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Composition and Rhetoric Prof

English 101 – Composition and Rhetoric Prof. Elizabeth Appel

Controversial Topic Paper

1. PURPOSE: research a controversial topic and consider different opinions to persuade the reader.

2. PROCESS: Create a specific topic from the following themes found in the online UB library database called “Opposing Viewpoints” about current controversial subjects in the United States: Education, Gender, Media, Race, Environment, the 2nd Amendment, Immigration, Technology, and Incarceration. Do a search of the UB database to help you decide on a specific topic. Do not write about the death penalty or abortion or use a paper from another class. Your topic must be very specific since you will not be writing a long paper.

– CAN#5a: submit 1) a background paragraph about your topic and two opinions about the topic 2) List the potential sources you’ve found from the UB library and Google search and write a little about them. Meet with the professor to discuss your topic.

– CAN#5b: submit your briefing presentation and present to the class.

– CAN#5c: submit your draft and bring a paper draft to class for the peer workshop.

– CAN#5d: upload your final paper for a grade. Always view your Turnitin report, make revisions and resubmit your paper if needed. Your Turnitin score should be close to 0%, above 10% will not be accepted for credit. Do not fill too much of your paper (30% or over) with quotes.

3. General Requirements

A. Write in a formal, academic manner, you are the expert. Use Canvas Files/ Helpful Resources for the “No No List,” “Useful Verbs” and MLA links. No use of the first person ‘I’.

B. Write (3) pages of discussion AND the Works Cited page = (4) pages.

C. Use at least (3) quotes; (1) quote each from (3) credible sources from the online UB library database “Opposing Viewpoints.” If Wikipedia is used, it should be cited but cannot be counted as one of the required (3) credible sources. All sources must be less than five years old, and written in English by Americans. Do not use translations or articles from or about other countries.

Use the UB Reference Librarians for assistance with research. Cite every source!

D. Students are encouraged to visit with an ARC tutor and use

E. The grading rubric is on Canvas Files. These elements are particularly important: first sentence hook, interesting introduction, clear thesis, essential background, good support, insightful discussion, logical organization, clever conclusion and few, if any, errors in grammar, mechanics or MLA formatting.


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