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  • ENGL 1311 Opinion Piece assignment
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Opinion Piece assignment

An opinion piece or editorial expresses a concise and focused opinion about a particular issue.  For this assignment, you will write an opinion piece about the community issue that you have been focusing on all semester.  You will focus on one aspect of your community issue and argue for a solution to a problem that you identify.  Most likely, this will involve advocating for a policy change.  A policy is a course of action.  It can be a statement of principle on which people base their behavior such as an anti-harassment policy at a workplace. Or, it can be a law or rule that regulates behavior such as setting up cameras to catch traffic violations at busy intersections.  
Purpose:  This assignment exposes you to the genre of an opinion piece or "op ed."  This is normally a text that expresses an opinion and is commonly published by newspapers, magazines, and advocacy websites.  This is a persuasive, argumentative piece and will prompt you to use each of the rhetorical strategies of logos, pathos, and ethos - in varying degrees - in order to strengthen the acceptance of your course of action. 
Content/Subject: In your opinion piece, you need to identify one problem related to your issue and advocate for a specific solution which will help or eliminate the problem you have identified.  Your piece needs to convince your audience of two things: 1) that there is a problem and 2) that your solution can fix or help that problem.  Your writing needs to be effective and efficient because you will only have a limited space to accomplish these goals.  You should include relevant information that will convince your audience of your argument. 
Audience: Your audience will be your peers who you may assume have only a casual familiarity with your topic.
 Constraints:  An opinion piece, or an editorial, is a genre which focuses on the quick and clear expression of an argument in a restricted space.  As a result, the writing is often very precise and concise to maximize the amount of space available.  You should ensure that your opinion piece has a clear, understandable argument and makes use of correct, grammatical sentences.
 Specific guidelines for the assignment include:
-          Clear introduction to issue
-          Effective, concise discussion of your issue's problem and solution
-          400-600 words in length
-          Strict adherence to APA format
-          Use of concise language

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