8th Grade Assignments

Bias and Persuasive Writing Project 

  1. Find a controversial issue. One that has two strong, well defended, and opposing points of view. The topic must be appropriate for discussion in our classroom. It should be a topic you find interesting, but should not be a topic about which you have already formed a strong opinion. You should spend time researching various topics before choosing. Please visit http://www.idebate.org/ to begin your search. Also use the website http://www.allsides.com/ to search additional topics or find additional information for your chosen topic.
  2. When you have selected an issue, find and print a strong article from each side in the debate. Search on-line through debate sites, or search the topics directly through search engines like Google. Print out the persuasive pieces. These arguments can and will be biased. Choose the ones you find most persuasive. Be fair to each side. Attach the articles to your paper. Information contained in the debate websites listed above should not be used as your persuasive pieces. Find your persuasive pieces as information separate from these 2 sites.
  3. After reading the arguments on the debate website and the 2 opposing articles you printed, you are ready to write your paper.
  4. The paper should follow this outline:
      • Paragraph 1 – Summarize and describe the issue. What is being debated? What are the two sides? Why is it controversial?
      • Paragraph 2 – Summarize one side of the debate. What does this side want and why? Include their most compelling facts and arguments.
      • Paragraph 3 – Summarize the opposing side of the debate. What does this side want and why? Include their most compelling facts and arguments.
      • Paragraph 4 – What do you think and why? With which side do you agree, and what facts or arguments did you find most persuasive?
  1. Spelling and grammar count! Please take the time to rewrite and edit your paper.
  2. The paper must be typed! Please take the time to make the paper neat and presentable. The paper must have MLA format. See the sample paper here for an example https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/13/ . Font should be Black 12 pt. Times New Roman. Paper must be double spaced. And the header with class, teacher, and the date should be formatted per MLA guidelines. It is not necessary to list references, resources, or works cited however. Simply attach a copy of your 2 articles to your paper.
  3. Until the final paragraph the issue must be presented in a fair and balanced way. Do not let your own bias show until the final paragraph. Your own opinion will carry more weight and be more persuasive if you do this. Both sides must be presented fairly, and include the most persuasive information available to that point of view.
  4. You may include more paragraphs than what is required. But 4 well researched, balanced, and well written paragraphs with 2 opposing persuasive articles attached will earn you a 100%.

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