(This version is approx. 850 words; Portfolio Version is approx. 1000 words)
Option 1 (in 13th edition textbook only): In addition to self-segregated lunch tables as seen in “Graham’s “The ‘Black Table’ Is Still There,” many places have single-race or gender clubs like campus clubs, dormitories, fraternities, etc. Do you see a problem in such behavior? Does such self-segregation divide our society (that is, as a cause) or does it reflect divisions that already exist (that is, as an effect)? Explain what you feel causes this pattern of segregation and what effects, positive or negative, you have observed. Use descriptive personal, observational, and/or hypothetical examples. Also include textual examples from two sources: one must be Graham’s article and the other your own research (outside source, preferably our library’s database, Ebscohost). However, do not use more than five quotations (no block quotations and no paraphrases [summarizing what sources have said]). (2+ sources)
Option 2: “Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder Didn’t Call the Police” (p. 128), “Who Killed Benny Paret?” (p. 337), and “On Dumpster Diving” (p. 672) all encourage readers, either directly or indirectly, to take action rather than remain uninvolved. What are the causes and effects of remaining apathetic during a crisis? Include two sources: Use descriptive personal, observational, and/or hypothetical examples. Also include textual examples from two sources: information gleaned from at least one of these essays from our textbook and information from a researched article (outside source, preferably our library’s database, Ebscohost). However, do not use more than five quotations (no block quotations and no paraphrases [summarizing what sources have said]). (2+ sources)
Option 3: When Chua’s essay was published, it elicited thousands of responses, many of which were negative. For example, some readers thought that her parenting methods were tantamount to child abuse, while some readers admired Chua for her resolve and her emphasis on hard work, and others said that her methods reminded them of their own upbringing. Chua herself responded to readers’ comments by saying that her “tough love” approach was grounded in her desire to make sure her children were the best that they could be. Compare and contrast “Western” parenting to parenting from one or more other cultures. Use descriptive personal, observational, and/or hypothetical examples. Also include textual examples from two sources: Chua’s article and one outside source, preferably our library’s database, Ebscohost. However, do not use more than five quotations (no block quotations and no paraphrases [summarizing what sources have said]). (2+ sources)
Option 4: Choose three or four of Ericsson’s categories from “The Ways We Lie,” and write a classification-and-division essay in which you explore lies that have some sort of connection. To have a debatable thesis, you’ll need to tie your categories together with an adjective for the “connection.” For example, A, B, and C are the most forgivable; or unfavorable type of lies; or most disgraceful; most innocuous, etc. –choose one adjective. Use descriptive personal, observational, and/or hypothetical examples. Also include textual examples from two sources: Ericsson’s article and an outside source, preferably our library’s database, Ebscohost. However, do not use more than five quotations (no block quotations and no paraphrases [summarizing what sources have said]). (2+ sources)
Option 5: Martin Luther King Jr.’s plea for equality in “Letter From Birmingham Jail” was written in 1963. Over twenty years later in 1986, Brent Staples in “Just Walk On By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space” confirms that King’s dream has yet to reach complete fruition as he exemplifies the struggles of African Americans despite the progress of the Civil Rights Movement embodied by Martin Luther King Jr. For this prompt, answer this question: Have African Americans achieved equality? Show, via examples, in what areas equality has or has not been achieved. Even though King spoke over fifty years ago and Staples wrote over thirty years ago, you will find that certain inequalities still persist. Within supporting paragraphs, it might be helpful to define “equality,” compare and contrast the experience of whites and blacks, etc. In other words, use a variety of modes to achieve your goal. Sample thesis: While great progress towards equality for blacks has been achieved, equal opportunities evade many African Americans in housing, in careers, and . . . . You do not need to set up your essay this way; it’s just an idea if you’re stumped. Draw upon your own descriptive observations and experiences, draw upon textual examples from King’s work, draw upon textual examples from Staples’ work, and finally, draw upon at least one outside source from our library databases. (3+ sources)
Option 6: Students for Gun-Free Schools wrote, “Why Our Campuses Are Safer without Concealed Handguns.” The group was founded in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007, and much of the discussion and activism in the aftermath of Virginia Tech and other shootings has focused on guns. Do you believe that firearms and gun laws are the central problem in mass shootings, or do you think the emphasis on these is misplaced in the context of other issues such as illegal firearm usage, mental health, etc.? To reword the question, what is to blame for the increase in mass shootings? Use a variety of modes such as comparing and contrasting mass shootings, defining specific gun laws or mental health laws, etc, show the cause and effect between mental health and gun availability, etc. Draw upon your own descriptive observations and experiences, draw upon textual examples from Students for Gun-Free Schools’ work, draw upon textual examples from Students for Concealed Carry’s work, and finally, draw upon at least one outside source from our library databases. (3+ sources)
Author’s last name, First. “Article Name.” Book from Which Article Came. Editor’s First and Last name, Edition,
City, Publisher, Latest year, Pages of specific article.
Staples, Brent. “Just Walk On By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space.” Patterns for College
Writing: A Rhetorical Reader and Guide. Ed. Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell, 13th ed.,
Boston, Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2015, pp. 238-41.
 Comparison/Contrast, Classification/Division, Cause/Effect, etc.
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