This list provides topics which are focused (not too broad), challenging (not just factual), and grounded (not too speculative). All the topics are debatable, establishing a basis for a good persuasive argument paper. Choose one of these topics: Water/Environment: Last year, Americans bought more than 4 billion gallons of water in individual-portion bottles. The environmental impact to all those plastic bottles, made from non-renewable resources like natural gas and petroleum is a concern.eAlthough bottled water is 10,000 times the cost of tap water, consumers are reluctant to give up their bottled water. They feel bottled water is safer and convenient to carry around. In your thesis take a position for or against buying bottled water. Human trafficking: The exploitation of human beings is a world problem, yet this form of slavery is not something that only occurs outside our borders. The United States Department of State estimates that between 14,000 and 18,000 individuals are trafficked into the country each year. The laws in place have not been helpful in controlling this kind of trafficking. Choose a position: More border regulation should/should not be in place to reduce human trafficking into the United States. Fat Tax: More and more countries are adopting fat taxes (adding more tax to junk food and soft drinks) in an effort to curb rising obesity rates and also to offset the economic costs of obesity. Numerous studies suggest that as the price of a food decreases, individuals get fatter. Yet, since the poor spend a greater portion of their income on food, such a tax has been said to be regressive. In your thesis, take a position for or against the fat tax. Profiling: Balancing security concerns with demonstrating respect and dignity for travelers has been an issue since 9/11. Profiling should/should not be an accepted form of fighting terrorism in airports. Use of power: Argue that power (economic, political, or social) is still misused against some groups or individuals in the U.S. Be specific about what kind of power and what group/ individual is targeted. Provide specific evidence. Student Loans: A generation ago, the federal government opened its student loan bank to profit-making corporations. Since then, student debt has become one of the worst kinds of debt for American students (best for banks and loan collectors). Student loans are not even allowed to be dismissed in bankruptcy. Consider some possible solutions: Permitting loan forgiveness, allowing bankruptcy, eliminating private collection agencies from this process. Organization: Introduction, supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion. Language: Use formal language and avoid the use of first and second person — avoid references to yourself (NO “I believe, in my opinion” etc.), no personal anecdotes, and do not address the reader (avoid “you” altogether). Documentation: five correctly documented quotes or paraphrases from five adequate sources. Style: APA style is usually used for the type of research you will be doing. Continue in that style unless otherwise stated by your professor. Cross-referncing: You must use in-text citations (also known as in-text references) or signal phrases each time you use the words or ideas of your sources in the essay. Cross-reference your work as explained in your handbook. The handbook is especially necessary for this essay. Support: You’ll need a minimum of five sources. Support your ideas with expert opinion, facts, statistics, and other information you find in your research. It is a mistake to create a Frankenstein research paper by copying and pasting. Use the topic you chose in Discussion D2.2 Choose a Topic/Thesis Statement If you are not comfortable with the topic you chose, see “If you wish to change topics” below. Take a position: This is not merely a pro/con paper where you list both sides of an argument. In this paper, you will take a side. Know your position. State the opposition’s viewpoint: Because this is an argument, you must bring up the opposition’s position and do your best to establish counter arguments to refute it. Do more research: A minimum of five references is required for this paper. They must all be from different sources. Write in formal English: This is a research paper, so keep to the formal third person (avoid “I” and “You”) and avoid personal anecdotes. Proofread carefully! If you are not sure of your writing skills, you may go to one of the MDC campuses to the Writing Lab where tutors are available. You may also use free online tutoring through Smartthinking.com. Go to the link under Tools and Resources (side menu) to find out about this resource. Revise, edit, and proofread. I can’t stress this enough. Format correctly according the the documentation style your professor assigns. To assure that your Microsoft Word program does not force those extra spaces on you, remember to go to Paragraph > and click on the box on the left-had corner that reads “do not add extra spaces between like paragraphs.” IF you wish to change topics: Your new topic (different from the one that was accepted in Discussion D2.2), you must submit: your alternate topic and a statement of purpose a preliminary thesis statement for your research paper. The thesis statement should be a complete sentence in which your purpose and position is clear. Your topic must be debatable for an argument paper. Please check the other debatable topic options available in D2.2 or suggest your own. Avoid the overdone topics such as capital punishment and abortion (I will not approve them). Some possible debatable topics are: Romantic love is a poor basis for marriage. Juvenile murderers should/ should not be tried as adults. Foster parenting isn’t working and should be banned. Most forms of government welfare should/should not be abolished. Censorship is sometimes/never justified. All citizens under the age of 21 should be required to pass a driving education course before receiving a license to drive. Trans fat and high fructose corn syrup are the cause of the obesity epidemic in America. Gasoline taxes should be raised in order to encourage less driving. Troops should/should not be immediately pulled out of foreign bases (or choose one particular base). Tax breaks to large corporations should/should not be eliminated.
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