Argument and Persuasion

Write a 3-5 page argumentative and persuasive essay on one of the following the topics. You should include at least 3 scholarly sources and cite them within the essay and on a Works Cited page. At least two of your sources should come from the library’s online databases. (CQ Researcher is required for this essay, but you should also search Academic Search Complete.) You must also include an article from either the PBS Newshour site or NPR.org. These are the only sources you may use for this essay.

As part of this assignment, you will also write an annotated bibliography. The assignment for the annotated bibliography, along with a sample and a video lecture, are located in this module. The annotated bibliography must be submitted through Canvas, and the final draft of the essay will not be accepted if the annotated bibliography is not turned in completed and on time.

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Remember that an argumentative essay must take a strong stand on one side of controversial topic; this is not the time to straddle the fence. Also, the goal is not merely to provide information, as with the definition essay; instead, the goal is to persuade the audience to believe something or to take some kind of action. You want your argument to be plausible, meaning your audience will see your logic and believe that you are sincere.

Your thesis statement must be a clear, direct assertion of your position on your topic.

Any information that is not common knowledge but lacks a citation in your essay is considered plagiarism and will result in a grade of zero F. Anything taken word-for-word from a source without quotation marks, even with a citation, will also be considered plagiarism. Use your quotation marks, signal phrases, and parenthetical citations to properly credit your sources. Even one instance of plagiarism will result in a zero F.

Neither first person nor second person pronouns are allowed (10-point penalty).

You must work in at least 4 out of the 5 types of specific evidence we discussed:

Facts
Statistics
Examples
Expert testimony
Personal experience (someone else’s, discovered through research, not your own)
_________________________________________________________________________________

The thesis statement must be a strong statement and pick a side:

Bad thesis statement: There would be both good and bad consequences if community college were tuition-free.

Good thesis statement: Community college should be free for three specific reasons. or

Free community college tuition may sound good at first, but it is ultimately a bad idea.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Choose one of the following three topics:

Should community college tuition be free? Be sure to look at specific programs in New York and Tennessee. Also reference the CQ Researcher article on this topic. (Do not focus only on the benefits; for example, it’s obvious that more students could afford college if it were free. Instead, be sure to explain how such a program would work.)
Is “school choice” the solution to better public education? Be sure to search CQ Researcher for “charter schools,” and look at PBS articles on New Zealand and Sweden for compare/contrast. (Search for “school choice” on the PBS Newshour site to find them.)
Is a college education still “worth it,” or are students borrowing more than their educations are worth? Examine both CQ Researcher articles on student debt. Search PBS Newshour for articles on student debt. You may also cite the essays in the textbook.

Note: I will be paying particular attention to both grammar and formatting when grading this final essay. Check your MLA heading, do not skip lines, and make sure your citations are all correct. Little details matter! Revise and edit your essay very carefully.

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