Overview The purpose of this assignment is to encourage students to apply classroom knowledge to real-world issues, to improve critical thinking and writing skills, and to engage directly with the scientific literature (beyond what is summarized in the text). You will therefore be asked to select one of the topics below to educate yourself about, and then write a persuasive essay based on your knowledge. For your chosen topic: • You will read a popular press article targeted towards parents that argues for or against a particular parenting choice. • You will be provided with 2 scientific journal articles that describe some of the research being conducted on this topic. • You will use this material to provide your own critical evaluation of the issue, along with an expert synthesis of the evidence supporting your view, drawn from the journal articles provided, class material, and any other optional sources you have found. There are no clear right or wrong answers to these parenting decisions, and you may choose to argue for whichever side of the issue you find most compelling. However, there are better or worse arguments, and essays will be evaluated on the quality of these arguments, as well as their integration of course material and understanding of/ability to integrate information from additional sources in to the argument. You should strive to present as strong an argument as possible.

Requirements  3-4 double-spaced pages; 1” margins; Times New Roman font size 12; APA style citations. o If you aren’t sure how to provide ciations in APA style, you can find help at this link: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style _guide/in_text_citations_the_basics.html  Minimum 3 full pages. Anything beyond the 4th full page will not be considered when evaluating your paper. Important note: this page limit does not include the title page or reference list. An abstract is not required.  You are welcome to do additional research (discuss additional articles beyond what is provided below). This is not required and you will not get “extra points” for referencing additional work unless this helps support your argument. Additional sources must be properly cited and clearly described (which may be difficult given space limitations).  You should not directly quote any the papers you are citing. This is a short paper, and the goal is to make the argument in your own words. General Grading Criteria (Detailed Rubric to be posted separately)  Thesis statement & organization: clearly defining your position, providing an outline for your argument and the terms of your argument (e.g., is there a clear definition of terms and foreshadowing the kinds of evidence that will be discussed and weighed).  Logic: Do the arguments support the position? Are they convincing? Are there any logical gaps in the argument?  Structure: Do paragraphs have topic sentences and a clear structure? Is there a clear logical structure for the essay overall?  Mechanics: Is the argument presented in a clear fashion (with all words and sentences being as clear as possible)? Are references cited properly? Are there grammatical errors?

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