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Argumentation & Persuasion Research Paper: Assignment #5

1. To what extent should teachers take impediments (like drugs and divorce as mentioned in Mary Sherry’s article “In Praise of the ‘F’ Word”) into account when grading students? Are there certain situations that call for leniency or should out-of-school forces affecting students not be considered? To gain perspective on this issue, interview several friends, classmates, and instructors and research what other professionals are saying. Then write an essay in which you argue your position. Provide specific examples to support your arguments, being sure to acknowledge and (when possible) refute opposing viewpoints.

2. Write an essay arguing your position on a controversial school-related issue. Possibilities include but need not be limited to the following: physical education requirements, computer proficiency for graduation, elementary students grouped according to ability, a course in parenting required to be taken by high school students, etc. Once you select a topic, brainstorm to gather insight into varying points of view. When you write, restrict your argument to one level of education, and refute as many opposing viewpoints as you can.

3. Choose a social program or common practice that involves the concept of entitlement. For example, among social programs you could choose affirmative action, Medicaid, Medicare, welfare, or unemployment insurance. Among common practices you might select nepotism (favoring relatives or friends when hiring), legacy admissions to colleges (admitting the children of alumni), or illegal campaign contributions. Research the program or practice. Write an essay in which you explain the effects, compare and contrast the benefits and argue whether that practice or program should continue or not. (Read Star Parker’s “Entitlement” on p. 521 for reference.) Assignment Requirements:

1. Please review the Argumentation and Persuasion Chapter in your book...
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