adding new points based H u m a n i t i e s
Essay #3: Writing in the Public Sphere
You will select a social issue, describe it and present your point of view about the issue in your
essay. (A list of possible topics is below; if you select a topic NOT on the list, your professor
must approve of the topic.) Conduct online research for your paper and choose two newspaper
articles, preferably from The New York Times, but if you choose another source, your professor
MUST approve that source in order for you to use it.
Students will gather background information about the topic and share one writer’s point of
view, which you may agree or disagree with, as long as you can support your opinion.
1st paragraph: Information on social issue
! Introduce the social issue to which you are responding. Assume your audience does not
know about the topic, so explain it well. Be sure to introduce the issue in a way that
interests and engages your readers. Think about how you can make the issue interesting
and relevant to them. This paragraph does NOT contain your opinion.
2nd and 3rd paragraphs: Summarize the information from your two sources
! In your summary of each source, introduce the title and author of each one and the
publication date, since that may be relevant. Again you are not stating your opinion yet,
but you may state the opinion of one or both of your sources.
4th and 5th paragraphs: Presentation of your thoughts about the social issue
! Here is where you’ll present your own thoughts and ideas on the social issue. You should
not simply agree or disagree with what the sources say. Instead, think about what YOU
can add to the discussion. How can you use your own (or someone you know)
experiences to agree, disagree, add to, and/or challenge what the source says? Be sure to
support your opinions by referencing the authors’ points and evidence, and by adding
new points based on your own experiences.
If you have no personal experience with this topic, or don’t know anyone who has had
experience, find someone who does during your research and share that person’s
6th Paragraph: Action Plan
! What can be done to solve the problem? This is difficult because, assuming it’s a
widespread problem, other people have had a hard time trying to solve it. Therefore,
think about this and try to offer a solution, or offer a solution described in one of the
articles that you chose. Or, if you know someone who has a possible solution, you can
interview that person.
Suggested Topics for Essay #3: Social Issues-Writing in the Public Sphere
the topic I choose is: Rise in gun violence in the U.S.
Length of essay: 4-5 pages, double spaced. MLA FORMAT