Controversy Paper (Regarding Background Research for Your Chosen Debate)
Purpose: The goal of this short essay is to set you up for success on your Final Research Project by, first, ensuring there is a genuine controversy regarding your chosen topic, before you delve deeply into researching, and, second, by applying a fair and objective balance of critical and sympathetic reading in response to background research. Strive to resist rushing into a position before your research Annotated Bibliography research is complete.
Note of Caution: This first paper is not an argumentative essay and is not intended to support a reasoned argument (enthymeme), but rather this is a preparatory background research assignment BEFORE you begin your deeper Annotated Bibliography research that you will later analyze to develop an enthymeme for your Final Research Essay.
Summary: To guide development of your central research arc, write a controversy paper that’s at least three full pages long (not including notes), with a recommended maximum of four, on the same topic as your approved Proposal. Identify the pressing social problem facing our world today that you have selected as your focus this term, examine the central controversy surrounding competing efforts to address this problem, pinpoint the various stake holders in the debate, and contextualize at least one guiding question-at-issue that will focus and direct your Annotated Bibliography research; to do so, analyze quotations and examples from a small introductory sample of reliable research sources found from independent research (not assigned sources from Everybody Eats), including at least three research sources (at least two scholarly articles and one reliable popular source) that frame the parameters of the debate regarding your chosen social problem. (Please note: these three Controversy Paper sources cannot be used again in your Annotated Bibliography.)
Core Requirements for a Complete Score: In order to be eligible for a “complete” score worth ten units of labor (with two points earned for meeting each of the five goals listed below), your first version of your Controversy Paper must:
1) Include an introduction that contextualizes the social problem to be explored, establishes what is at stake in the debate surrounding it and for whom, and frames the parameters of the controversy with brief summations of the main competing views.
2) Devote several body paragraphs to BOTH sympathetically understanding and critically analyzing the most relevant and pressing positions in this debate, especially via quoted specific reasoning and evidence from your introductory research sampling of three sources (at least two scholarly articles and one reliable popular source). These sources you choose and the selected quotes you analyze should demonstrate direct debate among the authors’ reasoning and evidence.
3) Offer a conclusion that poses at least one pressing question-at-issue you will explore in your Annotated Bibliography research, which you will later use to develop your eventual enthymematic thesis for your Final Research Essay. (It’s fine if your central question has become more refined than the questions-at-issue you posited in your Proposal because your inquiry will evolve alongside your research, but your guiding Controversy Paper question should be on the same topic as your Proposal or you’ll need to resubmit a new Proposal for instructor approval. (Contact me directly ASAP if such is the case.)