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Step 1
Read the following prompt:
Our country is currently experiencing a socio-political polarization it has arguably not
seen since the Civil War, as antipathy and outright animosity between people on
opposite sides of the political spectrum has increased. While there are many causesincome inequality, demographic changes, extremist political ideologies-you will be
asked to choose what you believe is the single greatest contributor to the current crisis
is and make an argument. As this is not a history or political science class, you need
not focus so much on whether your answer is right or wrong per say, but on how
well you make your point. What rhetorical strategies will you employ (do not tell us
what these are in your paper, by the way-a clever writer and speaker never reveals her
tricks!) to persuade your readers? What evidence will you provide to support your
Step 2
Research your subject. You will need at least five sources (three can be readings from
class). Make sure that your sources are credible.
Step 3
Fill out the outline template included in this week’s module
The outline will help you organize your thoughts before you get started on your rough
draft. Remember to copy and paste the template onto a word or google document, fill
it out, and then submit it as an Assignment.
Outline is due next Thursday, Week 5 (20 points).
Step 4
Write your essay.
Your essay should be about 4-5 pages and address the prompt above.
It should adhere to MLA format (double-spaced, use 12 font Calibri or Times
New Roman) and cite authors accordingly.
The works cited page must be written on a separate page and include at
least three sources (refer to MLA Format in the Week 2 Module).
How to Structure Your Essay:
Introduction (1-2 paragraphs)
Your introduction should do the following:
Introduce your argument. The stand you take should be clear. What is the
single greatest problem causing our current socio-political crisis? Briefly state
some of your reasons for believing this.
Body (3-4 paragraphs)
Your body paragraphs should do the following:
Discuss your specific claims. Each claim should be discussed in a separate
What specific evidence do you provide to back your argument and claims?
Which texts or authors are you basing your arguments on?
Include your opponents’ counterarguments in one of your body paragraphs.
How will you respond to those who disagree with you?
Conclusion (1-2 paragraphs)
Your conclusion should wrap everything up. You can briefly restate your thesis and
emphasize why this subject matters. You could consider addressing the following
Why does your argument or the subject itself, matter?
What should your audience further consider regarding your subject?
What possible solutions might you suggest to address the problem(s) facing
our nation?
Try to end your paper on a strong note.

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