Paper #1: Issue of Public Concern 7-8 pages

This two-part essay requires little research, but deals with an issue you have dealt with in your own life. The first part focuses on your persuasive argument involving an issue of public concern that is important to you. In the second part of the essay you’ll develop and explore a question you have about the topic.

Part 1: The Task: Select an issue of public concern. Talk about how this issue has affected you personally. Use the events of your own life as evidence to form a coherent and persuasive argument about this issue.

Some examplesof issues of public concern: legalization of marijuana, gun legislation, immigration issues, abortion, gerrymandering, etc. You may have an issue not on this list that could work, keep in mind it should be something with two sides of thought and should be big enough to fit the requirements of the paper.

Specifics: Your argument should begin with a brief (1-2 paragraphs) introduction of the issue, followed by an overview of your opinion and an opposing opinion of the issue (2-4 paragraphs). Then, discuss how this issue has affected your own life, giving examples from your own experience (2-3 paragraphs), three possible solutions to the issue, and finally continue to use persuasive language to convince your audience that they should agree (2-3 paragraphs).

●Length:Sevento eightpages (If it is not at least sevenfull pages, it is not long enough.)

●Paper must be typed


●Times New Roman 12-point type

●1-inch margins (standard)

●Excessive grammatical or spelling errors will count against you. Proofread.

●Must include at least 1 source (probably to highlight the opposing view) from a reputable news agency (MLA citation)

Part #2: Exploration of a Focused Question

The Task: Continuing to look at the same issue from part one, you’ll develop a focused question to explore. Follow the steps below.

For this part you need to:

1.Clearly state the question being asked and why you chose that question (1-2 paragraphs) **See below for how to choose a question

2.Predictthe answer to the question (1 paragraph)

3.Clearly state more than one side/school of thought surrounding the question AND/OR informs the reader about the historical and/or social context of the question (4-6 paragraphs) (references must be given for information found to support this portion of the paper)

4.Summarizeat least2 relevant news (NYTimes) or journal articles (can be found through the college’s online database/Opposing Viewpoints Database) to support one side or school of thought surrounding the question (3-5 paragraphs)

5.Clearly state an answer (or as close to an answer as possible) to the question being asked (1 paragraph)

6.Revisit the prediction, exploring whether the prediction was accurate or not and what was learned from the outcome (1-2 paragraphs)

How to choose a focused question:

Step 1a. Brainstorm questions you have about the issue you wrote about in part one.

1b. From these questions, develop one question that is focused and will be easy to research. Submit for approval.

Step 2a. Develop a rationale—your reason for choosing that question to write about

2b. Predict what you might find with your research

2c. Find at least two news sources or journals related to your question that you plan to use in your paper.

Other requirements:

●Length: Seven to eight pages (If it is not at least seven full pages, it is not long enough.)

●Use headings to separate requirements

●Paper must be typed


●Times New Roman 12-point type

●1-inch margins (standard)

●Excessive grammatical or spelling errors will count against you. Proofread.

How to choose an outside source:

Use REPUTABLE articles ONLY.


Washington Post

Goverment websites (.gov)

Academic articles

Do NOT use:

Blog posts

Tabloid news

Part 2

Share your response to “The Cohabitation Epidemic.” Do you agree with the author’s argument (or any part of it)? Why or why not? Do you think he makes a good argument? Explain your opinion.

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