Taking a Stand on a Social Problem


Society Essay: Taking a Stand on a Social Problem

  The Society Essay is the first of two that will require you to add research to your personal essay. You will select a social problem to explore, preferably something that has affected or will affect you personally and say what a person or group should do about it.

   You should state the problem in your title as a should/not statement like: “Three Reasons Why YouShould (or Should Not) Smoke Cigarettes.” Likewise, your thesis must be a statement like “____________”should/not” because……. of these three reasons.”

The three body paragraphs will state why you should (not) with supporting research which you willquote and source. Each body paragraph must begin: “The first reason why ________________should/not is_______________________________________. The paragraphs will be supported with the three E’s of Argument as explained below.

  Essentially, we are writing an Argument in which you state that some person, group, company, country or other entity should do or should not do something because……The paper will give three reasons why. For example, you could state three reasons why one should not smoke or take drugs, or why Miami should not extend the urban boundary into the Everglades, or why school uniforms should (not) be mandated by the school system because of these three reasons stated in the body paragraphs:  1_____,2______3____.

In my experience, an Argument yields the best results on this assignment,  and you will see several examples of this essay type in the Society section of Collegiate Reader which you should read for reference. The best example is “Violence Begets Violence” page 52 of the Collegiate Reader. Identify the thesis and topics in this essay. You should follow the format shown in this example.

Make sure you distinguish your subject from your topic: global warming can be the subject of research, but your essay topic will be Three Reasons Why the US Should Sign the Kyoto Accords.

Review the Argument section in Say It With Style (pp. 197-198) and also page 39 of Collegiate Reader.You should reflect the three E’s of argument in the essay:  evidence, expert testimony and emotional appeal.  I will be looking for all three in your paper and these should comprise your quoted material. I will also expect you to understand the three E’s of argument for our tests.  The logical fallacies are discussed in the reading and you should know them as well.

Once you have defined your subject, do some additional reading on it from any news source: go out on Google at www.google.com for additional material, or use the MDC login library databases for current articles. Suggested links include our Issues and Controversies database, Opposing Viewpoints,  or Academic Search Premier which you can log into from the “Find Articles” requestor on our library pages. There is a link to the MDC Kendall Library in this lesson. You might find a subject of interest by reading any news publication like the Miami Herald (www.herald.com) or any news website like CNN, ABC, MSNBC, etc.

If you do not have quoted research from sources then you have not fulfilled the assignment. Avoid religious topics and reference material because it cannot be proven but is based on faith.

Make sure that you have read “Violence Begets Violence” p 52 in Collegiate Reader to see how the quotes (not more than 25%) are integrated into the text of the essay as support for what the author says. Put quotes around any material that you take word for word from another source or paraphrased. Create an informal bibliography at the end of your essay by including each quoted website’s address (www.yoursource.com) at the end of your paper.

Of course you will follow the usual composition sandwich model of the five paragraph essay, and use the first person (I). The quotes will serve as a reading reference for this paper. Print yourself an outline to use as you draft your essay.