Prepare: The topic of your essay needs to be a global societal problem from the following list: adult illiteracy, funding for General Education vs STEM in primary and secondary schools, minimum wage, oceans desertification, overcoming the digital divide, refugee (escaping persecution, war, or death) crises, species extinctions (modern), tax havens, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), universal statement of human rights (pick one), airport security, or wealth disparity. Review this GEN499 Sample Final Paper Guide for additional guidance on the expectations of this assignment.
Reflect: Based on the topic that you have chosen, you will need to use critical thinking skills to thoroughly understand how this topic can be a global societal problem and determine some logical solution(s) to the problem.
Write: This Final Argumentative Essay will present research relating the critical thinker to the modern, globalized world. In this assignment, you need to address the following items in separate sections with new headings for each:
- Identify the global societal problem within the introductory paragraph and conclude with a thesis statement that states your proposed solution(s) to the problem. For guidance on how to construct a good introduction paragraph, please review the Introduction Paragraph Guideline from the Ashford Writing Center.
- Describe background information on how that problem developed or came into existence. Show why this is a societal problem, and provide perspectives from multiple disciplines or populations so that you fully represent what different parts of society have to say about this issue.
- Construct an argument supporting your proposed solution(s). Be sure to consider multiple disciplines or populations so that your solution shows that multiple parts of society will benefit from this solution. Provide evidence from multiple scholarly sources as evidence that your proposed solution is viable.
- Interpret statistical data from at least three, peer-reviewed scholarly sources. Do this by discussing the validity, reliability, and any biases; identifying the strengths and weaknesses of these sources; and pointing out limitations of current research and attempting to indicate areas for future research. You may even use visual representations such as graphs or charts to explain statistics from sources. Evaluate the ethical outcomes that result from your solution. Be sure to provide at least one positive ethical outcome as well as at least one negative ethical outcome that could result from your solution, and explain at least two ethical issues related to each of those outcomes. It’s important to consider all of society.
- Develop a conclusion as the last paragraph(s) of the essay, starting with rephrasing your thesis statement and then presenting the major points of the topic and how they support your argument. For guidance on how to write a good conclusion paragraph, please review the Conclusion Paragraph Guideline from the Ashford Writing Center.
The Final Argumentative Essay (rough draft)
- (approximately 5 pages; excluding title and reference pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
- Must include a separate title page with the following:
- Title of paper
- Student’s name
- Course name and number
- Instructor’s name
- Date submitted
- Running header with page numbers
- Must include in-text citations from at least 10 scholarly sources. Be sure to integrate your research rather than simply inserting it.
- Must document all sources in APA style as outlined here and here.
- Must have no more than 15% quoted material in the body of your essay based on the Turnitin report. Reference list will be excluded from the Turnitin originality score.
- Must include a separate reference page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
- Source Document Requirements:
- Multimedia sources (such as videos) may be used, but no more than two such sources may be used. If multimedia sources are used, they must be authored and distributed by credible sources, such as universities, law schools, medical schools, or professors, or found in the Ashford University Library.
- Government sources may be used, but no more than two such sources may be used. Examples include whitehouse.gov, state.gov, usa.gov, cdc.gov, etc. These websites can be used to make a stronger point about your proposed soluation within the argument.
- Where print documents are used for source materials, those must be peer-reviewed, scholarly journal articles, and academically published books. Popular media sources (e.g., newspapers, magazines, television and radio shows, etc.) must not be used. Materials from advocacy groups (e.g., Greenpeace, Human Rights Campaign, National Organization for Women, etc.) must not be used.
- Sites such as ProCon.org and Wikipedia must not be used.
- Religious texts must not be used.
Good Critical Thinking Tips:
- Your paper should include academic sources that explain multiple sides of the issue.
- Your interpretations of the evidence should be objective and state the conclusions and theses presented in the evidence clearly and fairly.
- Your paper should place the various forms of evidence in relation to one another and demonstrate why one form or perspective is stronger than the other positions that one could take on the issue.
- Your paper should point out the limitations of current evidence and attempt to indicate areas for future research.