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ENG 101 Prof. Schwartz Topics of your Time Spring 2019: Home



Your Assignment

The Issues of Your Time

The issues listed below are issues that will affect everyone in this room (except for me; I’m too old to be affected by any of them at this point.)  When the time comes for you to vote in 2020, it will be crucial that you understand these issues so that you can make an intelligent choice of candidates.  To that end, take a look at the list of issues below, and what I will be asking you to do to research them...


I have come up with 10 major issues, listed below, that will be debated, discussed, and decided from now until 2020, and most likely beyond.  In no particular order...

  1. Extending DACA
  2. Gun control, specifically banning assault rifles
  3. Arming teachers and school personnel
  4. Limiting or expanding emission controls on cars
  5. Adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census
  6. Carbon tax on “greenhouse” emissions
  7. The Mueller probe – finish or end
  8. The future of Roe v. Wade
  9. “The Wall”
  10. Expanding commercial development and drilling on federally protected land

As you look at these issues, you will see that they all take the form of an argument: that is, each issue has a “should” or “should not” element to it.  Here is your assignment:

  1. Select any 3 issues
  2. Decide if the issues you chose “should” or “should not” be implemented
  3. Find 2 “hard” sources (books, newspapers, magazines –in other words, anything that is printed on paper) and 2 on-line sources (websites devoted specifically to the issue, NOT Facebook, Wikipedia, Youtube, etc) for EACH of the three issues.  You will therefore have a total of 4 sources of support for EACH issue you choose – a total of (minimum) 12.

NB: Almost every print periodical has an on-line version.  If, for example, you consult the New York Times, you can buy it on the newsstand or access its online edition.  This will satisfy the “hard” source requirement.

  1. By referring specifically to these sources – quotes from the sources, statistics, quotes from people mentioned in the articles -  establish your argumentative position, and then support it to its logical conclusion.  (We will spend a lot of our time in class going over how to do this)
  2. Your argumentative research paper is due in class on Wednesday, February 27, and I will return it to you on Wednesday, March 6.


Oh, by the way...


The paper you hand in on 2/27 is only half the assignment...


You must then consult 4 additional sources (2 and 2, as above) and argue the OPPOSITE position.  So, if for example, you wrote in February that Roe v. Wade should be maintained, you now must write a paper that argues it should be overturned!  That paper will be due on Wednesday, April 3, and I will return it on Wednesday, April 10.


Here is the format for the paper...

  1. It must be AT LEAST 6 pages in length for EACH  paper
  2. It must be properly footnoted wherever a specific source is cited (we will go over this in class)
  3. It must have an annotated Works Cited Page (we will also go over this), and
  4. There will be NO late papers accepted.  You will have 5 weeks to prepare each paper; if you devote 15-20 minutes EVERY DAY to finding information, you will have no trouble completing the assignment successfully.


As they say, “Strike while the iron is hot!”  Get right down to business.


To get us started, we will be having a library orientation session on Wednesday, January 30, from 9:30-10:45.  More on that later...


Josh Weber's picture
Josh Weber

Office: Room 117 in the Library