For your last major writing assignment, you will write a report. You will want to choose to choose a topic that interests you and your reader. You may write
about any topic that you can remain objective about. The goal is to inform your reader of something worthwhile.
I do caution you to choose a topic that is narrow in focus and can be adequately covered in a 3-4 page essay. For example you would not want to choose the
problem of homelessness in America. Instead, you might want to look at homelessness in Kentucky or mental health issues among the homeless in
Kentucky. You could look at a specific aspect of the national problem such as the effects of COVID-19 on the homeless. The point is that whatever topic you
choose should be narrow in focus.
Do not choose hugely controversial topics such as abortion, gun rights, etc…. Many topics such as these are much too broad and complicated for a paper of
Prewriting: Answer the following questions to work towards a thesis for your essay.
1. Is there a topic, event, person, or movement that you’d like to know more about?
2. What about this topic captured your interest? Why do you think it matters – or should matter – both in general and to your audience?
3. What do you want to learn about the topic as you research and write?
4. What do you want your audience to learn from the report?
5. How can you establish your authority on the topic and get your audience to trust you and the information you provide? How do you want your audience to
see you? As a fair objective reporter? As thoughtful? Serious? Curious? Something else?
6. Why would this interest your readers?
7. What do you know about your audience? What background information will your audience likely need?
8. What terms need to be defined or illustrated with examples? What examples will be most effective?
9. What research is out there on this topic? What larger conversation, if any, is this topic a part of? What are the various perspectives on the topic, and what
else has been said about it?
10. What conclusions or insights do you want to share?
11. List the evidence or details you have gathered (descriiptions, explanations, examples, quotations, quantitative and qualitative data) that is likely to inform
you audience about the topic.
12. Create your thesis statement.