Formal Writing Assignment 02

(2096 of your final grade)

Writing requires tension. When there is no tension, there is no need to write: everything is solved and
nothing is left to decide.

In academic writing, tension is derived from the pull of various arguments, each toward its own end.
Where one writer is in favor, another is against, and a third sides half and half with both. There may be
hundreds, thousands, even millions of voices in a discourse. So it is a grave mistake to write as though
only your perspective matters. The act of writing about an issue amounts to volunteering to join this
discourse. Writers who fail to acknowledge other perspectives appear to lack credibility and are easy to
reject. A writer who wishes to be taken seriously must take others seriously.

It is not enough to explain yourself. You must be able to explain others as well.

Step 1: Research the topic you wrote about for essay ill. Use books, newspaper, journal, or magazine
articles, televised interviews, documentaries, and/or other sources to identify various perspectives with
regard to your topic. You may also consider using primary sources, which might include interviews
(including ones you conduct), data you have collected directly from the source (i.e., polling data or
membership statistics), or materials that are in their original form, prior to academic analysis, such as a
historical figure’s journal writings or the transcript of a speech. Keep detailed notes as you research.
Step 2: Determine the relative credibility of each perspective you uncover. For example, investigate the
writer’s personal history, affiliations, belief system, willingness to find and report facts honestly, and
reputation. How do other people in the discourse view the writer and/or the writer’s views? And why do
they view the writer and/or the writer’ 5 views that way? Again, it is essential that you keep thorough
notes as you research.

Step 3: Write a 4-5 page investigation of the discourse that shapes your issue.

0 Begin with an introduction that provides the general overview of the discourse. What are the
general viewpoints that others have taken? The introduction should be 1-2 paragraphs. It should
not give your opinion or view-it should present the overall discourse.

0 Write the essay body as an investigation of different ways of thinking about the issue. Do not
invent different ways of thinking about the issue; instead base each new way of thinking about
the issue on a real person or group of people who believe in that way of thinking. One way to
organize this is to allow each paragraph to represent a different person or group. Some
viewpoints might require many paragraphs, while other viewpoints might only require one.

0 Do not simply retell what others have said; instead, spend some time in each body
paragraph retelling and some time placing specific views in a larger picture.

0 Write a conclusion that sums up the discourse. The conclusion should not be your point of view.
It should be an objective summary of other people’s points of view. The conclusion should also
not just be a rewritten introduction; it should give the reader a sense of where to go from here.