Essay Assignment 2: Documented Argument in APA
Your argumentative essay will be on an environmental topic from the list of options below. Consider your audience for this paper to be your peers. The essay should be between 3 ½ and 4 pages (850 to 1,000 words) in length, not including the cover page, abstract, or reference page. It should be double spaced in Times New Roman 12-point font and must meet the following criteria:
- An introduction, a minimum of 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion
- A clearly articulated thesis in the introduction of the paper; the thesis must state the claim, position, or stance that your essay will prove
- 4 cited sources
- At least 4 quotes from your sources
- Topic sentences that focus the discussion in each body paragraph
- Examples, details, statistics, explanations, and other researched evidence in the body paragraphs that clearly support the claim of your thesis
- Counterarguments (at least one but preferably more than one) and refutations that show you understand the complexity of your argument and can accurately acknowledge the views of the opposition and refute them
- Clear connections between ideas from paragraph to paragraph and within paragraphs (transition words and phrases)
- Proper APA style format in the cover page, in the abstract, in the in-text citations, and in the Reference page (see the template and instructional video for creating the APA format)
- Reference page listing a minimum of 4 sources
- Standard usage, grammar, and mechanics
Choose any one of the following 15 topics (Note reference resources at the end of the topic list):
- Research alternative energy sources; then make an argument for the three most desirable ones to introduce in South Florida. Here is a link with a list of renewable energy resources to get you started: https://www.renewableresourcescoalition.org/alternative-energy-sources/.
- Research the status of sea level rise in South Florida today and the ways in which it is being addressed through State processes. Make an argument that the solutions today are or are not sufficient. Here is a link to a web page that will help you get started with your research: https://sealevelrise.org/states/florida/.
- Research the effects of the environment on human health. Does the health of the environment affect the health of the human beings within it? Make an argument that supports your answer. Start your research by reading this article: https://orionmagazine.org/article/beyond-the-patient/.
- Should access to drinking water be privatized? Start your thinking about this topic by watching this short video: https://storyofstuff.org/movies/the-story-of-water/. Already, there is discussion of futures commodity trading on water: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-12-06/water-futures-to-start-trading-amid-growing-fears-of-scarcity
- Where does recycled plastic end up? What solutions to “plastic pollution” are most feasible? Start your thinking on this topic by watching the videos on this page: https://www.storyofplastic.org/watch.
- How is biodiversity important to a thriving planet? What are the dangers of the high rate of species extinction that the planet is facing? What are the proposed solutions to this problem and how effective will they be? Start your research by reading this article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2019/05/06/one-million-species-face-extinction-un-panel-says-humans-will-suffer-result/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.98fc33bfad58. For example, the World Wildlife Federation predicts that elephants will be extinct by 2040, well within the lifetime of many of us: https://www.afrik21.africa/en/africa-wwf-believes-that-african-elephants-will-be-extinct-by-2040-if-nothing-is-don/#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20environmental%20NGO,killed%20for%20its%20ivory%20tusks.&text=World%20Wildlife%20Fund%20(WWF)%20figures,elephants%20in%20Africa%20are%20chilling.
- Are electric vehicles better for the environment? Start your research by reading this article from Forbes magazine: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesellsmoor/2019/05/20/are-electric-vehicles-really-better-for-the-environment/#5609f23876d2.
- What are the effects of consumerism on the environment? What must be done to address the problem? Start your research by reading this article from Science Daily: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160224132923.htm.
- The government makes the claim that using public transportation has positive effects on the environment (See: https://www.transit.dot.gov/regulations-and-guidance/environmental-programs/transit-environmental-sustainability/transit-role); however, in South Florida, efforts to develop more efficient public transportation has been less than successful. What factors have caused this failure?
- What are the environmental effects of our agricultural practices? What are some solutions to these problems? Start your research by looking at this web page from the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota: http://www.environmentreports.com/how-does-agriculture-change/#section2 and this article about the threat to food resources: https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/world/climate-change-threatens-the-worlds-food-supply-united-nations-warns/ar-AAFwd8r.
- Overpopulation is among the top environmental problems facing the world today. What is the connection between educating women and supporting family planning and reducing the risks of overpopulation? Should educating women be a priority on the world stage? Start your research by reading this editorial: https://www.wired.com/story/to-stop-climate-change-educate-girls-and-give-them-birth-control/.
- What are the effects of urban sprawl on the environment? Should the government institute strong regulations to curb urban sprawl? Start your research by reading the information here: http://www.everythingconnects.org/urban-sprawl.html. How might a post COVID-19 pandemic world affect urban sprawl?
- What are the environmental effects of deforestation? What should be done to solve the problem of deforestation? Start your research by reading this article from National Geographic: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/deforestation/.
- How does our overreliance on fossil fuels damage the environment? What are the advantages of ending our reliance on fossil fuels? Make a capitalist argument against the fossil fuel industry. Start by reading the following opinion article: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/16/capitalism-climate-change-risks-profits-china. Note the jobs program promoted by the Biden administration in connection to green energy work: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/01/27/bidens-climate-change-plan-is-all-about-jobs-justice/
- Despite the disasters at the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear power plants, some still make the argument that nuclear power is a more feasible alternative to fossil fuels than other alternative energies. Do you agree? Here are the arguments made by the World Nuclear Association: http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/current-and-future-generation/the-nuclear-debate.aspx.
The following websites might provide some data for your research:
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Laws and Regulations: https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations.
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Data: https://www.epa.gov/facts-and-figures-about-materials-waste-and-recycling.
- World Bank Data: https://data.worldbank.org/topic/environment.
- United Nations Environment Program: https://www.unenvironment.org/regions/north-america.
- 350.org: https://350.org/science/.
- NASA on climate change: https://climate.nasa.gov/.
- The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): https://www.ipcc.ch/about/.
- The World Wildlife Federation: https://www.worldwildlife.org/
- The Opportunity Atlas: https://www.opportunityatlas.org/