For this assignment, the students in my English 1C classes at Shasta College were asked to research a controversial issue relevant to North State residents and argue their position on that issue in a persuasive essay. The students had total control over their choice of topic and the opinions expressed in their essays are their own.
While the students were researching their chosen topics, Doni Chamberlain-Greenberg and I were discussing the possibility of publishing their essays on aNewsCafe.com. I was hoping the students could have the opportunity to experience the process of preparing a piece of writing for publication, write for a real general audience (rather than just an instructor), and possibly have an impact on their community by persuading Redding residents to accept their points of view. I considered aNewsCafe.com to be the perfect venue to showcase these student papers because of its strong commitment to local news and local perspectives.
The essays featured here were written by students who chose to revise and submit their papers for publication in exchange for extra credit in the course (those who did not feel comfortable publishing their work were offered another extra credit option). I am impressed with the work my students have done on these papers and I really admire the courage of those who took the risk and chose to share their ideas with the public. I am very appreciative of Doni and her team’s work to post these online on our behalf—thank you for making this opportunity possible!
Click here for the student essays, which will be published in the order in which they were submitted. The essays are unedited.
Dionne Soares Palmer is an adjunct instructor in the English Department at Shasta College. She holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from UC Davis and is a freelance writer who specializes in creating textbook supplements. She also writes about topics relevant to academic writing and higher education
Note from Doni: Readers, I am proud to present these student essays on aNewsCafe.com. I invite you to read them, respond to them and demonstrate how it’s possible for civilized individuals to converse and even disagree in a respectful manner. I think it’s going to be good. Thank you for participating in this experiment of sorts. (Pace yourself. There are many essays to come.)