ENGL 101 short assigment


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You are required to include a counterargument in Essay 3. In this assignment, we’re going to put together a practice counterargument so that we have some experience with it as we draft Essay 3.


Start by picking one of the controversial topics from the list below:

  • gun control
  • marijuana legalization
  • private prisons
  • police brutality and/or funding
  • climate change
  • high income taxation

Spend a few minutes brainstorming to discover what you think is the best reason to be IN FAVOR OF or AGAINST that topic.

In a properly formatted MLA document, record that reason that you brainstormed. Write a paragraph where you state the side you agree with and why. Then, write a counterargument addressing one of the arguments against you. In this counter argument, you should:

  • Explain the logic behind that position you disagree with
  • Explain why that reason is incorrect, incomplete, or otherwise wrong
  • Explain what you think is the correct position and why.

Once you have done this, do so again, but starting from the other point of view or side.


Topic – paying college athletes (not an option from the above list)

The strongest argument against paying college athletes is that college athletes are supposed to be amateurs. Paying them, and treating them like professionals, would be a distraction from their studies. They should be students first, and prioritizing their education, so that they’re getting the most out of their time in college. This is a noble sentiment and admirable goal, but in practice simply doesn’t represent reality. Colleges pour massive amounts of money into their athletic programs, which in turn make a lot of money for them. Because of this, certain sports played by certain schools are nearly indistinguishable from professional athletics, save for the free labor of their athletes. Many college athletes playing at the highest level for the top athletic programs put as much time into their sport as a full time employee; they are expected to perform at a top level, and so there is often no time to put the necessary effort into their studies. The idea that college athletes, or anyone, can be expected to perform at their best both on the field and in the classroom, is a fantasy.

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