Explaining Concepts

This is the biggest paper this semester. It will be worth 300 points, twice as much as the other essays. The essay will be a minimum of 1500 words, 6-8 pages.

From your textbook: “Choose a concept that interests you enough to study further. Write an essay explaining the concept. Consider carefully what your readers already know about the concept and how your essay can add to their knowledge” (Axelrod & Cooper 225).

This paper will require research. You must use at least three outside sources, cite and document them in correct MLA documentation style.

Your concept paper can (and should) work in conjunction with the last paper of the semester, which will be an argument. Therefore, in choosing your topic to explain, think of a subject you want to persuade an audience to take your side on. For the concept paper, you will explain your subject in an unbiased manner. In the persuasion/argument, you will take the facts you discovered and discussed to convince your audience to do or think the way you do about this subject.

Therefore, choose your topic carefully. This should be an issue that you feel strongly about, that you really want to convince people of, and that you want to find more about.

Some possible ideas:

1.     Wal-Mart is not good for a small town’s economy—

a.  For the concept essay, you will research Wal-Mart’s policies and actions and present them in an unbiased way.

b.  For the persuasion paper, you will try to convince your audience not to shop at Wal-Mart.

2.     Hemp should be legalized and grown by tobacco companies—

a.  Explain the many potential products from hemp, how easy it is to grow, and the benefits of growing it. Explain factually.

b.  Argue that if tobacco companies replace their crops with hemp, everyone would benefit.

3.     Internet dating services are the best means of meeting someone.

a.   for the concept paper, you will describe the different dating services online and how they work. You could interview someone who had a bad experience and someone who had a good experience.

4.     Pit bulls should not be discriminated against.

5.     Political topics

6.     Environmental issues

7.     Gender issues (women’s rights, homosexuality, men’s rights)

8.     DO NOT write on:

a.  Abortion

b.  Marijuana

c.  Religious Issues

For face-to-face classes this essay will be due for workshopping 11/2 and the final version due 11/7.