Format: MLA style
Example: What if you were serving on a committee here at the university or on a team or task force or a group at work…and were assigned the task of observing the status quo and recommending realistic changes?
Task: Lean on both memory and observation, as needed. Add in what we have learned about the basics of argument. Examine what you thing is the biggest obstacle facing students (in general or one specified group of students within the larger population) today attending a university as they try to move through their post-secondary education and on with their lives. Perhaps the situation is very complicated…roots of the problem, very deep. You do not have to solve the problem, but you must propose something that could be done to make the situation better. You may move from general principles (deductively: education always should do X) or build from specific observations (inductively: I have seen X, Y, and Z…this patterns suggests N), but you must educate the reader to what is wrong and then argue how students could be helped and by whom.
Audience: Instructor…but, then, perhaps, student government.
Intro- Please offer a strong hook and underline thesis sentence. Ex: “Based on my experience and what has happened to friends, I think that the biggest obstacle…” Maybe an SRI strategy will work?
Body- Stop and offer any education you think the reader might need. If useful, open this section with your credential as a special expert on the subject. (“I have applied for financial aid twice, and I can attest that…” “I am a single parent, and one quarter of my budget, each month is…” “As an international student, I have observed firsthand and struggles students like me face with…” “I always have juggled jobs and school, so I know that…”)
In the remainder of the body present your case: show your problem, make it real for the audience. Offer two or three reasons why your choice of problem holds students back from achieving their goals. Make sure, please, to use examples as proof. Make the reader SEE the issue. SHOW how students are affected.
REMEMBER to link all sections with strong, clear transitions.
Conclusion- Present your proposed response (something that could be done to make students’ lives easier with regard to your problem). You do NOT necessarily have to solve the problem…just tell the reader something concrete and specific that could be done. Show how your response is realistic. At the end of the conclusion, though, do offer a “cookie”-explain the results of taking the actions you propose. How will students be better off? Details, please, Realism! Finally, in the last sentence or so, slam the door!