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ENGL U102 - Composition II - Professor Richie: Assignment

Pro/Con Editorials

Pro/Con Editorials


Part I. Research: Pick a controversial topic that has possible solutions and research it. You must find at least four sources (two must be from the library: books, databases, documentaries, etc.) on your topic. You will make a Works Cited page documenting all of your sources.

Part II. Pro/Con Editorials:

Many people have a hard time seeing beyond their own viewpoints. For this paper your entire assignment is based on being able to play “the believing game” in order to connect to and empathize with another viewpoint.

Based on what you discovered during your research, write two editorials (approx. 1 ½ - 2 pages each) that are each written from the point of view of a person who is strongly committed to one side of your proposal. One editorial will support your view, the other will oppose it. Your editorials must specifically discuss/debate the possible solutions to the problem.

Each editorial must be written from the persona of a real person who is emotionally connected to and adequately informed about the subject (i.e. do not make either persona sound irrational or clueless). Your persona must discuss the main points and specific information you found in your research. Include correctly cited summaries and at least one quote for each editorial.


1)The first page of your paper must have your full name, my name, the class name, and the due date in the upper left hand corner of the first page, double-spaced (see example in the top left of this assignment sheet).

2)You must give both your editorials titles, and you lose points for boring titles like “My Pro/Con Editorials”

3)Your papers must all be typed and double spaced, using Times New Roman 12 point font.

4)You must include your last name and the page # in either the header or footer of each page.

5)Your editorials must each be 1 ½ - 2 pages long, for a total of 3 - 4 pages. Note: Using abnormally large spaces between lines or paragraphs, starting halfway down the paper on the first page, using giant margins, or other formatting tricks you may be tempted to use will not count towards your total page number, so be advised.


Pretend you are submitting these editorials as letters to the editor in the Spartanburg Herald. The readers of this newspaper are your audience, and this should dictate the tone and language style.

Objectives (What you’ll be graded on):

1) Write accordingly for your audience.

2) Establish a strong narrative voice, and use vivid descriptions and college level vocabulary.

3) Adequately discuss the views of two distinct viewpoints on your topic.

4) Handle each persona respectfully.

5) Include a correctly formatted Works Cited page with four sources (two library sources)

6) Include correctly cited summaries and quotes (at least one in each editorial).

7) Use grammar and mechanics correctly.

8) Follow all formatting guidelines listed on this assignment sheet.

A warning about topics:

  • No topics are off limits, but you need to pick a topic you can be objective about. Your editorials need to have at least as much logos as pathos.
  • Make sure you choose a topic you’re interested in and can find credible sources on.