Essay V: Research Paper: Write a research paper on a current controversy.

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For your final essay of the semester, you will write a research paper on a current controversy. You must take a position on this issue and write a Rogerian argument. Remember that a Rogerian argument is one that meets the following criteria: • Shows a sympathetic understanding of the opposing argument • Sees those who take the other side as persons of goodwill • Is nonconfrontational • Seeks to achieve some degree of assent rather than to convince entirely (Barnet, Bedau, and O’Hara, 374-375). Your imagined audience will be people who hold the opposite view, but instead of trying to convince them that your position is the “right” one, you must ask for their assent on one particular issue. For example, if you want to argue against banning soft drinks in school lunchrooms, your audience would be people who were in favor of the ban, and you might seek their assent on the importance of empowering students to make good decisions about their health. You will use a minimum of four (maximum of five) sources to support your points. Two of these must support the position you are arguing against and two must support your own position.

Your sources supporting each side must be different from each other in significant ways so that your points are not repetitive. You may include a fifth source that is informative or perhaps non-traditional, like a video or interview. All of your sources must be by authors with verifiable credentials and found in reputable sources. At least one source per side must have expertise relevant to the topic. Show respect for your audience by finding the most credible representatives for their position, not the most inflammatory. Introduction This paragraph should address your purpose in writing this essay, which is to ask for some degree of assent on the part of your audience. To do this, you must identify what the problem is, respectfully acknowledge your audience’s position, and briefly present your own. Keep in mind that you are not addressing an individual but a group, so something like “many Americans” would work better in this rhetorical situation than “you.” Your thesis statement will be the last sentence of the introduction, and it should specifically ask for assent to a particular proposal.

For example: We can all agree that school lunchrooms should be a place where students learn how to make wise choices, but I will argue that it is more effective to educate them than to limit their options. Body Paragraphs 1. Present the opponent’s position using evidence from your two sources 2. Address the aspects of this position that you find valid, perhaps a situation in which it could be acceptable. 3. Present your own position using your sources. 4. Address aspects you think your audience may not have considered/would benefit from considering Conclusion Revisit the commonalities you have identified between yourself and your audience and why you think considering your position will be beneficial. End by appealing once again for their assent on the proposal you suggest in your thesis. This essay should be about 1350 words in length and no more than 20% should be directly quoted from your sources.

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