Please complete the attached "brief" listing topics for
the first two major assignments in this class. This should include a
general brainstorm list, an indication of
sources you consulted and, 2 proposals for a proposition of
fact paper and 2 proposals for a proposition of value
paper You will need to include a correctly formatted piece
of evidence that would serve as grounds supporting a claim for each
proposition. You probably need to devote at least4 hours to this
This assignment will provide me with an initial
indication of your thinking and research abilities. Your
choices will also provide me with an initial impression
of who you are as a student and what may interest or
stimulate you in terms of issues. (domestic,
international, economic, arts, etc)
While a bibliography is not required, doing some
background research and finding some evidence to support
your proposition is necessary and will help you
make choices. (see below )Please check off the
sources you consulted in selecting your topic areas.
The best place to start is probably with a thorough
reading of the proposition of fact and value assignments
listed in the "assignments" section of this web site. I will be
glad to answer questions about these assignments in class, in my
office, or by phone.
This portion of the assignment will probably take about
1/2 hour to 45 minutes.
Reread Chapter 2 and chapter 3 This will take 1/2 to 1
Next, try to brainstorm a possible list of topic areas and
topics based upon your own knowledge and interests.
Make this a "working list" that you can change and
adapt as you go along. This list of general topic areas
can also be based on discussions with friends,
teachers, etc. Take a look around you and see what
you are interested in. What magazines do you
subscribe to? What is your major? Favorite subject?
Where have you traveled? What are
your hobbies and what do you know a lot about?
Answers to these questions may provide the basis for
one or more of the papers you will write.
(1/2 hour )
You will also want to expand your list of topics by doing
some background research through the investigation of
You should look at some of the links listed in the
"favorite links" section of my website. Many will provide
you with a rich list of potential topics for the first and second
papers. These sites are most easily accessed
through my site – try some of the following on the "links"
page: Debateabase.com, PublicAgenda.com, SAU
Library Topics, and, Yahoo Controversies list. These
sites will provide you with controversies that you may
not have initially considered. This will result in an
expanded list. However the topic areas will still be
somewhat general. (1 hour)
At this point, you are ready to cut your list down to
some solid possibilities and to narrow your
propositions. Try the OCC Library online electronic research pages
and see the Opposing Viwpoints series. These are "pro/con" approaches
to current controversies. It is rich in topics for these assignments.
The value of these resources is two-fold. First, they narrow the
topics to some specific questions rather than general areas. Next,
they provide specific articles that can help you "jump-start" your
reasoning and research. This is also a good place to find some
evidence to support the propositions.
Remember you need at least 2 carefully worded propositions for each
type of proposition. You also need a correctly formatted piece of
evidence for each proposition you create. (1 hour, including online
wording on topics)