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Formal Scholarly Essay: Definition, Description and Proposal of a Problem and Solution

Assignment Prompt and Related Course Outcome

Description: Approximately 5-7 pages double-spaced, Times New Roman font Related Course Outcome: Apply knowledge of rhetorical strategies to define a problem and offer possible solutions for an academic, scholarly audience Rough Draft Due Date: Friday, December 3 at 11:59 p.m. Final Draft Due Date: Friday, December 10 at 11:59 p.m. Point Value: 250 points Prompt: Write a formal scholarly essay that takes the form of a proposal. Define and describe a significant problem and propose a solution or possible solutions. This assignment requires you to identify a local, national, or global problem that could be solved by an organization, community members, or by government action. You may work with the same problem as your last writing assignment (the limited audience letter), or you may choose a different problem to work with if you wish. Make sure that your problem is specific enough that you can deal with it within the confines of this assignment but big enough that you can bring in outside sources to help support your argument. Guidelines and Tips: ? Audience and Genre: Keep in mind that your audience for this essay differs from the letter you just wrote. The letter was directed at a limited audience. You may have even written it to someone you know well. This writing assignment is of a different genre (the formal academic essay). Therefore, you are writing for a broader audience of scholars, thinkers, teachers, and students. Your style should be more formal. You should cite all of your information using MLA format (in-text citations and Works Cited page). Your analysis and evidence used should be more heavy on logos (though you can still use pathos in conjunction with reason and logic). Overall, this is a less personal, more objective text than the last one. ? Rhetoric: The goal is to apply and demonstrate what you have learned about rhetoric over the past few weeks. This means that you should do analysis of the rhetorical situation before writing. To whom are you writing (again, this will be different than your last assignment)? What is the basic subject of your essay? What is your purpose? What “persona” are you adopting as speaker? What rhetorical strategies can you use to reach your audience for your specific purpose? ? Research: Unlike with the limited letter you wrote for the last assignment, this formal essay necessitates the use of outside sources. You are required to use at least three credible sources for support in your essay (properly cited). You are allowed to use more than three sources if you wish. What role will the sources play in your essay? Given your rhetorical situation, here are a few ways you may use the sources you find: o Basic Fact-Finding: For instance, someone writing about the COVID pandemic may need to find data from government and health agencies about the spread of the virus. o To understand what has already been said about the subject: By citing scholars who have previously written about your topic, you are acknowledging you are aware of the work that has already been done and you are “entering a conversation” about your problem and solution(s). o To provide necessary background information for the reader: This could be historical information about some aspect of the topic, but it might also be cultural or geographical information. o To gain a conceptual understanding about some aspect of the subject: If you were researching police violence towards U.S. residents, for example, you would need to understand the dynamics of racism and tension between police and citizens. o To develop a broader view of the subject: Perhaps you are writing about a local problem (e.g. labor laws in Illinois), but you want to understand what is happening with this issue on a national and international level in order to better understand what is happening in your community. ? Structure and Approach: You will need to persuade your audience that your issue IS a problem before you can then get on to possible solutions. Next, you need to propose a solution for your problem and argue for that solution. It is usually necessary to argue for one solution (or solutions) while also showing why other solutions are incomplete or in adequate for fully addressing the problem. Here is (one) possible overall outline for structuring your essay: o Intro Paragraph ? Attention-getting hook—startling statistics, dramatic story, challenging question, etc. ? Brief establishment of the issue at hand ? Significance to society in general and the target audience ? Thesis statement: direct statement of problem and your possible solution(s) o Establishing the Problem ? More detailed overview of the problem or controversy ? Relevant and necessary background information ? History of the problem? How did the problem develop? ? Statistics to show that this is a problem? ? Contextualizing the scope of the problem? ? Examples of the problem? ? Causes and effects of the problem? o Recommendations for Solving the Problem ? Possible Solutions offered by others ? Information from source(s) ? Critical analysis of this solution ? Discussion of limitations of this solution ? Repeat for any additional possible solutions ? Best solution for effectively handling the problem ? Information from source(s) ? Critical analysis of this solution ? Discussion of why/how this is the best solution ? Solvency (how your proposal would solve the problem) o Conclusion ? Re-cap your thesis/main idea ? “So What?” –Expand upon why this problem matters ... why your audience should be concerned about it ? Emphasize the work that is still needed regarding this problem ? Recommendation for further exploration or action ? Where do we go from here? Criteria for Evaluation: ? Identification of Problem 25 points The essay clearly defines and describes the problem in a rhetorically effective manner. ? Exploration of Possible Solutions 25 points The essay clearly explores and evaluates possible solutions to the problem in a rhetorically effective manner. ? Analysis of Rhetorical Situation 25 points The speaker has identified and applied an understanding of the relationship among the speaker, audience, and subject. The purpose is clearly articulated and reinforced throughout the text. ? Application of Rhetorical Strategies 25 points The text clearly and effectively uses multiple appropriate rhetorical strategies to accomplish the purpose for the specific audience. ? Evidence and Commentary 50 points The text appropriately uses credible sources to support the central argument and provides commentary on those sources to connect them back to the central problem and solution(s) ? Structure and Line of Reasoning 50 points The essay is structured to maximize the rhetorical message. Appropriate transitions are used to guide the audience through the line of reasoning. ? Grammar, Spelling, Mechanics, MLA Conventions 50 points Total: 250 points

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