For this essay, students may select any topic to form an opinion on and defend e

For this essay, students may select any topic to form an opinion on and defend except the following topics:
Gun Control
Global Warming
Capital Punishment
Free College
Universal Healthcare
Standardized Testing
Legalizing Marijuana
Students who select one of the topics above will NOT receive credit. Once students select a topic they want to develop, they need to form an opinion on that topic that can be debated and ultimately stated in a thesis that sets an expectation for persuasive development. Consider adding the word “should” or “should not” to your thesis to make it clear the essay is argument based.
Example: Public universities should not require students to submit standardized testing scores for admittance.
Students must include at least three relevant reasons to answer WHY or WHY NOT to defend their argument. The development of the essay must be at least five pages long. The development should include specific examples that illustrate a target audience and significant details related to the argument and its purpose. The selected reasons should be unified – they should relate to each other and the target audience. That relationship will be indicated in the transitions that lead the reader from point to point.
Important: Students must include a counterargument – an opposing viewpoint held by the target audience – and a relevant refutation. The counterargument must also be refuted by the writer. The counter may be part of a developed paragraph or a paragraph of its own. However, the writer must debunk or dismantle the counterargument using relevant reasoning from the essay.
Example: Public universities should require students to submit standardized testing scores because it reflects a student’s ability to retain information. However, this is not necessarily an accurate measurement of a student’s ability to think critically or communicate. Test scores only measure one aspect of academic performance, which is why they should not be used as a standard requirement for college enrollment.
The organization of the essay must demonstrate a clear order to the points – consider least to most important. There must be transitions between the points to indicate their relationship to each other and maintain unity in the essay. Each paragraph must have a strong topic sentence that identifies the reason controlling the content that follows while using organizational and argumentative language from the thesis.
The essay must demonstrate effective language and style appropriate to the audience and purpose of the argument. Consider the tone you want this argument to take based on who you are trying to appeal to and what style this audience would expect given your selected topic.
Students must integrate at least THREE (3) sources into the essay – but not more than FIVE (5). Additionally, at least ONE (1) must be from a CPCC library online research database. The sources must be specific, purposeful, credible, and relevant. They should be integrated effectively and cited accurately.
The essay content must be five pages long – this does not include the Works Cited page. The document must be formatted according to MLA 8th edition standards. The content must be written in complete sentences with appropriate grammar and mechanics and must be written in the third person.
Brainstorming Tips & Sample Topics
Ask yourself: What causes do I believe in? What matters most to me? What would I change about the way certain people or institutions behave?
Should college students be required to take a digital literacy class? Why or why not?
Should Halloween be officially assigned the last Saturday in October? Why or why not?
Should the Monday after the Superbowl be made a national holiday? Why or Why not?
Should students receive excused mental health days? Why or why not?
Should all convicted felons be allowed to vote? Why or why not?

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