Academic argument: Can (college) first year composition courses fill in the gaps left by high school English classes?

Write an academic position paper that intervenes in the debate you examined in Unit 2. To do so, youll need to take into account your…

Write an academic position paper that intervenes in the debate you examined in Unit 2. To do so, youll need to take into account your own conclusions from your Debate Analysis Annotated Bibliography. Given your analysis, what kind of argument should you primarily make (e.g., conjecture, definition, quality, or policy), and for which particular audience should you make that argument? While the conclusion you produced for the Unit 2 Annotated Bibliography tells you where you need to begin, much of the work in writing this academic position paper will involve fleshing out that argument. To do so, youll need to do three things:
Define your audience. (See below!) Invent or come up with a combination of persuasive appeals to logos, ethos, and pathos that are appropriate for your intended audience (see RC chapters 8 & 10). To do this, youll need to think carefully about your audiences values, beliefs, and assumptions and attempt to find common ground. What values, beliefs, and assumptions do you hold in common with your audience?Find and cite evidence in support of your particular argument, and frame that evidence in ways that are appropriate for your rhetorical situation (see RC chapter 9).Unlike our previous units, this academic position paper demands that you do some additional research. You will need to find at least three relevant and credible sources through your own library research and use them to support your argument. Youll include copies of these three sources when you turn in your final academic position paper. You may use 1 source from our previous units but you will still need to find 3 additional sources.
Audience and purpose.
While you have a say in defining your audience and purpose for this position paper, keep in mind that you have to do so within constraints. Your audience has to be one that would value academic forms of argumentation and that espouses one or more of the positions you analyzed in the debate analysis. Similarly, your purpose has to take into account your audience and reflect the conclusions you drew from your debate analysis. Say, for instance, that you think the Confederate flag is a symbol of hate and should be removed from public spaces. However, youve decided to write for an audience of Southern historians who primarily define the Confederate flag as a symbol of heritage. You and your audience thus disagree at the level of definition (e.g., what kind of thing the Confederate flag is), and so you realize that arguing for your ultimate purposeto get the flag removed from public spaces, a policy argumentwouldnt work. So you determine that your purpose should be to persuade your audience to redefine the flag as a symbol of hatred and not heritage. In short, your purpose and audience should follow very closely from the results of your debate analysis. Remember: you are continuing our discussion of how composition is taught at the college level.
Length:  1000-1200 words (excluding Works Cited page)Formatting: 12 pt Times New Roman; 1-inch margins; MLA parenthetical citations and Works Cited page (see WHH pp. 311-322 for a sample MLA paper and Works Cited page)


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