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Imagine you are taking an introductory course in the political science department titled "Current Political Controversies." You've just talked in class about crime in the United States and have been given the following writing assignment:

The following is the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Read it carefully a few times, then discuss the pros and cons of gun control as governmental policy:

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Step 1: What does the instructor mean by discuss? What other kinds of writing do you think you will do as you discuss the topic? (If necessary, refer to Key Words.)

Step 2: How does the meaning of discuss in this assignment depend on the context of the political science course you are writing for? Do you think you would be expected to write differently if you were asked to discuss this matter in a history or urban studies course? How about a constitutional law course or an English class? Write your response in the box below:

Have you received an assignment that calls for discussion? Do Your Own is a section that can help you get started. We also have some samples of CUNY assignments that ask for discussion.

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