treat one main idea W r i t i n g
IV: Public Argument
For your final
assignment this semester, you will use the research you’ve done for the
annotated bibliography to write a blog post/ op-ed piece about your topic.
“Op-ed” is short for “opposite the editorials,” because in a traditional
newspaper op-eds appear on the page opposite of the editorials page. Op-eds are
opinion pieces that discuss issues relevant in our general society, and they
often argue a position on a topic or propose a solution to a problem. Most
op-eds are written by people with substantial knowledge of a topic; after
completing your annotated bibliographies and group presentations, you are on
your way to being experts on your topic, and now you’re going to have a chance
to put your knowledge to work to communicate something to the world.
· An introductory hook that grabs readers’ interest and tells them
clearly what the piece will cover.
· Basic facts and some description about a specific problem or
angle related to your educational topic.
· Quotes, paraphrases, and/or summaries of at least 3 sources from
your group research presentation.
· A conclusion where you wrap up your discussion. You might look
forward to the future of your topic, encourage readers to take action on your
topic, leave us thinking about the larger implications of your topic, etc.
· Op-eds are shorter and less scholarly than a traditional
research paper, and their audience is the general public, not a specialized
group of people. However, your piece should still use concrete, specific, and
credible evidence from your research and/or personal experience to support your
· While op-eds often argue opinions and push a particular
viewpoint or agenda, your piece does not need to adopt such a clearly
argumentative approach. Rather, you can present an “angle” or “take” on your
issue, or you can present a possible solution to a problem you’ve discovered in
researching your topic. What do you want to say to your audience (the general public)
about the topic? You’ll need to make sure your piece is focused narrowly enough
for you to cover the topic fully. What facets of the topic really caught your
attention as you were doing your research? What kinds of thoughts or opinions
did you come to as you were putting the project together? Have the cuts to arts
funding in DC resulted in fewer educational opportunities for students? Did you
discover a particular angle on the problem of cyberbullying that we need to
address as a society? Do you have a possible solution to offer? Think of a
particular angle you want to present to your audience, and use that angle to
shape your piece.
· You’ll need a clearly stated thesis that takes a position or
angle on your topic, and you’ll need to remain focused on that position
throughout your piece.
· You’ll need to use good paragraph structure; each paragraph
needs to treat one main idea that clearly relates to the thesis, and each
paragraph needs a good topic sentence that links backward to the thesis and
forward to the content of the paragraph.
· Op-eds usually have clever titles that get readers’ attention
and clearly indicate the main idea/ thesis.
· You’ll need to use at least three sources in this project, and
these sources can be taken from your rhetorical bibliography or from the group
presentation. You can cite them only within your text, as many blogs and op-eds
do, in which case you need to provide author, title, and a link to the source.
Or you can cite only the author in the text and provide titles and links at the
· Support your points with good specific evidence, either from
your research, from your personal experience, or both. Generalizations and
unfair assumptions usually won’t help you to convince readers of anything.
· Establish common ground with all readers, even those who may
disagree with you.
· Know (and acknowledge) other views on your topic, even (and
especially) when they don’t agree with yours. This will show that you’ve
listened and heard other views, but still feel yours makes the most sense.
· Be passionate about your subject, but use a balanced tone; an
overly aggressive, condescending, or angry tone may turn your readers off and
make you seem untrustworthy.
Length: 2 Pages
Here are my sources
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