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COMMON GROUND ESSAY
VISUAL ELEMENT: Your inquiry essay will need to include a visual element that is submitted with the written essay. The visual element should cover the main points of your essay and use text sparingly, i.e. bullet points instead of paragraphs. The visual statement can be in the form of a pamphlet, a PSA-type poster, a brochure etc and can be incorporated within your essay or submitted separately. IMPORTANT: The visual element submitted with your essay needs to be created by you. Submitting a visual element created by someone else is considered plagiarism and will result in a 0 for this portion of the Inquiry Project and may result in a 0 for the essay as well. You may use an image or two from an outside source as part of your visual element. However, the images must be cited properly
Review this slide presentation about visual rhetoric from Purdue OWL: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/729/01/
Resources for creating a visual element:
● Infographic tools: http://www.creativebloq.com/infographic/tools-2131971
● Charts: http://www.onlinecharttool.com/
● Graphs: http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/createagraph/
● Pamphlets: https://www.lucidpress.com/pages/examples/free-pamphlet-maker-online
● Google Drawings: https://support.google.com/docs/answer/179740?hl=en
● Prezi: https://prezi.com
Owl Purdue on Visual Rhetoric: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/691/01/
COMMON GROUND ESSAY INSTRUCTIONS
General Instructions: Use the instructions on pages 212-226 in the Finding Common Ground pdf as a guide *Also see page 230. *Or, if you have a copy of the ENG 121 book The Saint Martin’s Guide to Writing, you can refer the Finding Common Ground chapter. It is important to note that while sample essays in the chapter analyze two opposing sources, your essay will require a minimum of three opinion sources. Additionally, your essay will be about twice as long as the sample essays in the Finding Common Ground chapter. Finally, the majority of your essay should focus on points of common ground rather than points of disagreement.
Overview: The purpose of the inquiry of common ground essay is for you to analyze multiple points of view within a current debate connected to your topic. To accomplish this task, you will need to find 3-4 opinion sources that represent varying points of view about the topic. (sources that represent both “for” and “against” arguments). Although you may note areas of disagreement amongst the articles in the introductory section of your paper, the majority of the essay should utilize the opinion sources to identify and analyze areas of common ground like shared values, beliefs, and/ or assumptions. (Review the Finding Common Ground pdf for details.) Additionally, because the point of this essay is to analyze arguments from opposing sides, it is important to leave your viewpoints out of the body of the essay. Instead, show readers that you can accurately summarize and analyze different points of view. Readers should not know your position on the topic until the conclusion of the essay.
Length/Format: 1500 - 2000 words (approx 6-8 pages), MLA or APA format with proper in-text citations and a works cited page.
Topic: See the Annotated Bibliography instructions
Audience: Students and faculty on Auraria campus. Assume some readers might not know much about your topic.
Sources: You will need minimum of 5 sources, 2-3 informational sources and 3-4 opinion sources. *These can be sources from your annotated bibliography
● 2-3 Informational/ Background Sources: You will need one-two informational sources to help give readers a good understanding of the background and context issues needed to understand the topic. You will not be analyzing the similarities and differences of an informational source. These sources should mainly be used in introductory section of the essay.
● 3-4 Opinion (Principal) Sources: These articles will be the focus of most of your essay. *It is important that two of the opinion sources represent opposing points of view. For example, if you were looking at the issue of lowering the drinking age to eighteen, one of your sources would be for lowering the drinking age, another other article would be against lowering the drinking age, a third might might be undecided, etc. See the criteria below.*”Set of argument essays” refers to opinion sources.
● Use the introductory section to
○ Introduce the general issue, then
○ Present the debate by
■ First introducing giving a general overview of the opposing sides
■ Then introduce your opinion sources and present your thesis statement. *Your thesis statement should clearly identify the specific points of common ground that will be analyzed in the body of the essay. (I recommend including a forecasting statement as part of your thesis or in addition to your thesis)
● Use the body of the essay to illustrate and analyze a minimum of 2-3 particular points of common ground amongst the opinion sources. (Two of these sources need to have opposing views about the issue) Each point you choose to analyze will constitute a specific section of your essay, and each section of your essay should be two paragraphs or more. However, each point of common ground you choose to examine does not need to include every opinion source. For example, you may choose to examine a point of common ground between two sources in one section of the essay, and in another section of the essay, you might look at a point of common ground between three sources. Just make sure to give due consideration to each source.
○ Use introductory sentences identifying a point of common ground to signal new sections of the essay.
■ In your body paragraphs
● Compare specific examples from primary articles that illustrate a specific point of common ground
● Make sure your analysis explains how the evidence illustrates the specific point of common ground.
● Conclude the essay by restating your thesis statement and illustrate the importance of understanding varying sides of the debate. You can also introduce your stance on the issue.
*Look over the sample essays in the Finding Common Ground pdf, but note that while many sample essays analyze two opposing sources, your essay will require a minimum of three opinion sources.
INTRODUCTION/ BACKGROUND (Approx 2-3 pages)
● Introduce the issue
○ Give an overview of the issue and include relevant background and/or contextual information
○ Give an overview of the current controversy/ debate. Ex: Which people and or groups are involved and what are their respective points of view? (This is where you can briefly introduce the articles that will be examined in the body of your essay.)
● State your thesis at the end of the introductory section. Use the thesis statement to identify the specific points of common ground you will examine in the body of the essay.
*Use this portion of the essay to compare and analyze points of common ground between your primary sources. The body section of your essay needs to analyze a minimum of three sources, each with a different opinion about the topic. However each point of common ground does not need to include each primary source. You may choose to examine a point of common ground between two sources in one section of the essay, and in another section of the essay you might look at a point of common ground between three or more sources. Just make sure to adequately utilize each source in your essay.
● First Point of Common Ground (Approx 2-4 paragraphs)
○ Source A
○ Source B
○ Source C
● Second Point of Common Ground (Approx 2-4 paragraphs)
○ Source A
○ Source B
● Third Point of Common Ground (Approximately 2-4 paragraphs)
○ Source A
○ Source C
CONCLUSION (Approximately 1-2 paragraphs)
● Remind readers why it is important to understand the multiplicity of viewpoints about the issue. This is where you can also introduce your point of view
A. Sources: Sources chosen are highly relevant to the topic; Sources adds greatly to research potential; few, if any additional sources needed. Informational Sources provide relevant background and contextual information related to the topic. Principal (Opinion) Sources represent common and current opposing opinions about a specific topic. All sources are academically credible
B. Introducing The Issue and Debate: The paper provides engaging and relevant context and background information regarding the topic. The introduction provides relevant information about the opposing views. The thesis statement provides a sense of direction for the paper
C. Common Ground Analysis: The essay shows thoughtful, in-depth analysis for points of disagreement and points of common ground between the opposing sides.
D. Impartial and Accurate Presentation: The essay gives a fair and accurate assessment of all viewpoints with the aim of finding common ground. The author's opinion is not apparent until the conclusion.
E. Organization and Readability: Each section of the essay is clearly defined and easy to follow. Effective transitions are used within and between paragraphs. Introductory and topic sentences direct readers from one main point of the essay to the next. Paragraphs are unified and cohesive. The paper contains a clear and logical progression. In text citations are used appropriately throughout the essay
F. Grammar and Word Choice: Few, if any, grammatical errors Word choice shows awareness of an academic audience.
COMMON GROUND ESSAY
VISUAL ELEMENT: Your inquiry essay will need to include a visual element that is submitted with the written essay. The visual element should cover the main points of your essay and use text sparingly, i.e. bullet points instead of paragraphs.