Explain parents should be held responsible, civilly or criminally, of a child’s bullying?

For the researched arguing a position essay, you are to choose a contemporary and controversial issue to argue the validity of your point of view or belief in regards to that issue. Remember, you first need to explain and define for your audience your understanding and any relevant background of this issue and then express your point of view, belief, or opinion through a clearly worded assertion (thesis). You should offer reasoned and logical support in illustrating why you have the point of view or belief you hold using reliable and authoritative sources / evidence to argue your claim.


This is a researched essay that requires a minimum of five sources (limited to two reliable websites) used in support of your argument.

You should have at least three clear argumentative points in support of your overall assertion / claim pertaining to the issue. It is within these individual points that much of your research will be focused in order to show and illustrate the validity of your position.

Remember, too, that you need to address the opposing position in some manner of acknowledgement and / or refutation in the principle body of your essay. This will further demonstrate a clear understanding and sensitivity of the overall and often complicated scope and breadth of the issue.

You can assume the audience of this essay is a group of generally educated readers who are, at best, undecided about the issue and are looking for thoughtful and well-articulated arguments to help inform their decision.

Remember to think and write rhetorically – consider purpose, audience, and the several writing strategies, frameworks, and ways of thinking about argumentation you have at your disposal.

This should be at least five pages in length. Remember, the basis of this essay is your view on the subject. You have information pertaining to others’ arguments, positions, and views, but those are, as we discussed, relegated to a supporting role for your overall purpose.

Make sure to have clear and correct MLA documentation throughout with an appropriate MLA Works Cited page attached
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..Arguing a Position: Topic Consideration

The first step in this process is to choose a topic, a broad category from which you will find a subject that is more specific. As you can choose (within reason) any topic/subject to work with for this project, this is sometimes a very difficult step to take. Although it is a difficult and sometimes frustrating first step, it is an important one as it speaks to your interests and concerns. It also works to fulfill the first three objectives of the syllabus for this class:

o Develop essay topics based on their own interests
o Narrow a general subject to a specific one
o Translate a topic statement into a thesis statement

You should think about what concerns you personally, academically, and / or (in the future) professionally. To begin thinking of the broad topics that will then be further developed into more specific subjects, consider the following list provided by the publication CQ Researcher:
• Education

• Immigration International affairs
• Internet and media Obesity
• Privacy Race and ethnicity
• Science and technology
This, by no means is an exhaustive list of topics, but they may be a start. Once you choose an area of interest, you are not done. You cannot simply say you are arguing for or against the topic of education or teen sex. You need to think of issues that are relevant to this topic and be more specific. For example, if you choose the topic of “teen sex,” you need to find a specific issue that is debated about – for example –
• Should there be more comprehensive sex education in public schools? Should homosexual sex be addressed in terms of precautions and consequences?
• Should there be more access to contraception for teens?
• Should schools offer daycare for teen parents (specifically teen mothers); does this help students with their education/lives or encourage sexual activities without consequences?
Another example would be with the topic of “bullying.” I don’t think any reasonable person is going to argue for bullying, so what is an issue that is controversial?
• Should parents be held responsible, civilly or criminally, of a child’s bullying?
• Should bullying outside of a school’s jurisdiction still be address in school (such as cyber-bullying or “playground” bullying)?
• Should schools do more/less bullying prevention and/or intervention?
These are just a few examples that can be considered. You do not, at this point, have to choose an issue or even a topic (you will soon, but not yet). This is a time to think about what is interesting and relevant to you. It is also a time to ask questions and explore a possible topic and the important issues that are relevant to it.


To start, what is (or are, if more than one at this point) s topic that interests you? Remember, the above are just suggestions. If there is something else not on the list, feel free to jot it down. Give yourself options and choices. A final decision does not have to be made until you hand in your proposal.

From that topic, list possible issues that are controversial about the topic(s).
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………Researched Argumentation Essay “Proposal”

For _________________ – Write a one to two page (400-700 word) essay detailing the issue / that you wish to work with for the Arguing a Position essay.

First, develop a working thesis (the working thesis is one in which you expect to refine and develop as you progress with the research and writing) for which you are to express your position on the issue. Remember that what you should be considering is something that is contemporary and controversial. Your thesis in this instance is going to be a debatable claim.

You do not need any research or documentation for this assignment. This writing is simply to express your desire to work with the issue and your initial ideas and experience with which prompted you to consider the subject.

