writing an opinion of approximately 1000 words presenting an argument relevant to America’s most recent presidential election. You may write about anything from “Why Hillary Clinton Lost” to “Twitter Should Suspend Donald Trump’s Account” — in other words, think of something that is of interest to you, and write about it.
In order to do that, choose a subject you feel strongly about and carefully choose and develop your position on the subject. This is to be an essay that blends the narrative “voice” of a personal essay, evaluation and argument in the sense that it discusses your opinion about a particular topic using evidence to support your opinion. You may use personal experience, anecdotal evidence, studies, other scholarly articles on the issue, and observation.
This is not a research paper, but rather it is an essay that lays out your view and argues your point artfully. But remember: this isn’t a rant or a pure personal philosophy. You have to back up your opinions with sound reasoning. The reading selections should serve as models for your work.
Whichever topic you choose, you will need to find use at least two outside sources. Part of your job with this essay is to demonstrate that you can successfully utilize secondary material to bolster your arguments. You will need to document your sources both in the body of your paper and in a final Works Cited page. You will find useful advice on how to find and handle sources in Rules for Writers or on the OWL Purdue website, and you will be graded on your use of citations. Of course the NYT doesn’t cite sources in the body of opinions, but you will need to here.
Your Essay Must:
• Present a debatable question in the form of a thesis that, one that also answers “Why are we talking about this right now?” and one which takes a clear stand on an issue while acknowledging other sides of the issue. You must also offer a “What now?” suggestion in your conclusion.
• Use evidence that appeals to reason, to your own character (honesty, authority, goodwill, or expertise), and to the emotions of your audience
• Be clearly and logically organized and free of grammatical and mechanical errors