Issue(s) Essay Rubric

Though many of you may not identify yourselves with either of the two major U.S. parties, we have seen that they help us organize and understand current political issues facing our nation today. The two parties seem to divide our nation more than ever before, nevertheless we have seen the value they bring to the table in helping us have a starting point and framework for creating our own opinions on political issues. We have also seen how being uninformed can have unintended and detrimental consequences for our democracy.

In this assignment, choose one or two contemporary U.S. political issue(s). Use the two political parties’ positions on the topic as a starting point to establish each side of the issue. After a thorough investigation, present both side’s opinion, evidence, and reasoning on the topic. Then establish your own position on the topic and explain the reasoning for your conclusion.

Your essay needs to be 3 to 5 pages and must be in MLA formatting style ( This means that you will need to include a Works Cited page which cites the sources you used to conduct your research. The Internet is a great source for research but please be mindful of which sites are credible. Your school library offers a number of databases that give you full access to scholarly journals and other helpful tools that are not available to everyone.

In addition to turning in a hard copy of your essay at the beginning of class on November 21, 2013, you will also need to upload your essay in Titanium via All essays turned in after 4pm on November 21, 2013 will be considered late.

Please use the following outline as a reference for your essay:

1. Introduction

  1. Introduce the topic (or topics) and explain why it is (they are) important

  2. State your thesis: This is a clear, concise, and definite statement that allows

    the reader to understand where you stand on the topic(s)

2. Body: Issue # 1

  1. Introduce and explain

  2. Present one side

c. Present the other side

  1. Present your analysis

  2. State and explain your opinion

3. Body: Issue # 2 (if applicable)

  1. Introduce and explain

  2. Present one side

  3. Present the other side

  4. Present your analysis

  5. State and explain your opinion

4. Conclusion

  1. Restate importance of your chosen issue(s)

  2. Synthesize the information presented in the body of your essay

  3. Leave a lasting impression on the reader 

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