Assignment: You are to write a formal academic essay (no first or second person) in which you identify one (1) problem in a community (see below), propose no less than three (3) reasonable solutions to this problem, and finally, argue in favor of one (1) of those solutions. For the purposes of this assignment, the term “Problem” is loosely defined as something that could be improved with some reasonable amount of organized effort, so it does not necessarily need to address something detrimental. However, it cannot be so large as to require an act of Congress, the President, Supreme Court, or Amendment to the Constitution in order to accomplish. Banned Research Topics: For a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that there is a LOT of bad information on all sides of these issues, please do not write about the following topics: abortion, the criminalization or decriminalization of any substance, and gun control. Procedure: This is a large assignment, and completing it will take several hours of research, and several more hours of writing. The process of researching and writing this essay is entirely up to you, but one possible way of approaching this assignment is to break into three stages. Stage 1 is to brainstorm some problems in a community. This could be your local community, or a larger community you’re part of or even just familiar with. Eventually, you’ll have to narrow these problems down to just one problem in one community. Stage 2 is to research the problem and various solutions to it. Researching solutions may involve researching the nature of the problem, so this will very likely be the most time consuming part of this project. To help you stay on track, there are three annotated bibliographies (ABIBs) that will be due throughout the semester (see below for more on these). This will also allow you to change your research topic if you’re having a difficult time finding solutions for the problem. Stage 3 is to organize your research into the formal academic essay as described above (identify a problem, propose three solutions, and argue for one of those solutions above the others).
1. 1,500-2,000 words, plus a Works Cited page.
2. No less than six (6) sources, all of which must be academic (additional sources are welcome but not required).
3. Essay must be written in a formal, academic (third person) tone.
4. Thesis statement must specify all proposed solutions.
5. This essay is the final written assignment, and should reflect everything you’ve learned over the course of the semester. As such, it should have excellent grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and should avoid any awkward phrasing.
6. This essay should have nearly flawless MLA formatting, including font, margins, page numbers, in-text citations, and the Works Cited page. Please use the Purdue OWL web site for correct formatting.
7. When submitting this essay online, it MUST be submitted in either DOCX or PDF format. There will be a small point deduction for submitting essays in any other format.
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