choose a topic that concerns you and develop a portrayal of your position about it and why you feel as you do. For instance, suppose that you have responded strongly to the recent news about Governor Brown’s budget proposals and its cuts to higher and K-12 education; mental health services and other social welfare programs; elimination of community development programs and so on (and on). This assignment does not ask you to research the specifics of the cuts or how people have responded to it, but rather to argue “from the heart,” using specifics from experience or those that you construct anecdotally. You would not, then, choose this topic if you had little feeling about it, but if you did—perhaps a relative works in state funded mental health care—it might be a good choice. The central focus will be on your response and how the should inform the way that readers think about it. The topic need not be a general social concern (like economics), but can also take the shape of something that affects you or a family member or a friend—because, by extension, anything that affects one person also affects everyone in some way.
The teaching/learning goals for this paper include:
• Setting up/discovering a clear rhetorical purpose
• Considering audience
• Creating clear logical connections between idea
• Developing conclusions that do more than summarize