Essay Project 1, Draft 1 Requirements Directions

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Essay Project 1, Draft 1 Requirements

Directions: For the first draft of Essay Project 1, you will choose from one of the topics listed below and write a 1,000-word essay that responds fully to the guidelines provided. Students with any further questions should please ask in class during designated times and direct any specific questions to the teacher via email at

This essay is due, printed out and stapled, at the beginning of class on Thursday, February 4.

  1. Name a single police act or action that straddles the line between lawful use of force and police brutality. Write an essay answering the question, why does that particular act or action, to your mind, constitute police brutality?

  2. There are many debates surrounding the subject of cannabis and its uses and byproducts. There seems to be no consensus on how to incorporate any form or use of cannabis into our legal system. For this topic, write an essay that focuses on the legal and cultural questions surrounding one specific use of cannabis, and explain what policies would work best with it.

  3. We have a concept in our minds of what we call “victimless crimes,” though almost any action a human can take (criminal or not) leads to consequences for others. For this topic, write an essay that focuses on a single action that some people consider to be a “victimless crime,” and answer the question, what makes this particular action (or inaction) either a victimless or non-victimless crime?

  4. There is no question in any reasonable person’s mind that football can be dangerous; the questions arise over how dangerous and whether or not it is too dangerous. For this topic, choose a particular age group or some other demographic, and write an essay answering the question, is this particular level and style of play safe for the athletes who are playing it?

  5. Many have noted that several endangered animal species have been brought to the brink of extinction by the actions or inactions of human beings. It is an ethical argument – what is our proper role, people ask, as stewards of the earth? Some argue that we should do all that we can, while others argue that, for some animals, it is the most natural thing for all species to go extinct eventually. For this essay, choose a single, specific endangered animal, and write an essay answering the question, are we doing enough to protect this species?

  6. Another issue on the subject of our ethical obligations as a species is our obligations to the aspects of the world that are evolving, but not necessarily endangered. One useful way of looking at our ethical obligations to the earth is to think of what our obligations are to posterity. For this essay, identify a single, specific field of human endeavor that has some long-lasting impact on the world and its inhabitants and write an essay and explain to what extent we are (or are not) doing all that is ethically required of us. Are we really doing all that we should do in this particular case?

Note: With this topic, be careful to note the differences between what we “should,” “could,” and “are” doing. This essay asks for an argument on what we should be doing.

  1. Many regard euthanasia as a legalized form of suicide, which is illegal everywhere. They also often believe that it is unethical for a doctor to assist a patient in an act of suicide. For this topic, write an essay that answers the question, what single, specific condition should doctors meet to make euthanasia legal?

  2. If there is any topic not on this list that you believe can be turned into a Classification-type essay, there is a way to do that, still: submit an informal proposal to Dr. Venus, via email, of the topic, along with a proposal for how that topic can be made into a Classification essay.

Advice: Before you begin drafting an essay on any of these topics, you can put yourself in the best position for doing well on this essay by having a clear idea of what the significance of your argument is to society at large. In other words, more than just a statement of your personal opinion, it is helpful to know why the discussion is an important one to begin with.

Minimum Assignment Requirements: Your essay should answer the topic question carefully; be careful not to exclude any part of it or answer it differently than it is asking you to answer it. Your essay should also have a specific thesis statement near the end of the introductory paragraph. It should also be based entirely upon your own observations. There should be no evidence of research done in the writing of this essay beyond your own observations. You cannot expect a grade better than a D if you do not meet these minimum requirements.

Special Assignment Requirements: Below there are listed each of this assignment’s special requirements, along with their numbers and the points deducted for each requirement not met. Requirements 1-4 are MLA format requirements, so you should remember to find and use “Pre-formatted MLA Template” on your teacher’s faculty web page for a tutorial and aid on formatting an essay in MLA style.

  1. Every line is double-spaced (-1 point)

  2. It begins with a properly formatted MLA heading (-2 points)

  3. There are properly formatted MLA headers on each page (-2 points)

  4. It has a title (-1 point)

  5. It is stapled (-1 point)

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