see below) in which the topic you are defending is no longer enjoyed, sought after, praised, etc. You need to prove to your audience that it is worthwhile, relevant, enjoyable, necessary, rewarding, etc.
You will develop this essay in 2 parts:
Part 1 (Assignment 2a) – The Problem
Before you can defend your topic properly, you need to establish why it needs to be defended in the first place. To do this, you must identify a specific audience (start by thinking about your college-age peers and then narrow in from there) who doesn’t like your topic and/or doesn’t care about your topic and/or criticizes your topic and/or has a preference for another topic within the category your topic falls in.
The goal of this assignment is to develop a clear argument that shows your audience you understand their position (i.e. why they don’t like / care for your topic, why they criticize it, why they prefer something else).
We’ll call this aspect of the essay the Problem Making section, the idea being that your audience has a problem with your topic (i.e. they have reasons they avoid your topic). At the end of the essay, your goal is to have your reader say to you, “Yes, I see that you understand where I’m coming from; I see you understand the reasons why I don’t care for the topic / why I’m kept from enjoying your topic.”
Part 1 will be developed in a minimum of 2 drafts, each practicing / using the specific set of skills / objectives we discuss in class. Your essay should be 900 words / 3 pages minimum (Times New Roman 12pt font, double spaced).
Part 2 (Assignment 2b – The Argument
Part 2 of this essay asks you to build off of the audience / problem you developed in part 1 and make an argument that attempts to convince your audience to change their mind and/or behavior about your topic. Basically, defend your topic by convincing your audience that it is a pleasure worth their time / energy / experience / etc.
You will combine a revised version of your problem making section (we’ll talk about why this piece will still need to be revised as you move into part 2 of the essay) with your defense to make up this complete assignment.
Part 2 will be developed in a minimum of 3 drafts, each practicing / using the specific set of skills / objectives we discuss in class. Your essay should be 1500 words / 5 pages minimum (Times New Roman 12pt font, double spaced).