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Jill Adams: Assignment

English U101 Jill Adams All Sections

Building Your Paper

Pick an arguable topic that is timely and interests you, then research it. Find information on the background/history of your topic, as well as sources that demonstrate the differing viewpoints on your topic.  Choose credible sources. (Two of these sources MUST come from books, database articles, or encyclopedia entries ( One may be an article from a website with ethos. You will include them on a Works Cited page.)  

Critical Conversation Introduction and Background - The first paragraph of any essay should grab the reader’s attention and make them want to read more. Using what you learned in class about introductions, write a one or two paragraph introduction that includes a pathos-based story to draw the reader in.  Research the background history of your topic and write two or three paragraphs summarizing what your topic is—including any major events in history related to your topic—and explaining why this topic is important: why should people care about this topic?  Find at least one article or encyclopedia entry and make sure you cite all information you give that doesn’t come from your own brain. Any sources you quote/paraphrase/summarize must be included in your Works Cited.


Part of your assignment is to offer some background information on your issue:

Give a brief history of your issue, mention if this is part of a larger issue.  Be specific and use sources (such as those listed below) to help you to offer background information.  Make sure to note when this issue first became a problem, has the problem changed over time? Is the issue still a problem today? Who is effected / impacted? Has the problem been addressed by anyone, if so who?


Encyclopedias and Reference materials are a good place to find background information on your topic.  Below find some Reference Sources to start your reseach.

Other Sources


What are some of the different viewpoints people have about this issue? (Hint: Most viewpoints don’t fit neatly into “support” or “oppose.” often is is not an issue of back and white but rather several shades of gray.  You will not find someone saying YEA, child abuse, but you may find people who support corporal punishment (spanking).  Look at specific arguments over who or what is responsible for a particular problem, who is effected by the problem, who is working to solve the problem, and how it can be or is being solved.)

Find 2 articles that offer different information about your problem or issue.

Each article should offer either background information, a view point, and or a solution. For each article write down the following information.  

  • Author(s):
  • Title of Article:
  • Title of the Periodical (Journal, Magazine, or Newspaper):
  • Volume and/or Issue number:
  • Date:
  • Page numbers:
  • Database name: