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Is it going down-hill fast, or is what we see on television a good representation of our society?

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Your essay should incorporate the following guidelines:
1. Thesis/Claim: Take a stand for or against an action or idea (a statement that can be argued or challenged). Your thesis statement should introduce your subject and state your opinion about that subject.
2. Audience: For whom are you writing? Take your audience into consideration as you write your essay. It is your audience that determines your tone, diction, and evidence that you choose.
3. Evidence: Choose evidence (facts, statistics, statements from authorities, and examples or personal stories) that supports your thesis statement. Evidence is probably the most important factor in writing an argument essay. Without solid evidence, your essay is nothing more than opinion; with it, your essay can be powerful and persuasive.
4. Organization: Organize your research paper so that if presents your position as effectively as possible. By the conclusion of your essay, you want your audience to agree with you. Make it easy for readers to follow your logical progression.
5. Counterargument: Take the opposing side into consideration. Presenting only your side of the argument leaves half the story untold―the opposition’s half. If you acknowledge that there are opposing arguments and answer them, it will make your argument stronger.
6. Avoid logical fallacies (faulty reasoning) Please review list on pages 502-503 in MW.
7. Check to make sure that your paper demonstrates ethos (ethics), and a good balance between logos (logic) and pathos(emotion).
8. Conclusion: Your paper should have a strong ending. Restate your thesis in a fresh way. Keep it simple, but reiterate your main idea or point. This is also the best place to pose an important question, or to illicit a call for action.
Approved sources and Categories:
Print Sources Electronic Sources
Books Electronic Databases
Electronic databases Credible Websites (ending in .org, .edu, or .gov)
Magazines or journals Electronic dictionaries
Dictionaries Electronic encyclopedias (No Wikipedia!!!)
Song lyrics
Interviews
Films
Our textbook
Surveys
Remember: You must have a minimum of three credible sources (more are always welcomed)!
Suggestions for topics: Pick a topic from the list below
Should science pursue cloning (or stem cell research, or DNA research)? Why or why not?
Should we use biological warfare (or nuclear weapons)? Why or why not?
Should the United States have gun control? Why or Why not?
Should geo-engineering be allowed to continue without the public’s consent?
Should fracking for oil be allowed? Why or Why not? Does it compromise the health of humans, plants, and animals? Does it pollute the earth’s water table?
What is the solution to the energy problem? Oil? Solar energy? Wind energy? Nuclear energy?
Should the US (and the world) continue space exploration? Why or why not?
Should we try to go to Mars or other planets? Can we succeed? Might there be life on other planets?
Was Edward Snowden right in blowing the whistle on the NSA? Why or why not?
Should Julian Assange be freed from prison? Why or why not?
Should the creation of robots (artificial intelligence) be allowed to continue? Why or why not?
Should marijuana be legalized in all states? Why or why not?
Should the Internet be censored due to political views or explicit and potentially dangerous content? Why or why not?
Is the Patriot Act unconstitutional?
Should corporations be allowed to genetically modify our food? Why or why not?
Does Welfare work? Should it be reformed, or should we have Welfare for those who cannot work?
Should the use of performance enhancing substances be outlawed from all professional and collegiate sports? What is at stake if steroids are permitted in the major leagues?
Is there such a thing as a just war? Is our current conflict a just one? Explain why or why not.
Katherine Anne Porter wrote: “man has obviously outreached himself, to the point where he cannot understand his own science or control his own inventions” (196). Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?
Is global warming real, or is it a natural cycle for our planet which we should not obsess over?
What worries you most about the future of our planet? What’s our biggest concern (or what should be)?
What is the biggest problem facing high school education? Drugs? Bilingualism? Lack of funding? Poor teaching? Tenure? Explain.
What are the problems facing post-secondary education? Check out www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/education.html
Links to an external site..
How are women, minorities, ethnic groups, young people (some other group) represented in the media (music, television, film)? Are they represented accurately?
Is the sexual revolution over? Are men and women as equal as they will ever be?
Between talk shows, reality tv., gangster/crime shows, and sex shows, television has changed. Is it going down-hill fast, or is what we see on television a good representation of our society?
Does birth order matter? Is a first born more likely to succeed than a last born or a middle child? Why or why not?
Are the US legal and justice systems fair to women, minorities, all cultural groups?
Is the death penalty a good deterrent to serious crime?
Why are there so many minorities on death row? (See http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org
Links to an external site.)
Should animals be used in scientific testing? Do they have rights?
Should the US reinstate a publish to increase the armed forces for the current conflict in the Middle East and/or to protect domestic borders? Why or why not?
Immigration is a serious issue in the US today; while many American citizens are concerned by the lack of unity currently expressed across the country (due, perhaps, in part to the melting pot of the US) others, many descended from recent immigrants, or immigrants themselves feel our nation should continue to keep its borders open to new people as much as possible. Should the US restrict immigration, and should immigration laws be tightened to control the presence and activities of illegal immigrants?
Your research paper should be based on an opinion that you hold that supports one side of an argument. You should think about a problem that needs a solution, an issue that we experience in our world or even as a college community, a question that you would like to answer. Then use your research to offer a solution to the problem, provide an opinion of the issue, or answer the question. This paper must be at least eight pagesin length and must include a minimum of three credible sources.

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