The Dallas Katy Trail

Our capstone assignment for this semester is the production of a lengthy essay that demonstrates:
1) a working knowledge of the profile form and its ability to persuade
2) a complex understanding of an issue endangering your chosen topic
3) an ability to utilize rhetorical strategies for persuasion in issue-based writing
4) use of recent and varied source work in MLA format.

The first half of our Research Essay is basically a profile, but instead of developing a theme around a notable element of the place, you should present a thesis statement in the introduction and emphasize the importance of this place in terms of its preservation.  Why is it important that this place continues to exist?  What is a significant threat to its existence or well being?

The second half of your Research Essay should persuasively present the issue facing your topic.  What is the history of this issue?  How does this issue impact or threaten your park/place?  Where does it stand now?  You will be assessed on your ability to think and write critically here; as well, you should be able to persuade your reader that your park needs protection.  While persuasion should be highlighted in the second half of the essay, don’t miss opportunities to use the rhetorical strategies during the profile section using detail and description, anecdote, and personal experience.  All of these expository elements become persuasive tools in the Research Assignment.
Purpose:  The primary goal of the assignment is to educate the audience on a place and an issue and persuade the reader to agree with you concerning an issue facing your park (or public space).  To do the latter, you will employ the conventions of the classical rhetorical strategies.Audience:  You should assume that your audience is a group of college-educated stakeholders (or people who have some interest in your park/place) such as professors, business people, environmental groups, and/or other professionals.  Your audience are those people who you can convince only with solid evidence and source work.

Requirements:  Your essay must be at least 6 pages long and include material from at least six sources.  Outside material should come from reputable and professional sources; they should not be encyclopedias—online or otherwise—or websites with few references.
Format:  Your essay must be in MLA format with in-text citations that refer to an accompanying Works Cited page (which is not included in the page limit).


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