Short Essay #2 – Counterargument & Rebuttal
Final Draft Due: Thursday, July 1st (through Turnitin.com on Canvas by 6:00 p.m.)
Overview: When you make an argument, you do so by proposing a thesis and offering reasoning, using evidence, that suggests why your thesis is true. When you counterargue, you also include an argument against your thesis. This allows you to anticipate the doubts of a skeptical reader, so you can be a writer and thinker who 1) weighs alternatives before arguing for a position, 2) confronts difficulties instead of sweeping them under the rug, and 3) is more interested in discovering the truth than winning a point.
Specifics: For this second paper, you will write a three-page MLA-formatted essay arguing about a free speech issue of your choosing and also focus on presenting the opposition (a counterargument and rebuttal) in at least one paragraph. This prompt requires you to write about this article: Sara Morrison’s “Covering the Transgender Community: How Newsrooms Are Moving Beyond the ‘Coming Out’ Story to Report Crucial Transgender Issues” (page 580). After reviewing these essays, you must use it as a source in your essay, in any way you like. Be sure to choose a topic that enables you to quote one of these texts! You will need two or more outside sources (any) as support; I suggest using the library’s databases to ensure credibility.
Potential topics: Here is a list of potential free speech-related topics you might be interested in writing about that connect with the textbook’s essays. Feel free to branch out from these rather general topics.
1. The effects of LGBTQ+ representation changing/growing in modern media
2. The effects of language on marginalized groups, such as women, LGBTQ+ folks, etc.
3. The effects of censorship and/or explicitly safe spaces (classrooms, workplaces, etc.)
4. The effects of national conversations surrounding prejudice/equality/political correctness
5. We can talk about other ideas if you’re struggling to concentrate on a specific issue!
Requirements: Craft an enticing and relevant title (e.g., not just “Short Essay #2”). Put forth a clear, well-developed, argumentative thesis that is addressed in the counterargument and throughout your paper. Offer your own original ideas and analysis. Sustain a counterargument. Use evidence from at least three outside sources, not including the textbook essay you will reference. Write in an appropriate, college-level tone (third-person POV [no “I/we/our”] and no slang). Supply evidence (e.g., direct quotations) from your chosen sources. Clearly introduce and analyze all quoted and paraphrased material; show the reader how the examples you’ve included support and prove your points (instead of making the reader guess at the connections – remember, 1. claim 2. evidence 3. analysis). Be sure your introductory sentences transition smoothly and work to introduce the ideas within each paragraph. Write with clarity and precision, demonstrating a mastery of standard English grammar, punctuation, and mechanics. Adhere to MLA format (Works Cited page with your chosen essay and other sources listed, in-text citations, 12-point Times New Roman). Write 800+ words, or at least three full pages in length (you must fill the third page in order to meet this requirement and avoid point deduction).