The Toulmin Assignment

The purpose of this quiz is to let me know your plan for the Toulmin essay. Prior to completing this proposal, please make sure to review the Toulmin assignment directions carefully. These directions can be found in the classroom.  The assignment directions are also given below.  The Toulmin assignment directions are as follows:  This essay should be between 900 and 1000 words. This 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 a shorter, 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 topics may not be used in your essay: gun control, abortion, capital punishment, gay marriage, gays in the military, mandatory drug testing, euthanasia, childhood obesity, women in the military, diets (including the Paleo diet), workout regimens (including CrossFit), underage drinking, and the legalization of marijuana.  This essay MUST include a minimum of FIVE sources. Three should peer-reviewed sources preferably from the APUS databases. You may use eBooks; however, as discussed earlier this semester, books generally are not as current as peer-reviewed articles. You may also use primary sources (interviews, statistics, etc); however, these primary sources should be obtained from experts within that field. If you cannot find strong sources for your chosen topic, then change your topic. If you have a question about the validity of a source, please email me, or post your question to the open forum.  Make sure to include the following sections in your essay: introduction and claim, background, body, and conclusion. Within the body of your Toumin essay, make sure to include the following in any order: support for your claim, opposing or alternate views, scholarly research, and rebuttals.  Before writing your essay, please answer these following questions for your Week 4 Quiz. This quiz is just as important as the assignment.  1. Post your 1-sentence thesis statement for this topic. Your thesis statement should: – give a clear stance for one side in the debate on the topic you’ve chosen – be a declarative statement, NOT be a question. If you’re working with a bill you found on GovTrack or with a bill from a state legislature, make sure it directly mentions the bill that you’re going to discuss, preferably by H.R. or S. number and title.  2. Give a model in-text citation and work cited entry for 1 peer-reviewed source that you plan to use in this essay. – You must include either a short quotation and/or paraphrase along with the in-text citation. – Both the in-text citation and works cited entry should be in MLA format. – To earn full credit, the source must be peer-reviewed and correctly cited (though a hanging indent is not necessary).  3. Give a working outline for your essay. Remember, your essay should be divided into an introduction, body (consisting of multiple body paragraphs), and conclusion, and must also include the following elements of Toulmin argument: – necessary background – supporting reasons for your claim – opposing views – rebuttals of the opposing views – a conclusion.  Your outline may be a topic or sentence outline but must contain some details of how you plan to support the argument (for instance, 1-sentence summaries of your supporting reasons, opposition arguments, and rebuttals to the opposition).

***UPDATE***
1. Comment: Has potential for a topic, but I’m not clear on the point of debate or you stance. What exactly are you arguing? The thesis needs to be a clear statement for a specific stance on a specific debate.  
Example: H.R. 1234, “Require Marshmallows in All Hot Chocolate,” should be passed into law because creamy, half-melted marshmallows make hot chocolate measurably better.  

2. An example of an MLA in-text citation and work cited entry for a journal article from an online database: 
“Quotation goes here” (Smith 23). 

Smith, Bob. “Article Investigating Stuff in Ancient Uruguay.” Journal of Stuff, vol. 34, no. 2, 15 June 2000, pp. 35-48. Database Title, doi: ###.##/xx.## 
Comment: Formatting is mostly correct. Did you access this through a database? If so, include the database title instead of “Web.” Also include, for any online entry, a doi or stable URL  

3. I had to send her an outline of the paper as well. Her is an example of the outline I sent based on the paper you gave me……………….  
-Introduction/Necessary Background: This paragraph will start by telling the audience about symbols of patriotism and nationalism. The main symbol discussed is the American Flag.  
-Second Paragraph: Burning the American Flag should not be done as a way to prove a political point. Therefore the act of burning the flag should be banned.  
-Third paragraph: The grounds of this argument involves the indication that burning the American flag is not only a symbolic but an unpopular political act. It could be considered as one of the offensive acts that receive protection from the first amendment.  
-Fourth Paragraph: Based on the previous paragraph, the first amendment does not only protect speech, but also symbolic actions such as flag burning. The American flag is a representation of the way of life of the American people,  
-Fifth Paragraph: The flag act was passed in the year 1818, the emotional attention that people have been giving it in the contemporary society is not the same as it was given before the Civil War since it played an insignificant role.  
-Sixth Paragraph: Instead of burning the flag, they should protect the cultural symbol as a way of preserving their identity and beliefs for future generations.  
-Conclusion: Reiterates the fact that burning the flag is offensive but it is still protected by the first amendment. 

The instructor replied: Sample Basic Outline Note that your outline needs to include an overview of the specific information you’ll use for each section.  

I Introduction to bill and thesis statement  

II Background Info  

III Supporting Reason 1  
     a. Evidence  
     b. Analysis of evidence  

IV Supporting Reason 2  
     a. Evidence  
     b. Analysis of evidence  

V Supporting Reason 3, etc. . . .  

VI Opposing View Discussion  
     a. First possible opposition to claim  
     b. Second, etc. 

VII Your rebuttal to all the points in VI  

VIII. Conclusion  

Comment: Okay–this makes it a little more clear that your basic argument is that we should not make flag-burning illegal. You’ve got most elements of Toulmin form in here, but the topic is lacking exigency; can you attach this to some current debate calling for flag burning/disrespect to be punishable in a legal sense? Why does this argument need to be made at this time?

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