When writing this paper, you will practice making a logical, ethical, emotionally compelling argument with an attempt to persuade. Format: Typed, double-spaced, 2000-2500 words, not counting references page(s). Font size should be 12 pt. Your rough draft should be at least 5 full pages, and the final draft must be at least 2000 words or you will lose points. Be sure to put the word count on the top right corner of the final draft, along with your ID number. Documentation: Use APA style, including in-text parenthetical documentation. See your textbook.
Sources: Use at least 12 outside sources for your paper, including at least one article from a scholarly journal, preferably a publication that uses the peer review process. Remember to hand in hard copies of all sources that you use. If you fail to hand in hard copies, the instructor will not grade your paper because she will not be able to verify the authenticity of your research, writing, and documentation. Tone: Use a professional tone. In general, avoid using “I” and “you. ” Topic: Choose a controversial topic in an engineering or technical field and take a stand on it.
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Make sure the issue is relatively complex, and not something upon which there is already easy agreement. Your position should probably not be an all-or-nothing stand, but a careful weighing of the many factors that have bearing on your issue. You should show that you have researched the issue in depth and given the matter careful thought. You also need to take a definite stand and try to persuade the reader to accept your view. Keep in mind that you will also give your presentation to the class on this topic, so remember to relate the topic to your peers. Below are suggested topics. Remember that the topic must be relatively controversial.
If you wish to write about a topic not on the list, you must get the instructor’s permission. If you want to choose a different topic than you did for Essay 2, that’s OK as long as the topic has been approved by the instructor or it is on the list. Note: The instructor has not researched these issues. Make sure you look for sources as you decide on a topic, as solid sources are tougher to find for some topics. Crash data recorders in cars: Should they be required by law or do they infringe on our personal rights? Cellular phones and driving safety: Are cell phones a major cause of accidents?
Should teen drivers not use? Laws about? Computer keystroke loggers and workplace or home privacy issues (Your boss or parent can see every letter you type) Computers (or computer games) and gender: Why don’t girls game as much as boys? Are computer games sexist? Computers and their use in schools Digital rights management; music copyright Electromagnetic fields: Harmful to your health? Electronic cash (or Smart Cards) Should cards with computer chips replace current cash system? If so, how? Should they be used for ID purposes? National ID card (electronic): Will it prevent terrorism? Infringe on our personal rights?
Create a police state? Engineering education issues (Let instructor know specifics. ) Fuel cell vehicles: They’re great, but are they feasible? Hybrid vehicles (be sure to find a controversial angle) Intelligent traffic systems Internet issues (Let instructor know specifics you want to research. ) Labeling of genetically modified foods (sometimes called genetically engineered foods) Snowmobiles in Yellowstone: Should they be limited? Do they significantly hurt environment? Fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks (CAFE standards): Are they too wimpy or just right? Lawn chemicals and health hazards
Phosphorus ban being considered for local fertilizers: Some think it would help clean up Madison area lakes Farm chemicals and health hazards (Focus on one chemical, for example atrazine) Medical privacy and computerized records Should students be required to purchase laptop for college? (Some schools do this. ) Alaskan oil drilling (To drill or not to drill in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge [ANWR]? ) Artificial (plastic) surfaces for hockey rinks (Fake ice): Should it be used for practice facilities, competition surfaces in warm climates? Does it cause injuries? (Can’t remember if one brand is called Glice)
Artificial skin (Think about burn patients, although I’m not sure there’s controversy here. ) Turf for sports: real grass vs. new kinds of turf (such as Field Turf, Sport Grass, Astro Play) for football stadiums (Are newer fake turfs safer than grass? Think about player injuries. If you choose this topic, limit yourself to NFL or college or high school. You might even limit yourself to Camp Randall. ) Bottled water vs. tap water vs. home filtration systems (Which is best? Consider health and cost and federal or state regulations) Cosmetic surgery (For example: Are breast implants safe for teens?
Who should decide if surgery is done? ) (Birthmarks and surgical removal: Who should pay–insurers or the insured? ) (Laser tattoo removal: Should taxpayers pay for ex-gang members to have their tattoos removed? ) (Extreme makeover reality TV: medically safe or not? ) (Should FDA lift its ban on silicone breast implants? ) Bridge/tunnel safety (Think about Milwaukee bridge failure: What went wrong? How to fix? What to do with similar bridges? ) Irradiated meat or produce (To zap or not to zap? To label? To require fast-food joints to zap? Think about e-coli and salmonella) Mad cow disease: How should the U.
