Essay 3/Mapping the Issue English 1302: Rhetoric and Composition II Due: See Course Calendar Page Length: 3-4 pages The Rhetorical Situation For your Issue Proposal, you organized your preexisting kno

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Essay 3/Mapping the Issue English 1302: Rhetoric and Composition II Due: See Course Calendar Page Length: 3-4 pages

The Rhetorical Situation

For your Issue Proposal, you organized your preexisting knowledge on your issue and sketched a plan for research. You then compiled several sources and summarized their contents for your Annotated Bibliography. For this paper, you will map the controversy surrounding your issue by describing its history and summarizing at least three different positions on the issue—all from a completely neutral point of view.

Before people can make an informed decision on a controversial issue, they must know the history of the controversy and the range of positions available. Publications often meet this need by providing a neutral, unbiased description of an issue’s history and the main arguments made on all sides such as in The New York Times’s “Times Topics” section or Slate’s “Explainer” section.

Invention (i.e., discovering what you’re going to say in this paper) 1. Your audience will want to know some background information on your issue, so draft answers to the following questions:

·      What caused the issue?

·      What prompted past and present interest in it?

·      Who is interested in the issue and why?

2. Your audience will also want to know the current, major positions on the issue, so reflect on the titles in your Annotated Bibliography, draft descriptions of 3 different positions, and identify which articles in your bibliography advocate the positions you’ve described.

3. Now that you’ve drafted descriptions of the background and major positions on your issue, draft a more detailed description of one position:

  • What are the main claims of those who advocate this position?
  • What reasons do they provide for those claims?
  • What evidence do they use to support their reasons?
  • What assumptions underlie their arguments?

Support your description by summarizing and analyzing at least one source from your Annotated Bibliography that advocates this position.

4. Repeat step 3 with a second position, again supporting your description by summarizing and analyzing at least one source from your Annotated Bibliography. Additionally, you should highlight the relationship between the two positions you’ve described by answering the following questions:

  • What are the points of intersection and diversion?
  • On what points do advocates of these positions agree, and on what points do they disagree?
  • What are the reasons for disagreement?

5. Repeat step 3 with all the remaining positions you plan to describe, always including a summary and analysis of at least one source from your Annotated Bibliography. Also, for every new position you introduce, explain its relationship to the previous positions you’ve described. Highlight points of intersection and diversion, describe points of agreement and disagreement, and explain the reasons disagreements exist.

6. Think about how you’re going to come across to students as a person of good character, good sense, and good will. Here are some tips:

·       Describe the most significant positions across the entire field of the controversy; don’t simply describe those positions that cluster around the position you favor.

·       Summarize sources fairly and analyze them carefully. Accurately identify their main claims, supporting reasons and evidence, and implicit assumptions.

·       Maintain neutrality. The time will come for you to take a stand on the issue, but don’t do it now. Advocates of the positions you describe should feel that you have represented their views and arguments fairly, and your readers should finish your paper without any idea of where you stand on the issue.

7. Think about the values and emotions that you share with fellow students and consider how you might appeal to them. Here are some tips:

·       Appeal to readers’ desire for information by presenting clear, well-organized, well-supported summaries that show you’ve read widely and closely and have developed a deep understanding of positions ranging across the entire field of the controversy.

·       Appeal to readers’ sense of fairness by providing truly unbiased descriptions of all positions/arguments.

Arrangement (i.e., organizing what you’re going to say in this paper)

You’ll want to organize your paper in the manner you think will prove most effective with your

audience of students, but here are some general guidelines:

  • As was the case with your first paper, the conversation you’re responding to is the one surrounding the issue you’ve selected. Indicate at the beginning of your paper that you’re writing in response to that conversation, and then state a thesis in which you promise to describe the most significant positions on your issue.
  • Unlike your first paper, this one is unsolicited, which means you must work harder to demonstrate why your issue matters and to attract readers. Providing compelling answers to the “so what?” and “who cares?” questions is crucial.
  • However you arrange the body of your paper, make sure you answer fully and in detail all the questions/requests in the Invention section of this prompt.

Style (i.e., choosing the appropriate language for your paper)

You’re writing for a highly specific audience, so avoid writing to some vague, generalized audience. When reading your paper, it should be obvious that you’re writing to fellow students.

All readers appreciate coherent, unified paragraphs, so your paragraphs should include a topic sentence that clearly states the main idea of the paragraph and supporting sentences that cluster around the main idea without detours.

Write your paper and document your sources properly according to MLA style. Consult Purdue Owl or a good handbook for instructions on how to format in-text citations and Works Cited entries.

Proofread carefully; avoid errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and mechanics.

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