Topic: What would it take to fully fund public schools in the United States?
Option #2: Exploring a Portfolio Topic; Developing a Working Thesis (National/Global)
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In Module 1, you were asked to review the assignment instruction for the Module 8 Portfolio Project. The Portfolio assignment requires that you select a national or global social issue to explore causes and possible solutions. As an academic writer, it is vital that you form a working thesis about your topic early so that you can shape your research and form an inquiry plan about the research material that you will be using. You will also need to select and analyze key concepts of the topic early in the research process.
For this Critical Thinking Assignment, you are to compose a working thesis that takes a definite position on an arguable issue and that maps a few of the main points you plan to explore. Specifically, your working thesis should state a problem, describe, and evaluate at least one aspect of the cause, and it should offer one potential solution. Be sure to accurately decipher your assignment. Your paper should accomplish the following:
- Identify the particular topic you have decided on.
- Develop a research question.
- Describe a specific controversy that exists within this topic. Identify the sides (and there may be more than just two sides), and explain why each believes what it does.
- Define which side you agree with and why.
- State the overall claim that you want your essay to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt. (This will be your working thesis, and it is apt to change as you progress in later weeks. It is fine to start simple, for now, and build in more complexity later. Be sure to review the thesis tools used in this module. Also consider this video on writing a thesis: “Developing a Thesis Statement.”
For example, one could explore the recent boom in real estate values in a specific area of the nation or world. While this could be a positive situation, any dramatic increase in the cost and availability of housing can become problematic for some people. Within this topic, key concepts need to be discovered such as what are the effects of changes in home valuations or how does sudden population growth affect a city? You will need clearly specify your approach and position on the topic and argue the validity of it. You will also need to understand any possible arguments against your position.
Before you make a final discussion, try brainstorming. Choose two or three potential topics and explore the key concepts involved to see if the topic holds your interest and is achievable.
- Use third person.
- Assert your academic voice.
- Choose a topic related to a problem you would like to address; ask a question about how to solve the problem. The question must start with the phrase, “What would it take to …?” Answer the question with a thesis that names the problem, cause, and solution.
- Describe why you made your final selection and discuss in some detail the key concepts you think are important to that topic.
- Cite at least two sources for this assignment. You will have to cite several credible sources in your final portfolio project, so start exploring credible sources now. In academic writing, it is always best practice to cite credible sources, such as a scholarly journal article. The CSU-Global Library is an excellent place to search for credible, scholarly sources. The following at the CSU-Global Writing Center should help you assess what a credible source will resemble: Types of Sources.
- Your written paper should be 2-3 pages in length not counting the title and reference pages, which you must include.
- Your paper must be formatted according to CSU-Global Guide to Writing & APA.
- You may use the template paper for this course. (attached below)
Refer to the Critical Thinking Assignment Rubric available in the Module 2 Folder for more information on assignment expectations and grading.