3 double spaced pages W r i t i n g

3 double spaced pages W r i t i n g

Question at Issue Essay


The Question at Issue (Q@I) is designed to better assist you with ensuring the argument you formulate for Essay 1.1 will be a strong one. While our classroom discussions and activities are intended to help you develop potential questions, the Q@I will begin and test your foundation for making a reasoned, evidence-supported arguments.


This essay requires you to formulate a stasis question (See RRW, pp. 7-8). Once you have presented the question, you will provide primary support points/evidence that conform to the style of the stasis question. For example, if you were to formulate a Question of Interpretation, your supporting evidence would not be merely a presentation of facts, but rather a measure of reasoning and examination of definitions.


This assignment will assist you with developing a critical questioning strategy. Additionally, the Q@I serves as a springboard for the work required for both of our essays this term. By developing a Q@I and providing support, you will have the opportunity to have your reasoning peer-reviewed, as well as reviewed by the instructor, to ensure that subsequent work in the essay leads to a strong enthymeme.


In 2-3 double spaced pages, word count at least 700, identify one Question at Issue that we’ve read about, discussed, or that you’ve formulated that interests you. The work you do here need be the reasoning, evidence gathering, and writing will undoubtedly help develop your final essay, as well as subsequent drafts.

Using a template from They Say/I Say, introduce your area of focus and the Q@I in the first paragraph. Then, in subsequent paragraphs, answer the following questions (without rewriting the questions!):

  • What makes this particular issue controversial?
  • Why is there disagreement to the potential answers to your question?
  • What makes this question specific enough to write a short essay on?
  • What opposing points are there to the question you are asking?
  • What supporting evidence/reasoning will you use to propose your answer to the Q@I you have asked?

Papers must be properly formatted in MLA style (Refer to the syllabus for links to Purdue OWL/come see me during office hours if you are in any way unclear or require more information about MLA style).

Criteria for Success:

This is a graded assignment, worth 10% of your final grade. Successful essays will be graded on four criteria:

  • Does the Q@I take the shape of a stasis question and offer multiple avenues for answering it?
  • Is an adequate summary of those avenues given, along with reasons why the question is a contentious one?
  • What support and sources are offered as evidence that will be used to answer the Q@I?
  • The thoughtfulness, polish, and attention to formal writing displayed. Consideration for spelling, grammar, and formatting will be assessed!

Successful essays will read like a considered and rigorous exploration of a controversy we’ve uncovered as a discourse community.


Based on these two readings, and find a question at issue:

1. https://essay.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/09/26/two-years-are-better-than-four/ (Two Years Are Better Than Four” Liz Addison)

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