As we have been learning, nuclear and radiological technologies have evident beneficial applications in our society including: providing clean energy, medical treatments, national security, and industrial applications. However, there remain realities associated with potential dangers, including examples of past environmental and human health impacts, not to mention the potential proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Your writing assignment (20% of your grade) will be to write a 3-4 page convincing and persuasive essay on a nuclear related topic. It is not required that it is specifically a topic covered in class and you are welcome to formulate an argument that is supportive or against the use of the nuclear technology. Some example persuasive topical statements would be:
We need to build more reactors in the United States
Diagnostic imaging in children should be more heavily regulated.
Radiation dose limits for workers should be reduced (or increased).
It is necessary to eliminate all nuclear weapons in the United States.
The best solution for the disposal of nuclear waste is a deep geological repository
[It is NOT required that it is a topic only relevant to the United States, but these are topics I am more familiar with.]
Make sure the statement you are supporting is not a simple fact (like ‘nuclear power plants contributes to 20% of the US electricity’), but instead a personal analysis of a nuclear issue supported by facts(research/reading). It is imperative that you cite your source(s) of information you use to support your argument. I will emphasize the necessity that this is your own written work. If you have any questions regarding what constitutes plagiarism, I am happy to answer. Sometimes plagiarism is not intentional. Make sure you reference your source of information and use quotations when using the words of others.
Also, we (me and the TA’s) are unable to ‘pre-grade’ written assignments, but are happy to provide feedback on a topic to make sure you are headed in the right direction.
We will devote some time in week 6 to discuss what makes a solid argumentative essay, topic ideas, and format.