Posted: September 23rd, 2022
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Paper 1 – Issue Proposal English 1302: Rhetoric and Composition II The Rhetorical Situation Any academic or public policy research project begins by identifying an issue, which is simply an unsettled question that matters to a community. In the proposal stage of a project, a writer takes stock of their current knowledge of and position on an issue and develops a research plan. A well-constructed issue proposal serves as a blueprint for the project as a whole and helps define a feasible scope for the project. Your audience for this paper will be your classmates and I. The content will consist of a proposal for a research project that will span the entire semester. Brainstorming and publishing You first need to choose an issue that will hold your interest for a full semester and will sustain semester-long research. To come up with such an issue, do some brainstorming on the following questions: What do I enjoy reading about most? What do I know the most about? What am I most curious about? What do I enjoy arguing about most? What issues in my community do I care about most? Once you choose an issue, you will not be able to change your mind later because all the writing assignments in this course build on one another. In other words, choose wisely! Before you start publishing, apply the “Twelve Tests of an Arguable Issue.” If you cannot answer “yes” to all twelve questions, change or modify your issue until you can. Now you are ready to start publishing. Start by constructing a comprehensive overview of what you know about the issue already. As you go, explain how you acquired the knowledge you possess by tracing it back to its sources in as much detail as possible. If you conduct a thorough inventory of your current knowledge, you should generate at least one or two pages of content in this section. Your most important goal in this paper is to construct a specific research plan that will guide your activities throughout the semester. To begin, publish the specific research questions you hope to answer in your final project. (Obviously your research questions might change as you learn more about your issue, but your current questions will get you started.) Next, publish answers to your current research questions. Your answers will be highly speculative at this point, but they will help build the framework for your research. You should produce at least a page of content in this section. Next, describe where you will look to find answers to your research questions. Be specific! Name specific authors, books, periodicals, websites, databases, etc. You should produce at least a half page of content in this section. Describe specific audiences that you hope to target with your final project, and identify potential publication venues through which you will reach those audiences. Also, describe the sorts of people you expect to position as allies and those you expect to position as opponents. You should produce at least a half page of content in this section. Putting It All Together As you prepare a publish that you’ll share with readers, begin with an introduction (which need not be limited to a single paragraph) that accomplishes three goals: acknowledges what “they say” (see Ch. 1) provides an “I say” (see Ch. 4) answers the “so what?” and “who cares?” questions (see Ch. 7) For this paper, the “they say” is not a view you’re agreeing with or disagreeing with. Rather, it’s simply the conversation surrounding the issue you have selected. Begin by summarizing that conversation. Your “I say” will not be a conventional thesis statement because you’re not ready to support a firm position. Instead, your “I say” will simply be a preview of the different parts of this initial proposal. The answer to the “who cares?” question is you, your classmates, and I. To answer the “so what?” question, explain to us why your issue is important to the stakeholders it concerns and why it is complex enough to sustain semester-long research. Once you have an introduction in place, feel free to arrange the content you have published in whatever way is most effective. In most cases it will make sense simply to organize the proposal in the sequence laid out in the “Brainstorming and publishing” section. Choosing an Appropriate Style You style should be informal yet clear, retaining your own voice but making accommodations for the rest of us (see Ch. 9). I do insist that you use paragraphs, simply because they make things easier on readers. A strong paragraph usually includes a clear topic sentence that is supported by sentences that cluster around it without going off on tangents. You don’t need to adhere strictly to Standard English, but do not be sloppy. Proofread carefully to ensure that your paper reads the way you want it to and that you’ve corrected unintentional errors. The Purdue OWL website (https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/) is a terrific resource for information on standard writing conventions. Specs Your paper must adhere to MLA guidelines as outlined in the Unit 5 video and Purdue OWL. In other words, your paper must be double-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman font, with one-inch margins all the way around, and a proper heading and title. Length requirement: 1200-1500 Words excluding Works Cited in needed.
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