Opinion Essay: (750 words—about three pages) This essay, aimed at a general audience, willrefer to specifics from one of the novels we’ve read to make a point about an issue of urgentimportance in the world. You should draw on what you have learned from your research andexpress your own opinion on the subject. This is the Signature Assignment for the course, whichmeans that it will be evaluated in relation to the two main Gen Ed learning outcomes for thecourse: Written Communication and Civic Engagement / Intercultural Knowledge.
Your final essay is not quite as long as the presentation report, and it will have a different focusin that your main goal is to express an opinion. If you want to write about the same topic thatyou used for your presentation, you can—and you can draw on the research you did—but theessay can not reuse what you wrote for the report. Therefore, if you are using the same topic,you should find an aspect of the debate that you didn't previously address, or focus morenarrowly on a particular proposal or position.
Please keep in mind the two essential elements of the essay: 1) you must refer to one of thenovels we've read, citing plot or characters or settings as examples of the issues addressed inyour essay, and 2) you must engage with the issue in the real world, commenting on how itaffects our society or particular communities. "Civic Engagement / Intercultural Knowledge"means that you will demonstrate that you are both informed about issues of civic importanceand involved in attempts to address them. In this context, "involved in" could mean simplywillingness to express your opinion to others. But I also encourage you to write about yourpersonal efforts to create change, whether that's through your studies, your community roles, oryour career ambitions.
Here's a rough suggested outline for your essay:
Introductory paragraph: point to a specific element of a novel of your choice (an event, aquote, some aspect of setting) that shows us the dangers or implications of a particular issue.Explain how it relates to the real world. End with a statement of your thesis: what do you thinkthe real issue is, and/or what do you think should be done?Paragraphs 2-4: Elaborate on the impact of this issue on society, using elements from the novelas occasional points of comparison. (E.g. "Like Marcus in Little Brother, we're not always surewhen we're being surveilled…"). Provide real-world evidence and make sure you make clearwhy you think it's a problem.Paragraphs 5-7: Outline what is being done currently and what you think should be done tosolve the problem. Provide arguments to justify your approach. Touch on any broader social orphilosophical questions the issue provokes. And for the sake of a coherent presentation, bringyour argument back to how it resonates with the novel.
TALKING ABOUT ABORTION RIGHTS
FROM THE NOVEL “ HOUSE OF THE SCORPION” BY NANCY FARMER