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Advanced Writing: Social Sciences

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Project #05

Argumentative Essay or Proposal
Righthand Illustration

OWL PowerPoint Presentations > Organizing Your Argument -- Purdue University

Writing argumentative essays -- Bill Daly

  • (P#5) The final enterprise is an argumentative proposal or argumentative essay on a problem which you might encounter as an informed citizen of this region. Your argumentative proposal / essay, should be a written analysis that argues to an audience aware of the problem, but unaware of its complexities.
  • Basically, you will write a proposal or argumentative essay. That might involve securing funding, or getting volunteers, or convincing some organization or governmental agency to provide something, or to change its policy. It might involve all of that, plus more -- it depends on the problem you select.
  • You may deal with one of several suggested problems, or you may choose your own (subject to the instructor's approval). In either case, you will write from a data base which you yourself generate. This may be a UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunity, proposal, for which you might get somewhere around a thousand dollars to conduct research in collaboration with a faculty member.

  • Focus in on the issues crucial to the solution you wish to advocate. Your goal is to build an understanding of the problem full enough that the audience (the county or local board, or whomever. . . ) can consider solutions intelligently. One of the solutions proposed can be to further study the problem--if the proposed study is well thought out and properly presented. The audience should be a group of persons who can do something about the problem. You are only one of several presenters, each arguing for a different solution. You must include examples built from observation, interview, background research, and local statistics. Length: 4-10 well-written double-spaced pages; minimum length = 4 pages.
  • Choose an issue that has some larger scope, but that is local to Duluth or to a region you come from or have lived in long enough to understand well. Or choose an issue that is pertinent to your major or your chosen career field. Avoid topics that will generate more heat than new light (e.g., abortion, gun control, religious disputes, pornography, party politics. . .). Whatever topic you choose, you must explore its local or regional relevance. What impact does it have on northern Minnesota and/or Wisconsin?
  • You may use a problem on which you are working for another class (with that instructor's permission), or select your own problem, or use one of the following:
    • write an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) proposal (worth up to ca. $1,000.)
    • a solution to the American Indian treaty-based fiscing rights disputes in Wisconsin or Minnesota
    • Duluth Children's Museum funding, or NE Minnesota Historical Center funding, or Minnesota Public Radio funding, or funding for public fine art, or funding to send a UMD student athlete to the next Olympics
    • National Park restrictions on use of wilderness areas
    • nuclear waste disposal in Minnesota or Wisconsin
    • spouse/child abuse and the need for regional shelters
    • UMD's need for a men's drop-in center
    • need to change UMD's liberal education requirements
    • argue for a laptop computer policy for UMD, or another type of computer policy
  • In class we will work on writing and revising Paper #5, but preliminary work must be done before that.
  • See Day 13 for further information.
  • Length: 4 - 15 well-written double-spaced pages; minimum length = 4 pages.


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