S. handle this problem? Just-in-time delivery systems (Think about GM strike a few years ago. ) Retinal implants (for the eye) Materials for tooth fillings (metal vs. composites) Use of lasers to find tiny cavities in teeth (Usually, the cavities are filled later, although some people argue that these tiny cavities might re-mineralize on their own if left unfilled. ) Mining techniques (not sure what’s controversial these days) Music and engineering technology (not sure what’s controversial here either except copyright infringement in downloading songs) Nuclear waste disposal (high level or low level)
Yucca Mountain: Should we proceed with plans to bury high-level waste there or should we explore other options for long-term storage? Or should we leave waste at current sites around nation? How should the material be transported to Yucca Mt.? Olestra (Is fake fat safe for anyone? If so, in what quantities? ) Robotic surgery (Long distance surgery? Although cool, not sure this topic is controversial) Space shuttle program Mission to Mars: a wise policy? feasible? Supersonic transport plane (not sure this has controversial angle anymore, other than whether to bring it back) Trigger locks (Do they work?
Should they be required? Which kind is best? ) Depleted uranium tipped vs. conventional weapons and armor (used in Kosovo and both Gulf wars) Does DU cause medical problems? Should DU weapons and armor be used? Virtual reality vs. reality (Not sure about this topic, but I’m curious about how virtual reality is used in pilot, military, or medical training and whether or not results are the same as for reality training. ) National service: Should you have to serve your government? Photo radar (Camera catches you, and you get ticket in mail): Should police use photo radar to issue tickets? Is it accurate?
Ethanol vs. regular gasoline: Should there be an ethanol mandate? Fly ash concrete: Does it cause health problems or is it a stroke of genius? Driver’s licensing policies for older drivers (Should people lose their licenses at a certain age? Which age? Who decides? ) Use of alternative road salts, such as magnesium chloride (Are they better? If so, which chemical mixture works best? Which is most cost effective? Which is most safe? Which is least harmful to cars and roads? ) Guns in cockpits? Growth hormones for short kids (Are they safe? Should insurers pay? ) Chronic wasting disease (How to fight it?
Should you eat your venison if it’s from the hot zone? if it’s from outside the hot zone? ) Proposed Madison Gas & Electric (MGE) power plant on UW campus (It’s been OK’d: Good idea or not? ) EPD 155 Essay 3 Page 3 of 3 Essay structure Note: This is one possible structure. See your textbook for other options, for example the problem-solution model discussed in Chapter 6. Title: Write an accurate, interesting title. Introduction: Use an introductory strategy we have talked about in class to grab the reader’s attention. Identify the issue you are addressing and give the reader some general background information.
Thesis statement: Present your claim, or assertion. In an argumentative essay, your claim is not a statement of fact because that would be easily verifiable. Rather, your thesis should be a claim about a debatable issue that you support with evidence. Make sure your thesis statement is specific and clear. Remember that the thesis statement should not be a question. Rather, it is the answer to your research question. You should have what your textbook calls a “most ambitious thesis” (Ch. 3). Give evidence: Build your credibility by using the most reliable and relevant evidence you can.
Such forms of evidence might include facts, statistics, examples, expert testimony, research findings, or personal experience. Use appropriate appeals: Appeal to the reader’s mind, heart, and conscience (logos, pathos, and ethos). Set forth a clear, logical argument, using inductive or deductive reasoning (whichever is appropriate for your topic) and appealing to the reader’s intellect. Also try to appeal to your reader’s emotions, if appropriate, as people are not machines. Readers have feelings and attachments (love of family or concern for the environment, for instance) that allow them to be moved on more than the intellectual level.
Be sure to convince the reader that you are worth believing (credible), and appeal to the reader’s ethics or sense of fair play. Cite exceptions and acknowledge common ground: Are there notable exceptions to your claim? In other words, are there circumstances in which you would not press your claim? Are there circumstances when the opposing side could be right? Citing these instances makes your claim seem more realistic. Refute the opposition’s arguments: Anticipate (through research and critical thinking) what the other side might have to say about the issue. Show the reader what is wrong with the other side’s assertions.
Is the evidence faulty? Is the logic flawed? Is the other side unethical? Are there hidden assumptions or biases? Are there causes or effects that the other side did not take into account? Conclusion: In a persuasive essay, this is generally a call to belief or action. Pull out all the stops here. Tell your reader why your side makes more sense. Appeal to emotion again, if appropriate. How does it all fit into the big picture? Why should the reader care about your issue? Who would be affected? Would anyone be hurt? If you can, try to offer a final example, anecdote, or quote to drive home your point.