Overview: For your final English 103 essay, you will write a five- to six-page, MLA-formatted essay where you will choose to respond to one of the major issues going on in American society today. Be sure to choose a topic that is both interesting to you and complex enough to develop into a full five-page research essay with a minimum of four outside sources. Furthermore, you will be required to use the Toulmin model of argumentation as a framework for your argument in this paper.
Specifics: Respond to the issue of your choice and argue for your perspective using the Toulmin model method – Claim (What is your response to the general argument being presented regarding the issue? Do you agree, disagree, maybe a bit of both?), Qualifiers (What are your argument’s limits? Use language like “In most cases” or “Generally, it’s true that” to acknowledge other viewpoints and stay logically strong), Grounds (reasons/evidence) (Be sure to provide reliable information to argue your point), Warrant (Fully explain how your evidence supports your claim and what you are assuming as the rhetor; i.e., if you’re arguing in favor of prison reform, it’s because prisoners are people too!), Backing (Why should the reader agree with you on that warrant and your evidence?), as well as a Counterargument and Rebuttal (Include a counterargument/rebuttal paragraph and spend time refuting that counterargument to strengthen your original thesis; could be a pre-conclusion paragraph). NOTE: This should be a different topic than what you argued about in both SE#s 1 & 2!
Potential topics: Here are some potential hot-button culture topics you might be interested in writing about that enable a Toulmin model essay. You can branch out from these rather general topics.
Climate change (human impact, natural disasters, pollution, animal endangerment…)
Police/public relations, the opioid epidemic, prison reform, lawmaking etc.
Healthcare troubles (including COVID) and struggles involved in fixing the system
Immigration and/or the nation’s need for some sort of reform in this regard
Equality (women’s equality, LGBTQ+ equality, racial equality…)
Feel free to email me if you have other ideas on which you want my input!
Requirements: Craft an enticing and relevant title. Have a clear, well-developed, and argumentative thesis (this will be considered your “Claim”). Organize your argument by the Toulmin model method (claim, qualifiers, grounds, warrant, backing). Use direct quotations/paraphrasing from four or more credible sources and include a properly done Works Cited page. Write in an appropriate, college-level tone (third-person [no “I/we/our”] and no slang). Supply evidence (e.g., direct quotations) from the sources of your choosing. Clearly introduce and analyze all quoted and paraphrased material; show the reader how the examples you’ve included support and prove your points instead of making the reader guess at the connections (1. claim 2. evidence 3. analysis). Be sure your introductory sentences transition smoothly and work to introduce the ideas within each paragraph. Write with clarity and precision, demonstrating a mastery of standard English grammar, punctuation, and mechanics. Adhere to MLA format (Works Cited page, in-text citations, double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font). You must fill the fifth page of this final essay to receive full credit; any lesser length will be penalized.