Picking Cotton Argument Essay

1. The essay will be a minimum of four complete pages of text plus a complete Works Cited page that includes at least three strong, reliable, academic sources supporting your argument and one strong, reliable source supporting the strongest of your counterarguments. 

2. For this essay, you will develop an arguable thesis that is based in part on a theme or topic presented in Picking Cotton, which will be one source in your essay. You’ll support the thesis with strong, logical support, which will be a combination of your own logical argumentation and reliable, persuasive, fact-based researched support. You will have to include opposition to your position and deal with it respectfully. The more clearly you can see your argument as having a real-life purpose and a specific audience, the stronger will be your case.

3. The counterargument is the opposition to your argument and must be carefully considered and represented in the essay.  You will need to specifically state, in your own words, a counterargument’s thesis and support that thesis with solid research. You will not write as if you believe or agree with the counterargument; instead, you will present it as an opposition to the thesis in the essay. 

4. To respond to the counterargument, you will write a rebuttalwhich is comprised of two parts. In the first part, you will point out strengths in the counterargument and areas where you agree or at least understand the opposition’s reasoning.  The second part seeks to point out weaknesses in the argument while continuing to support your argument.  The rebuttal must include researched and cited support as well.

5. The introduction must include a researched and cited attention-grabber, and the conclusion must include a final, persuasive researched and cited point. The first time you use each source, you must include a source introduction that shows the reliability of the source.

6. Every body paragraph in the essay must contain at least one cited supporting quote and one cited supporting paraphrase from a source. The body paragraphs must include the following elements: opinion-based topic sentence, your logical discussion and support, two or more researched and cited supporting sentences, discussion of the research, and a concluding sentence.

Potential Topics for Essay 2

1. Forensic Sciencea. Fingerprintsb. Bite Marksc. DNA2. Socioeconomic Status and Legal Representation3. Race and the Law4. Eyewitness Testimony5. Memory6. Sexual Assaulta. “Victim Blaming”b. Rape Kitsc. Underreporting7. Unequal Sentences8. Death Penalty9. Wrongful Convictions10. Police Tactics and Interrogations

a. False Confessions

11. Compensation/Restitution for Wrongfully Convicted12. Forgiveness

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