For your last paper, you will write an argument paper aimed at a specific audience. In this paper, you will identify a problem or issue within your chosen subject area—something that needs to be resolved—and argue for a solution to this issue based on credible research. Your paper has two parts:
First, you will write a 200-300-word audience discussion. Think about the issue you want to solve. Who has the power to enact your solution? For example, if you wanted to argue for an improved recycling plan for your hometown, you may address your argument to the town’s mayor, city council, or the head of recycling and sanitation. Once you decide on your audience, answer these questions in your analysis: Who is your chosen audience? How did you decide on that particular audience? What type of audience/s are they (e.g. friendly, undecided, neutral, unfamiliar, or hostile)? How will your argument appeal to this audience? Think about language and tone. What will convince your audience?
Second, you will write an argument, addressed to your chosen audience. Your paper will be 1,000-1,200 words and should identify a problem and propose a solution. This argument cannot be the same as your Position Paper. While you can share research, this paper should have a different thesis and focus. Be creative! This paper can take the form of a letter, a proposal, or a report. Your argument must be well-researched and convincingly argued. You will need to cite 5-8 sources in your paper (there should be some new research, but you can use your Annotated Bibliography for this).
Your audience-specific argument should:
1) Identify a problem or issue within your chosen subject area.
2) Craft a clear, specific, arguable thesis that represents a solution to the problem you have identified.
3) Use at least 5 credible to support your solution.
4) Identify and address counterarguments or other perspectives that might be important.
5) Be addressed to the specific audience you name in your audience discussion forum.
How to Approach this Assignment:
1. Choose a specific audience (no “American people” or “people interested in my topic”) for your paper. Your audience should be a person, group, organization, website, publication, etc. named by a proper noun (i.e., you have to capitalize it) and with an address (physical or email) to which you could send your paper.
2. Make sure you investigate the characteristics and values of your audience. Your audience will want to know immediately both the conversation you’re responding to and your own position. Furthermore, they will want to know that you are advancing the conversation, turning it in a new direction, rather than just repeating other writers’ arguments.
3. Your audience certainly will expect you to support your claim with good reasons, so attach as many reasons as you think necessary.
4. For each of your reasons, provide sufficient evidence that your reasons are true. Your personal experiences, observations, and reasoning count as evidence, but you should also draw extensively on outside sources for evidence to support your reasons. Again, you can share some sources with your previous argument essay, but you should also have new research as well.
5. Address at least one counterargument to some part of your argument. You may choose a hypothetical naysayer, or a real opponent found in an outside source. Make sure you:
a. Name and describe your opponent(s).
b. Describe your opponent’s position fairly and accurately.
c. Make any necessary concessions, i.e., identify areas of agreement between you and your opponent.
d. Respond with a well-considered and reasonable rebuttal.
6. Think about how you’re going to come across to your audience as a person of good character, good sense, and good will. Here are some tips:
a. Know what you’re talking about. Find ample outside sources, read extensively on your topic, and use information from sources to provide sufficient evidence for your reasons.
b. Show regard for your readers. Try to come across as approachable and thoughtful, not arrogant or insensitive.
c. Treat skeptical readers with respect—don’t ignore or demean their opinions just because they expect more proof.
d. Be careful and meticulous in your writing, not sloppy or disorganized.
7. Think about the values and emotions that you share with your audience and consider how you might appeal to them. Here are some tips:
a. Try to evoke emotions (sympathy, outrage, anger, delight, awe, horror, etc.) in your audience that make your paper more moving.
b. Try to evoke sensations (seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling) in your audience that make your writing vivid and help readers experience things imaginatively.
c. Appeal to values (freedom, justice, tolerance, fairness, equality, etc.) that you share with your audience.
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