Overview: In the Productive Counterargument essay, you engaged with a larger conversation and clearly expressed your position on an issue. In this Proposal Argument essay, you will build from those skills as you identify a problem and advocate for a way to address, solve, or resolve that problem. A proposal might begin from questions such as, what is wrong and right here? How might this situation be improved? What are some good solutions to this problem? In developing your proposal, then, you will identify a problematic item, policy, or object, make an evaluative judgment, and move forward from there to suggest an alternative or a solution to that problem.
PROBLEM: BATHROOMS AREN’T CLEAN IN BUILDINGS AROUND PENN STATE. THEY ARE DIRTY AND GROSS
SOLUTION: HIGHER PRIORITY OF STAFF ON BATHROOM MAINTENANCE
Prompt: Identify a problem that speaks to an issue of diversity and/or social justice and advocate for a way to address, solve, or resolve that problem. First, you’ll want identify an audience who can benefit from and participate in the solution your proposal addresses. You may also need to convince your audience that a problem does, indeed, exist, if that is not obvious. In most cases, it is helpful to explain not just the problem but also the way that you understand the stakes of the problem. Your starting point, then, is to identify something that bothers you something you feel should be changed.
Then youll argue that a certain action should be taken to respond to or resolve that problem. Your proposed plan of action should be both possible and desirable. You will need to explore the costs and benefits (the feasibility) of your solution. Most of the paper should be devoted to advocating for your proposed plan for addressing/ resolving that problem.
Youll want to carefully consider the issues of feasibility. Think about how you are explaining the time, money, labor, resources, etc. that would be necessary to put your solution into action. Consider how you might establish common ground and build consensus with the opposition. Consider how you will address competing solutions and do not assume that everyone will agree that your plan is best. Consider any concessions your audience might need to make and do your best to convince them that your solution is the most effective.
Grading Criteria: Your proposal essay will be graded according to the following criteria. Your essay should: (1) identify and describe the problem clearly; (2) address a limited audience who can help you achieve and/or benefit from your proposed solution; (3) present a concrete proposal for change; (4) explain how and why your solution will address the problem you have identified; (5) fairly assess and fully explore the possible costs and benefits of your proposed solution; (6) use outside research that is credible and appropriate, as well as properly cited following MLA guidelines.
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