This essay should be between 900 and 1000 words, excluding the required annotated bibliography.
The Toulmin essay will help you practice what you have learned so far in this course. First, you will choose a topic of interest. Make sure that you choose a topic with two opposing sides. Then, you need to research that topic in order to specify the topic’s scope, so it can be easily discussed in 1000 word essay. For example, you may be interested in learning more about traffic issues in the United States. However, that topic is too large to cover in a 1000 word essay. After researching peer reviewed articles that discuss US traffic issues in general, you may discover that the metro system in the District of Columbia is underfunded and underutilized. Through your research, you found that you could make a claim that more funds should be made available in order to upgrade the metro system, which would improve traffic issues in the District of Columbia. This would make for a stronger, specific argument.
The following overused and low-stakes topics may not be used in your essay:
gays in the military,
mandatory drug testing,
women in the combat,
underage drinking/smoking (including changing the minimum age),
dangers of smoking (including e-cigarettes and synthetic marijuana),
salaries for college athletes,
breast-feeding versus bottle-feeding,
and the legalization of marijuana.
This essay must include a minimum of five sources. Three should be peer-reviewed sources, preferably from the APUS databases. From the library welcome page, click on Advanced Search at the bottom of the page and then check the “peer reviewed” sources box filter.
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