To be effectively engaged in these assignments and the writing of the essay, you should have an intellectual or emotional interest in the topic (think of your future career interests, issues that have affected you or a friend / family member). This is the time to express this. You should also work on stipulatively defining the issue (as we discussed in previous classes).

Your essay should look like the following…

You need to begin with the Working Thesis – in other words the first expression of what direction you want your essay to take. THEN, follow that with the essay itself (as seen in sample on the other side of this page).
( for example)Working Thesis: Although many people feel that it is wrong to limit Americans’ right

to own guns, there is no reason for individuals to have access to assault weapons.

Assault Weapons Ban – Proposal
I grew up around guns. My father was in the military and was an avid hunter / sportsman. I would watch him clean and lube his military issued sidearm and go through a yearly routine of preparing his assortment of rifles and shotguns. What I never saw, though, was any type of automatic or semi-automatic weapons. My dad always said there was no reason any person needed one.
There was an assault weapons ban in the 1990s that was allowed to expire, but recently, because of the numerous acts of mass shootings and violence with guns, Congress is currently debating the merits of reinstituting the law. As a person who is attending school and with many of the acts of violence occurring in schools, this is an issue that deeply concerns me. I fear for my safety and the safety of my friends and colleagues.
Develop your thinking about the topic. Be as specific as you can at this point. Make sure you have a reason and interest in it. Again, there is no need for any sources. This is just to see where your thinking is regarding the subject and whether it is something that we can work with for this assignment.
Remember this is an ESSAY – which is defined as a piece of writing with an identifiable beginning, middle, and end – as such, it should not be one long rambling paragraph.
………………………………………………………………………………………………Assignment – Annotated Bibliography


This assignment requires you to complete an annotated bibliography of seven sources you may use for your Arguing a Position essay. All this requires of you is to compile, in MLA format, a list of reasonable sources you have found relating to your topic and give a brief summary (three to five sentences) of the main idea(s) of each work.

The work should be formatted according to MLA style (see attached sample assignments).

Five of the sources should be in support of your position and two should be in support of other points of view regarding the issue you have chosen. Except for government websites, you should limit yourself to no more than two valid web sources (sources from the databases through the library are NOT web sources).
……………………………………………………………………………………………………….Assault Weapons Ban: An Annotated Bibliography
Friel, Brian. “A New Third Rail: Assault Weapons.” National Journal 29 May 2010: 16.
EBSCO. Web. 2 Nov. 2010.
The annotation part is simply a brief paragraph summary of the source that highlights the position the author(s) take and any main points that are used as support for that position. It does not go into great detail or summarizes the entire work but gives an overview of the main point(s) of the piece of information.

Koper, Christopher S., and Jeffery A. Roth. “The Impact of the 1994 Federal Assault
Weapon Ban on Gun Violence Outcomes: An Assessment of Multiple Outcome Measures and Some Lessons for Policy Evaluation.” Journal of Quantitative Criminology 17.1 (2001): 33-71. Web. 2 Nov. 2010.
Each annotation should be the brief restatement of the primary argument of the article. Make sure to follow MLA format for Works Cited. Be sure to compile all necessary information in order to complete the proper documentation. You can reference Purdue’s OWL (Online Writing Lab) or the King’s College MLA Study Guide.

