Coal or Nuclear Power

For this Final Assessment, you must submit one assignment consisting of two essays, each of which must follow APA formatting guidelines. The essays are:


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  1. A 2,000 to 2,500-word researchessay
  2. A 500 to 750-word reflectionessay


For each essay, you have the ability to submit a draft for instructive feedback before you submit the final version of your Final Assessment. You are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to receive detailed feedback on your drafts in order to help you master the final assessment on the first attempt and maximize your learning experience. For more information about draft submissions, you can read below under “Step FIVE: Submit Your Research and Reflection Essay Drafts for Feedback.”


There are FIVE STEPS to completing the Final Assessment for this competency:



Step ONE: Draft Your Research Essay


Your research essay requires the following:


  • Write a 2,000 to 2,500-word research essay that: (1) explains the history and current debate of a controversialtopic,
    • asserts an opinion about the debate, and (3) ultimately persuades readers to support yourposition.
      • ”Debatable” means a topic about which intelligent, well-meaning people may disagree. Keep in mind that your audience will be skeptical, so plan your argumentsaccordingly.
      • The key to a solid argument is to ensure that your argument is well-balanced, thorough, and supported by information gleaned from credible written sources such as scholarly journals, trade publications, andbooks.


  • Your research essay must include the followingelements:
  • Clear title and introduction, which present the history of the problem in an engagingmanner
  • Accurate description of the topic as it is currently presented in the literature and clear descriptions of the variousviewpoints
  • Evaluation and analysis of thedebate
  • At least eight reliable and authoritative secondarysources


  • To help you get started, try following thesesteps:
  • Begin by drafting an outline of your researchessay.


  • Use your outline to write a rough draft of your paper that incorporates yoursources.
    • Take advantage of credible websites, radio, or even television programs, but not to the exclusion of printed sources. If possible, interview a leader in the field- the idea is to have a balance of source types. Remember to use your critical thinking skills to determine the validity and reliability of each source before you decide to include it.
    • Your sources should be current (usually not more than ten years old), unless you are providing historical background or the source is a seminal work in the field. All quotations, summaries, and paraphrases must be correctly cited and documented using APA citationguidelines.



Step TWO: Complete the Research Essay Submission Checklist

Before you submit, check to see if you believe you have met the criteria noted below. Did you….

  • Select and explain the history and current debate of a controversialtopic?
  • Provide a clear title and introduction that is engaging for youraudience?
  • Clearly present the debatable issue and make connections between differentviewpoints?
  • Present your own point of view and make persuasive arguments in favor ofit?
  • Conduct a thorough evaluation and analysis of thedebate?
  • Cite at least eight reliable, authoritativesources?
  • Demonstrate APA academic writing which is clear, concise, and factuallycorrect?
  • Adhere to the 2,000 to 2,500-word length requirement, double-space your essay, and use the 12-point Times New Roman font?



Step THREE: Draft Your Reflection Essay


Your reflection essay requires the following:


  • Write a 500 to 750-word reflection essay on what you have learned about the research writing process in response to each of the followingprompts:



  • Take a look back at the Topic Proposal Learning Activity in Objective 7, Topic 5. What have you learned about yourself as a researcher and writer? Did you change your topic, your audience, or your working thesis in any way during your writing process? Did you use the same sources you originally listed? Why or whynot?
  • Now that you have successfully completed the process of writing an academic research essay, reflect upon the experience. Did you develop a certain process to complete the work? In the future, would you amend that process in any way? Did breaking the long essay down into smaller parts help? Is this an approach you might use with future assignments? Why or whynot?
  • Finally, if you have not already explained this, what do you believe to be your writing weaknesses and strengths?


  • Your reflection essay must include the followingelements:
  • An introductory paragraph which includes a thesisstatement
  • At least three bodyparagraphs
  • A clearconclusion
  • Consistent language style andvoice


  • Because this is a personal essay, you may use first or second person, as well ascontractions.


Step FOUR: Complete the Reflection Essay Submission Checklist Before you submit your draft, check to see if you believe you have met the criteria noted below. Did you….

  • Create a title that clearly and specifically reflects the content of your reflectionessay?
  • Answer each of the prompts listed under StepThree?
  • Write at least three body paragraphs with a clear introduction, thesis statement, andconclusion?
  • Include transitions appropriately to ensure that ideas are logical and build upon the precedingpoints?
  • Write your essay using consistent language style andvoice?
  • Adhere to the 500 to 750-word length requirement, double-space your essay, and use the 12-point Times New Romanfont?

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