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Prewriting: You probably have all sorts of proposal arguments swimming in your head. Anything that takes the form of a should or ought claim fits the mold of a proposal argument. To get things stared, brainstorm possible topics at both the “local” level (eg. your school, city, place of work, home), at the state level, and the national or even global level. Start by thinking of problems that need solutions.
Step 1. To find local topics for which you can propose practical solutions, try making an idea map. Our textbook tries to help us get one going with the bullet points listed under “Exploring Ideas” on p. 318, with types of problems that exist at the local level.
Step 2. TO find state/national/global issues for which you can propose policy solutions, check out current newspapers and magazines or their websites. You might also check out the websites of your governmental representatives to see what issues they’re currently addressing.
Step 3. Once you have a number of possible topics. choose one that you’re the most interested in, and then explore the topic using one of the activities included in our textbook; the Claims-Types Strategy discussed on pp. 312-3, the “Stock Issues” strategy on pp. 314-5, or the eleven (letters a to k) for task #3 in the “Brainstorming Ideas for a proposal” class discussion exercise on p. 315. These activities will ideally give you a strong proposal claim as well as plenty of ideas what to include in terms of your supporting reasons, evidence, and responses to alternative points-of-view.
Writing: Use What you’ve Come up with to write a proposal Remember: No matter What direction you go in, you should include the three main phases of proposaI arguments that we have discussed:
I. The identification of a problem (show that a problem exists)
2. A proposal for action to help alleviate the problem (explain the solution)
3. A justification of your solution
You can tailor your proposal argument to fit one of the following four options:
Option 1. A Practical Proposal Addressing a Local Problem Write a to three- page practical proposal offering a solution to a local problem. See “A proposal,” pp.322-5 for a good example.
Option 2. A Policy proposal as a Guest Editorial Write a to three- page proposal argument designed to be published as an editorial. If it’s addressing a problem in Columbia, you can imagine you’re writing it to the Columbia Tribune Or The Missourian; if it’s addressing an issue at school (MACC, Minou, etc.), you can imagine you’re writing to the college newspaper; if it’s a problem at work, imagine you’re writing it for an employee newsletter; and so on.
Option 3. A Researched Argument Concerning Public Policy This option will probably take more than two to three- pages to do effectively, as it requires doing outside research to propose a solution to a problem facing the public, either locally or nationally. For a good example, see “Flirting with Disaster: An Argument Against Integrating Women into the Cornbat Arms,” pp. 326-330.
Option 4. A One-page Advocacy Poster or Advertisement This is a chance for you to try your hand at creating a visual argument like what is described on p- 316 and shown in the example given on p. 317. As I said in class, I bet you all could blow that example away. In fact, as we discussed the examples on p. 196 and p. 332 are much more effective (and just to be clear, the exantple on p. 317 would not receive a grade higher than a low C, as it does not meet most of the elements of effective visual arguments that are discussed in Chapter 9). Notice you still want to include the three phases for proposal arguments, and you want to effectively use the design elements that we discussed (e.g. font/type, layout/space, color, images and graphics).
Option 5. A Proposal Speech with Visual Aids. This is another chance for you to try your hand at creating a visual argument, this time by creating a PowerPoint presentation that will accompany an extemporaneous speech. which you Can give to the Class or to me, individually. There is an example of such a PowerPoint presentation on pp. 333-5 though again I think you all could do a better job with it. Your speech should follow the same model as described above (present a problem, propose a solution, and justify that solution), and you will want to use your PowerPoint presentation to give the problem (and solution) presence and enhance your appeals to pathos, ethos and logos.
The problem that has been identified for the purpose of this assignment is Depression and feelings of social anxiety and alienation that college students suffer from because they refuse to seek help. Using the help of clubs and hobbies to help them get out of their shells and build an empathetic environment around them.
Why is it a problem?
It can be seen that Depression and anxiety are problems that are spreading like wildfire, and these problems surface initially during the University time for most people. The period from High School to University is a huge transitional period, and change brings with it a lot of negative emotions. Channelizing these emotions is an important part of gaining mental stability. Most students, once they enter University, restrict themselves to certain groups of people and certain activities based on what they previously liked. They don’t expand their horizons, and with the pressure of academics, they also tend to give up certain hobbies they like and switch to substance abuse in their free time of mindless socializing. With time, the need for expression turns into a certain kind of inactivity and crawling into shells. This inactivity and going into shells sometimes takes the form of Depression and anxiety. One of the reasons why self-expression is necessary at a college level is because there are a lot of beliefs and value systems that are shed and in their place, a different set of beliefs and value systems come in place. This needs a certain sort of expression, to be able to communicate the changes that are felt by an individual. The better way of doing this is to have a hobby or two, say art through which one can express their emotions on paper. Hobbies also give people something to look forward to. Creating something helps in coping with negative emotions and channelizing them towards something productive.
How to solve the problem
The manner in which it can be done is by organizing informative sessions with mental health experts right from day 1 which can tell the Freshmen about how it is important to be expressive and the need to indulge in a hobby, find something that one enjoys apart from academics and be a part of it. Grading it and making it a necessary part of the curriculum will not help much as making the students understand how it is important to create. This can also be done by the help of peer groups, who talk to the new entries and tell them about their struggles and how a hobby helped them out. There can be aptitude tests that can be organized to understand hobbies and passions. Along with this, there will be societies that will be there, along with clubs that can be chosen by each person, and each person can help themselves to their interests.
The reason why this problem is being chosen is that often the mental health of a person is ignored and if these problems are addressed at a grass root level, from the place that they start, it can help a person avoid things like Depression and anxiety which haunt almost half of the adult population of the world.