WRTG 1310 Proposing a Solution Essay AssignmentFall 2012
The Assignment:tumblr_kpeieyYSXz1qzb1hjo1_500.jpg

Using any of the essays in Chapter 7 as a model, write an essay proposing a solution to a well-defined problem—one that is faced by a community or group to which you belong. Address your proposal to one or more members of the group or to outsiders who might help solve the problem. Your proposal should not just “preach to the choir.” Your audience must be someone in a position to take action to remedy the problem. Think locally—not globally.
Minimum Requirements:
  • Advocate a well-argued solution (one that is supported by reason) by illustrating that it
  1. Can help solve the problem,
  2. Can be implemented, and
  3. Is worth the expense, time, and effort.
  • Acknowledge objections and alternative solutions. After acknowledging objections, make necessary concessions and then refute the objection.
  • Include a clearly stated thesis in the first paragraph or in the first paragraph appearing after the anecdote, if the essay opens with one. Please highlight the thesis.
  • FOUR FULL PAGES in length (not including the graphic or Work Cited page, if applicable).
  • Cite all outside sources, include a Work Cited Page, and is prepared using MLA format.
  • Represent a significant revision to the first draft.
  • Written in third person POV. Essays using first or second person POV will receive a 5-point deduction in grade.

Suggested Resources:

  • Chapter 6, "Arguing a Position"
  • Chapter 7, "Proposing a Solution"
  • Chapter 19, “Arguing”
  • Chapter 21, "Designing Documents"

Assignment Details:

Please note that even though your text suggests the use of rhetorical questions, your instructor has already asked that you not use them in this class.

Your essay should contain the same basic features as do the model essays in the text:
  • A Well-defined problem (pages 323, 336, 344, 352, 357, 361, 366, 375)
  • A well-argued solution in which the agents are clearly identified (pages 324, 337, 344, 352, 357, 362, 367, 375)
  • Responds to possible objections (pages 324, 337, 345, 353, 357, 362, 367, 375)
  • A readable plan (324, 338, 345, 353, 357, 375)
    • Forecasting
    • Key words introduced in the thesis/forecasting statement
    • Topic sentences
    • Repeated use of key words and synonyms, especially in topic sentences
    • Clear transitional words and phrases
    • Headings that explicitly identify different sections of the essay
    • Visuals, including charts that present information in an easy-to-read format

Criteria for Evaluation:
  • Addresses a local problem faced by a group to which the writer belongs.
  • Includes both an argument for the problem and an argument for a solution.
  1. Demonstrates a clear understanding of the problem.
  2. Advances a solution that is achievable.
  • Contains the basic features described above
  • Evidence of careful planning and an awareness of audience.
  • Material from sources is adequately paraphrased; quoted material is integrated smoothly into text; sources are cited and appear on the Works Cited page.
  • Meets the minimum requirements stated for the assignment.

Due Dates for Writers:

Get feedback from your instructor by turning in a paper copy of your essay while in class on
Wednesday, November 28!!!

(1) Save your essay with your first initial followed by your last name and then the essay type:

Example: DMooreProposal

(You must use this naming convention. Remember, I am tracking the digital form essays of 88 students. I can’t just look at the header to know which essay belongs to whom.)

(2) Post your essay drafts TO YOUR PERSONAL WIKI PAGE by the beginning of class on November 26 (MWF) and November 27 (TR).

(3) Print 2 copies of your essay and bring them with you to class for read-around peer review on November 29 and 30.

Due Dates for Readers:

(1) Download the essay to your computer

(2) Use the Peer Review Guidelines to make inline comments, SIGN YOUR NAME AS THE AUTHOR OF THE COMMENTS, and

(3) Print 2 copies of the essay you peer reviewed and bring them with you to class on November 30 for MWF classes and November 29 for TR classes. (One copy is for the student, the other is for the instructor.)

Final Due Dates:

Your workshopped, revised essays are due for grading on December 3 and 4. Upload these to your personal Wiki page with Final added to the document name:

Example: DMooreProposalFinal.

Let the writer know the reader understands the point of the draft, praises what works best, and indicates where the draft could be improved.

1. Evaluate how well the problem is defined.
  • Summarize: Tell the writer what you understand the problem to be.
  • Praise: Give an example where the nature of the problem and its significance to readers comes across effectively.
  • Critique: Tell the writer where the readers might need more information about the problem’s causes and consequences, or where more might be done to establish its seriousness.

2.Assess how well the solution is argued.
  • Summarize: Tell the writer what you understand the proposed solution to be.
  • Praise: Give an example in the essay where support for the solution is presented especially effectively—for example, note particularly strong reasons; writing strategies that engage readers; or design or visual elements that make the solution clear and accessible.
  • Critique: Tell the writer where the argument for the solution could be strengthened—for example, where steps for implementation could be laid out more clearly; where the practicality of the solution could be established more convincingly; or where additional support for reasons could be added.

3. Consider how effectively counterarguments are addressed and alternative solutions are offered.
  • Praise: Give an example in the essay where the writer effectively responds to a likely objection to the argument, and where reasons against accepting other solutions are most effectively presented.
  • Critique: Tell the writer where concessions and refutations could be more convincing; where possible objections or reservations should be taken into account, or alternative solutions discussed; where reasons against accepting other solutions need to be strengthened; or where common ground should be sought with advocates of other positions.

4. Assess how readable the proposal is.
  • Praise: Give an example of where the essay succeeds in being readable—for example, in its overall organization; its use of forecasting statements or key terms introduced in its thesis and strategically repeated elsewhere; its use of topic sentences or transitions; an especially effective opening or closing; or by other means.
  • Critique: Tell the writer where the readability could be improved. Can you point to places where key terms would help or where a topic sentence could be made clearer, for example? Can the use of transitions be improved, or transitions added where they are lacking? Can you suggest a better beginning or more effective ending?

From Axelrod and Cooper's Guide to Writing Student Resource PageBedford St. Martins.