Argumentative Paper Topic Proposals

– Do a little research and see what scholars or stakeholders are saying about a topic relevant to your field, your major, your community, or an issue covered in the readings for this class.  Keep in mind that you are looking for ongoing conversations (that is, arguments), not just facts, so you want to choose a topic that has some kind of debate surrounding it.  Skim a few articles (no need to read in-depth at this point, but you might want to save your sources for later use).  Once you’ve read the articles, use the They Say, I Say format to write a paper proposal (length:  one paragraph, meaning at least three sentences).  Attach this document as a Microsoft Word document.

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– Here is the structure for this assignment:

X says___________________whereas Y says________________________.   I will argue ___________________.

– Note: Your paragraph should have enough detail to show you’ve read something.  Use specific details.  Also note that you are writing for academic purposes, so your tone will be more formal than conversational.

– Here is an example (Note that the topic here is “writing” and the “I say” part of the argument reflects this emphasis.  Your topic probably will not be about “writing” and therefore should have quite a different “I Say” section):

– Scholars such as Kenneth Burke and April Brannon have discussed the role of listening in writing.  Burke believes all writing is an act of listening in which the writer situates himself in the “conversation of mankind” while Brannon calls for increased attention to listening, as opposed to voice-claiming, in composition classes.  I intend to investigate the role of listening in writing.  I believe this is a worthy topic because no writing exists in a vacuum, and it is important to acknowledge ongoing conversations and to respond to them in a rhetorically sophisticated way.

–  After the paragraph, list your sources using the appropriate format (MLA or APA).

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