Reading and Composing Essays
Read the following paragraph and compose an article that includes all these topics in one piece. You can refer to other paragraphs in this book for ideas and examples.
The first step in building a strong foundation for a successful and profitable business is to develop a business plan. A business plan is a written document that outlines your business goals, strategies, and justification for your company’s existence. It should include the following:
A description of your products and services
An overview of your competition
A statement of the need for your product or service in the marketplace
A description of your target market and customers
An analysis of your potential competitors and their strengths and weaknesses
A marketing plan including advertising, public relations, and promotional strategies
A financial plan with specific information about your start-up costs, revenue projections, cash flow projections, etc.
If you are starting a home-based business, it is especially important to have a detailed business plan because most banks will not loan money to start-up businesses unless they have a solid business plan. You should also include in your business plan sections on your professional experience, your education, any licenses or certifications you may have earned, any associations to which you belong, etc. The more information you can provide in your plan, the more likely it is that someone will invest in you. If you are looking for investors, advertisers, or even just potential employees, having a well-thought out business plan will give you an edge over other companies who have not taken the time to prepare one. This is especially true if you are working with non-profit organizations, banks, or government agencies who want to know that they are investing their money wisely.
Researching Your Topic
After you have selected a topic, you need to do some research before you can compose an article on it. Read through the topic carefully so that you understand what the topic is asking. For example, if the topic asks you to write about “the advantages of using open source software” you might be tempted to write about how open source software is free and how many people use it. However, one of the key parts of this topic asks you to explain “why” people should use this software. If you don’t explain why someone should use open source software (because it’s free?), then you wouldn’t address the main part of the question. So reading carefully will help you determine what exactly you need to explain in your article.
Some topics ask students to explain their opinions on various issues, but other topics ask students to explain facts about something. Make sure that you understand the difference between these two types of topics so that you know what kind of information you must include in your article.
Once you think you understand what the different parts of the topic are asking for, then you can start doing some research on the topic. Now that we live in the age of the internet, there is more information available than ever before on almost every topic imaginable. However, this means that it can be hard sometimes to know where to look for the correct information on a certain topic. Here are some tips about where to look for information on different types of topics:
When writing an argumentative article about a controversial issue where both sides have strong arguments, try researching both sides so that you can support your argument with facts from both sides as well as from sources with opposing views. Then you can present each side fairly and support your own position with those facts as well as with your own opinion. Keep in mind that just because someone disagrees with your opinion doesn’t mean that their opinion is wrong or yours is right - it just means that they have a different opinion. For example, if you were writing an article about same-sex marriage and wanted to argue against it, then it would be unfair to use only sources from websites that supported same-sex marriage without using any sources from websites that opposed same-sex marriage as well. In fact, if you found websites that opposed same-sex marriage but didn’t use any of those sources, then the reader would probably accuse you of bias because they would assume that you tried to hide those sources.
When writing arguments about a controversial issue where both sides have very strong arguments and where both sides use reputable sources with valid arguments, then find sources that seem unbiased to help support your opinion. For example, if you were writing an argument about same-sex marriage and wanted to argue against it, then instead of using sources from only groups that oppose same-sex marriage (which could be accused of bias), try finding some sources from organizations such as The American Psychological Association (www.apa.org) or the Center for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) which could be trusted by those on either side of the issue since they appear unbiased and professional and use reputable sources and valid arguments. Remember that just because someone disagrees with your opinion doesn’t mean that their opinion is wrong or yours is right - it just means that they have a different opinion. At least if you use sources like these, then no one could accuse you of bias or using biased sources since these organizations are widely respected across the political spectrum and beyond. Another option would be to search for articles written by experts who disagree with you for balance (see below).
When writing arguments about an issue where there really isn’t much controversy at all (such as writing arguments about something like global warming or terrorism), then find articles that appear unbiased and that use reputable sources and valid arguments for both sides of the issue to help support your opinion – just like we did above for arguments about controversial issues. However, keep in mind that even though we said we should find sources on both sides of controversial issues so that our readers don’t accuse us of bias, when writing arguments about controversial issues where there really aren’t two sides but just one side with contrary opinions, then it’s okay to only use sources supporting your opinion as long as those sources are reputable with valid arguments. That’s because when writing arguments about controversial issues where there really isn’t another side with contrary opinions but just one side with contrary opinions, then anyone who disagrees with your opinion is considered wrong or biased or they are labeled biased if they support their contrary opinion(s) with invalid arguments or weak evidence – which makes sense since they are arguing against something that has already been proven beyond any doubt by everything except their own biased opinions! For example, if someone wrote an article arguing against global warming but used only articles from websites that opposed global warming as proof of their argument then they would be unfairly biased since most reputable scientists across the world agree that global warming is happening and it is manmade – so anyone who disagrees with this consensus isn’t being fair or balanced by only using articles from websites opposed to global warming as proof of their argument since they aren’t basing their argument on sound evidence or logic or reason – they are just being biased!
When writing arguments about something like terrorism or global warming where there really isn’t another side with contrary opinions but just one side with contrary opinions (and everyone else agrees) but where there are still some people who do oppose it (and thus people could accuse you of bias if you use only sources supporting your position), then find sources written by experts who disagree with your position so that even these experts can help support your position since they are considered experts by everyone except those few who oppose whatever is being discussed here (such as terrorism or global warming). Just make sure to clearly explain why these experts disagree with your position (because they don’t really disagree at all – they just have different opinions; see above).
If you are writing an argumentative article about something like terrorism where there really isn’t another side with contrary opinions but just one side with contrary opinions (and everyone else agrees) but where there are still some people who do oppose it (and thus people could accuse you of bias if you use only sources supporting your position), then find articles written by experts who disagree with your position so that even these experts can help support your position since they are considered experts by everyone except those few who oppose whatever is being discussed here (such as terrorism). Just make sure to clearly explain why these experts disagree with your position (because they don’t really disagree at all – they just have different opinions; see above). As we said above when discussing controversial issues: remember that just because someone disagrees with your opinion doesn