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Write a 1,500-2,000 word (not including title, header, and bibliography) researched argument with a position claim on a topic of your choice.


The purpose of this assignment is to convince readers to change their point-of-view or their actions regarding an issue you care about. You are not responsible for solving the problem entirely, but rather for contributing something meaningful to the ongoing conversation surrounding the issue. Position arguments like this are very common in academic debates and in a wide range of writing both inside and outside of academic contexts. 


For this assignment, you will need to conduct library and online research to “listen in” on what others have already said and to find evidence to support your claim. The essay will also need appropriate context and a convincing engagement with those who might oppose your argument. Here are some steps you might consider to get started:

1. Begin by identifying a topic/controversial issue that interests you personally and spend some time isolating a central, unresolved problem. Next, develop a research question to guide your preliminary fact-finding–something like “What should be done about X?”

2. Once you’ve gathered some background information on your topic, develop a working thesis that includes a claim and reasons joined by a connective element like the word “because.” You’ll use these reasons–three or four of the key points supporting your solution–to shape the body of your essay.

3. Next, consider who your target audience is for an “academic argument.”  Make sure you are specific about who you are trying to convince, and what you want them to do (i.e. think more critically about the issue, change their perspective, or take a particular action).

4. Start writing by drafting an introduction that sets-up the situation or problem your essay addresses. Then, use a paragraph to give any crucial background information. Now you can begin using quoted and paraphrased research to justify each of your reasons for your position. As your essay takes shape, make sure you include a “naysayer” paragraph that evaluates at least one obvious opposing point-of-view. Finally, don’t forget that your conclusion needs to help readers see what they’ve gained from your essay and what the future implications or direction for further research may be. 


Your essay will be evaluated based on the Research Essay scoring rubric.


As with all essays in this class, this paper should follow MLA or APA guidelines for citation and page format. This means in-text citations and a Works Cited or Refences page, as well as a formal heading and page numbers. Make sure you use a standard font, double-line spacing, and 1” margins.

This essay requires at least three different sources–including one newspaper or magazine, one credible website with Neutral Point of View (NPOV), and one book or academic journal.  

Thesis:  In the state of Hawaii traffic congestion adds addition time to many individuals already long commute.  Allowing motorcycle riders the legal privilege to conduct lane splitting can easily reduce this time delay.  As well as, reduce the amount of motorist on the road.  Also, it will provide a safer environment for motorcycle; along with reduce the maintenance and use of fuel.   

Questions: What is lane splitting?  What is the purpose of lane splitting?  What places is motorcycle lane splitting legal?  At what times is it legal for a motorcycle to lane split?  What are the advantages of lane splitting?  What are the disadvantages of lane splitting?  What is the crash rate in areas that allow lane splitting? 


There are no sources in the current document.

1Achieving Traffic Safety Goals in the United States: Lessons from Other Nations. Washington,   D.C: Transportation Research Board, 2010.

2Hurt, H.H. Jr., Ouellet, J.V. & Thom D.R. (1981b).Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures.(DOT HS 805 862). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, page 57.

 3Rice, Thomas, Troszak, Lara and Erhardt, Taryn (2015). Motorcycle Lane-splitting and Safety in California. May 29, 2015, page 5.

 4National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety, U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (DOT HS 809 156), 2000, page 51.

5“Position on Lane Splitting,” <http://mic.org/downloads/Lane-Splitting-7-29-14.pdf>, Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), July 29, 2014.

 6Issued by the California Highway Patrol, California Motorcycle Safety Program in 2013,


For those that live on the island of Oahu they know traffic is a nasty price that is paid daily in order to reside in paradise.  In order for motorcycle riders to get through or around traffic a specific law called “lane splitting” or “traffic filtering” needs to be passed.  California is currently the only state that allows motorcycle riders to lane split.   Motorcycle lane splitting is a practice and maneuver where “a motorcycle’s narrow width can allow it to pass between lanes of stopped or slow moving cars on roadways where the lanes are wide enough to offer an adequate gap.” [sic] (California Highway Patrol)  Giving motorcyclist this much needed legal option to lane split will increase safety, reduce traffic, and limit maintenance.   

From a safety stand point allowing motorcyclist to lane split prevents unpation drives of cars from causing a collision with a motorcycle.  Studies show that a motorcycle rider is 30% more likely to be hit from behind or side swiped during traffic jams or slow moving traffic.  The reason of this high percentage is due in part that during slow moving traffic, the drivers of cars feel safer to use their cell phones, read book, or to do other things that take away their attention from the roadway.  Now knowing this fact, it is clear to see that a high concentration of vehicle on the road makes for a very unsafe environment for those that operate a motorcycle.    


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