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Assignment: 01-02
Essay 4 - Arguing about an Educational Issue

IYour goal in the final paper is to join in a public debate about an educational issue of your own choosing. In order to accomplish this task, you must first understand the various positions within the debate and decide where, exactly, your own views agree and disagree with those existing positions. Academic argument is largely based on credibility, and to present a credible argument a writer must understand the overall issue and all of the sides involved. The first part of the paper, then, will be a Position Analysis that will serve as prewriting for your paper. Once you've defined the positions, your actual paper becomes your argument within the existing debate and response to the other positions. Thus, rather than responding or analyzing, this paper will ask you to: - define a debatable issue about education - argue for a specific position or opinion on the issue Topic choice is wide-ranging as long as the issue deals in some way with an education topic and is clearly an issue about which others might disagree (e.g., what makes a good teacher; the role of multiculturalism in courses; whether schools falsely advertise education; why a certain course should be required of all students; whether "non-teacher" courses really offer an educational alternative; etc.). The best topics, as always, will be ones you are personally invested in somehow, either through personal experience or having a particularly strong opinion about the issue after researching it. Since we are writing about issues, your main goal in this paper will be to argue for a certain way of viewing an issue, a certain solution to a problem, or an opinion on a highly debated issue. Each issue will invoke its own context since the types of people interested in or able to take action on your issue will differ depending on the topic. As a result, for this paper, you will be asked to define more of the rhetorical situation for your writing, including your own audience and context. The only requirement I will impose is the assumption that the audience is educated and, thus, will expect an academic argument using the types of support derived from research and logic that we will be discussing in class throughout this final unit. Since you are determining the context, audience, and purpose of this paper, I will be grading your papers in terms of the context you define as well as the expectations of educated argumentation. As a result, I will ask you to include a cover page to your final draft specifying each of these.


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