In-Class Writing Topics #2
Remember the three C’s: Strive to be
Topic sentences help as well–so does staying focused on one idea per paragraph.
1. Fraternities kill people. Year in and year out, students die at fraternity parties and hazing rituals, including last year’s hazing related death of Michael Deng at Baruch College. So what about here? Should fraternities be banned at MSU? Or should they even be banned at statewide or nationwide levels? (Position paper)
Warning to fraternity men (because those clearly are the people who have erred on this topic in the past): This paper is NOT about why a person should join a fraternity. This paper, instead, must address whether administrators should ban the organizations or not. There’s a big difference. So address the organizations and their future on campus, not why someone should join.
With this idea in mind, your thesis and your body paragraphs should mention the word “ban,” because that is the issue on which you should be taking a stand. Do you support a ban or are you against a ban? (This essay, as I mentioned above, is a position paper. So take a stand; do not offer solutions. When you become a university administrator you can solve the problem, but right now, just establish which side of the controversy you are on.)
2. I realize that for most of you, money is the major motivating force in your attendance. Yet surely there are other, non-monetary benefits from attending college and getting an education. Discuss these benefits. (Effects essay)
Clarification: Effects address ideas that follow a situation, obviously. So if you should be discussing the benefits of attending college, your paper will address what happens AFTER you graduate. And because you are addressing the non-monetary benefits, you will not discuss jobs or career—because those involve money. (People do not work for free.)
3. As you have seen in our recent class discussions, business owners are seeking new employees who have good communication skills. The implication in this desire is that many “new hires” do not. Why? What has caused this recent generation of college graduates to develop bad communication skills? (Cause paper)