For this assignment, begin by choosing a debatable topic that you are passionate about. The topic must be one that has facts and can be researched, and it must have multiple possible viewpoints. This is not an opinion essay based solely on personal preference – you cannot, for example, write about your love for dogs. Instead, a good topic might be your passion for rescuing dogs from shelters rather than purchasing from a breeder. This topic is debatable, has conflicting opinions, and can be argued with evidence.
The topic itself must be chosen from the Position Diagnostic Topics list OR you may choose a different topic if none of these interest you, but ONLY if you get instructor approval before you begin writing.
After choosing your topic, compose a brief 300-500 word position essay where you take a stand on your topic, and present an argument–based on pathos–that your position is the right one. You may be able to use logos or even ethos, depending on the topic, but you should not use research for this assignment or cite sources. Choose a topic that you already have knowledge of and feelings for.
In drafting your essay, consider the following:
Audience: Who is your audience? What do they already know about your topic? What do they need to know? What are their biases and assumptions? In this case, assume your audience holds the opposing view to your own.
Tone: What kind of language is appropriate for your audience and topic?
Purpose: What is your thesis? This must be clearly established early in the essay. What is the point that you are arguing? What reasons come to mind when you think of your position? What judgment are you making?
Support: What arguments based on pathos will you use?
Position Diagnostic Requirements
300-500 word position diagnostic on a debatable topic, based on pathos. (no research, this is an opinion essay only)
After the diagnostic, in the same document, write a brief (minimum 1 paragraph of at least 5-8 sentences) self-evaluation. What do you think your writing strengths and weaknesses are? Where do you need help?
Use APA-format and an APA-formatted title page. Refer to library APA resources. No points will be deducted if this is incorrect, but it is good to practice APA format as you will need it for all essays in this class and all writing you will do at Davenport..
Position Diagnostic Rubric
50 Possible Points
Format/Requirements: 30 Points Possible
Diagnostic is 300-500 words of writing that presents a position/opinion on a debatable topic, using pathos as the primary appeal.
Reflection: 20 Points Possible
Self-reflection is included -a solid paragraph that assesses what you believe to be the strengths and weaknesses in your writing and any specific areas you would like help with.
CHOOSE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING :
Is capitalism the best economic system?
Is socialism the best economic system?
Is America ready for a female president?
Should TV censor explicit content because programmers have an obligation to produce family-friendly programming?
Social media simultaneously draws us together and pulls us apart; does the good outweigh the bad or vice versa?
Is a gap year precious time for exploration and reflection or a year-long vacation?
In cases of terminal illness, should a patient be able to request medically-assisted suicide?
Should smoking be illegal?
Does our modern perspective change the “truth” of what happened during major historical events?
Does homework help kids learn?
Should school go year-round?
How can school be fairer for kids from different backgrounds?
Do schools treat boys and girls the same way?
Should video games be a sport?
Are schools doing enough to stop bullying?
Is the #metoo movement a good thing?
Should animal testing be stopped?
Should the drinking age be lowered?
Are parents responsible for childhood obesity?
Should college be free of charge?
Are all college majors equally important?
Is social media bad for children?
Is it worth exploring space?
Should income be tied to the cost of a degree?
Is climate change the most serious threat to the world?
Is feminism still important?
Has society made the necessary reparations for slavery?
Should elections be decided by popular vote?
Are all people entitled to free health care?
Do anti-discrimination laws do enough to protect disabled students?
Is a degree from an online college as legitimate as a degree from a brick-and-mortar school?
Should manufacturers be responsible for the effects of the chemicals used in the creation of their products?
Should illegal immigrants be granted residency?
Is there a fake news problem? What is the source?
Does “big pharma” have people’s best interests at heart?
Is the death penalty a just punishment?
Is life more challenging for your generation or your parents’?
Should people be allowed to burn the flag?