You would continue on with the remainder of your sources and summaries in alphabetical order…double spacing the citations and single spacing the summaries.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….example..Immigration: An Annotated Bibliography
“Diverse Coalition of National Groups Unite to Demand Immigration Reform with a Pathway to Citizenship.” PR Newswire US 15 Apr. 2013: Regional Business News. Web. 4 Aug. 2013.
This article describes how an organization called “I’m Ready” is pursuing immigration reform with debates and demonstrations across the United States. The group is complaining that diversity is not represented in all parts of America and, because of that, wants immigration reform to encourage immigrants to seek new homes in America. The article also describes the group’s feelings about how more immigrants can positively impact America by becoming more involved in voting and in the workforce. The story ends with some statistics showing that many young adults support immigration reform and think it would be better for America as a whole.
Matza, Michael. “House of Dreams.” Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA) 19 Dec. 2010: Newspaper Source. Web. 4 Aug. 2013.
Matza’s article explores the journey of a young immigrant who is about to apply for U.S. citizenship and take the citizenship test in Philadelphia. The author explains how the immigrant’s parents took a similar journey many years ago and how they led a good life in America. The article explains the DREAM Act, which was an act shot down in Congress that would have given immigrant children automatic citizenship. The main point that the article conveys is that there should be immigration reform to help kids like the subject of the article become Americans and provide equal opportunities to them.
Menard, Valerie. “Living the DREAM.” Diverse: Issues in Higher Education 27.18 (2010): 6. Academic Search Premier. Web. 4 Aug. 2013.
This article promotes the DREAM Act, which was supposed to guarantee citizenship to immigrant children before it died in Congress in 2001. The author takes an objective point of view, both describing the act’s strong points and also criticizing it because it appears too lenient for immigrants. Throughout the document, Menard uses William Perez to describe his journey and show that he was not easily granted admittance into America, but instead he had to work for it. However, the author points out through opinion and statistics that adults have to take a citizenship test and are subject to deportation, whereas children would be safe under this act; she feels that all immigrants should be treated equally no matter their age.
“National Necessity.” Washington Post, The Sept. 0007: Newspaper Source. Web. 4 Aug. 2013
This editorial in the Washington Post gives quotes and opinions from former president George W. Bush about pending immigration reform. The comments by the former president are, however, very encompassing of many of the opinions held by immigration supporters. For example, Bush centers around the argument that America can still be a prosperous and functioning (if not stronger) society with the presence of immigrants. This shows that there is strong support for reform.
Persaud, Felicia. “Letter No. 27: Immigration Reform Now!” New York Amsterdam News 16 May 2013: 16. Academic Search Premier. Web. 4 Aug. 2013.
This editorial from a newspaper describes how the author feels about immigration, and she puts these thoughts in the form of a letter to President Obama. She expresses her distaste at the current immigration system, citing good experiences she’s had in diverse parts of America. The author wants to make sure that people do not judge immigrants based on preconceived ideas but rather by meeting them and hearing their stories. She aims to show that most of the immigrants are making large contributions to the United States, ones that are vital for a strong economy.
Pipes, Kasey S. “Politics of Immigration Reform Bad for Business.” Fort Worth Business Press 25.25 (2013): 28. Regional Business News. Web. 4 Aug. 2013.
This newspaper article shows a different side of the immigration debate. For example, the article contains many statistics about how immigrants are hurting businesses. The author goes into detail on the opinion that most immigrants are not highly skilled and therefore do not belong in America—a point which the pro-immigrant parties claim to be false. In addition, he blames the Republican Party for most of the reform push, saying that they want more support from the diverse population. Clearly, Pipes does not see a good reason for immigration reform.
“President Obama: The Best Chance We’ve had in Years to Fix Our Broken Immigration System.” FDCH Regulatory Intelligence Database (n.d.): Regional Business News. Web. 4 Aug. 2013.
With information from the President and Vice President of the United States, this article conveys some strong and informative points to the reader. Again, the author (unmentioned) tells a story of an immigrant looking for safety in America. The overall theme of this article is that many politicians and representatives have been arguing about the immigration crisis, but all agree that there needs to be some sort of change. One of the main arguments in the article is that fairness needs to be achieved in order to make life better for those who immigrate legally and penalize those who do not.
Sherfinski, David. “King Says He Speaks the Truth on Illegals.” Washington Times, The (DC) (2013): 5. Newspaper Source. Web. 4 Aug. 2013.
This article by Sherfinski displays an alternative point of view to the pro-immigration argument. In the news story, the author describes how Congressman Steve King has been outspoken against immigration reform. He is quoted as saying how bad kids are running across the border and how more immigrants would ruin the racial landscape of America. To be fair, Sherfinski adds Speaker John Boehner’s condemnations of King’s statements, saying that they were not representative of an American. However, the vast majority of this article is about how King does not share the reform mindset and how he and others want stricter immigration laws.
Smith, Patricia, et al. “Immigration Overhaul?” New York Times Upfront 145.11 (2013): 6-7. Education Research Complete. Web. 4 Aug. 2013.
This article by Smith also shares an alternate view on immigration. She gives many statistics in her article, such as the number of illegal immigrants coming into the U.S. each year as opposed to the ones who come legally. The author shares information that would fit a non-immigration mindset, such as increasing security on the Mexican-U.S. border. However, she does provide some proof that immigration reform could be a positive, such as declining numbers of illegal immigrants and a quote by Senator John McCain, saying that he hopes Hispanics can increase votes for the Republican Party. At a glance, the author represents both sides of the debate.

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