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An Essay Outline: What Readers (and Writers) Want to Know Outlines are helpful because they provide the skeletons of arguments in bulleted form, helping both readers and writers quickly see how the argument is developed, what isn’t working, what’s needed, and how elements might be more logically organized, for example. Once a solid outline is in place, writers and readers can rapidly see the whole arc of an argument and follow along through a bulleted format rather than committing to writing or reading a whole paper in paragraph form. You’ll see this bulleted format in the example, below, which relates to homelessness, rather than to our topic, US immigration.example sample uploaded OutlineYour main claim for Essay Four that is focused, arguable and related to US immigration. Underneath the main claim, list 8-10 bulleted subclaims that logically support the main claim. Underneath each subclaim, provide two pieces of evidence that support each subclaim with accurate MLA in-text citations.Provide a counterargument from an actual source and your rebuttal.IntroductionWrite an introductory paragraph that includes an effective opener, context for the debate, the definition of key terms (only if needed), necessary information to logically lead readers from the effective essay opener to the main claim, and your main claim. Works Cited ListOn the last page of the document, include a Works Cited list with the outside sources you are working with so fa.





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Day Month Year
Outline Example: Addressing Homelessness in San Diego Through Education
Main Claim
Although I agree that factors like mental illness, housing availability, and housing costs pose
significant challenges to those facing homelessness, I argue that to create lasting change, our
primary efforts should focus on creating comprehensive educational programs for those who
experience and are vulnerable to homelessness.
Subclaim, Counterargument/Rebuttal, and Conclusion Outline
o SC1: Local politicians recognize the necessity for solutions to the homelessness problem in
San Diego.
▪ Evidence 1: The city of San Diego provides dormitory-style tents (Wilkens, par. 14).
▪ Evidence 2: Leaders willing to commit resources to address homelessness (Jennewein,
par. 4).
▪ This evidence demonstrates the political will to address homelessness in San Diego.
o SC2: The majority of residents in the San Diego region agree that addressing the local
homelessness problem is a priority.
▪ Evidence 1: Most San Diegans favor of programs for the homeless (“SurveyUSA,” table
▪ Evidence 2: Area leaders see the issue as urgent (Garrick, par. 9).
▪ This evidence demonstrates that residents, including area leaders see addressing
homelessness as a priority.
o SC3: Despite this broad agreement, inaccurate narratives about those who are homeless
make it difficult to understand and solve the problem.
▪ Evidence 1: The majority of homeless people do not abuse substances, but abuse is both
a cause and effect of homelessness (“Substance Abuse,” par. 4).
▪ Evidence 2: The majority of homeless are not mentally ill (Holland, par. 7).
▪ This evidence demonstrates common false narratives that the homeless are substance
abusers and mentally ill, although these problems exist in this population.
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o SC4: We must address gaps in structures and systems that allow homelessness to persist.
▪ Evidence 1: Minoritized and foster youth are especially vulnerable to dropping out of
high school, diminishing their earning potential and increasing the likelihood of
homelessness (Dukes, par. 3).
▪ Evidence 2: There’s a scarcity of housing in San Diego (Garrick, par. 4-5).
▪ Evidence 3: Services for those with disabilities are lacking (Holland, par. 12).
▪ This evidence demonstrates that the issue is systemic, and we need to address systems to
solve the problem, rather than blaming those that experience homelessness.
o SC5: Targeted education programs can provide those experiencing homelessness gain jobready credentials.
▪ Evidence 1: San Diego Continuing Education offers programs (“Adult Classes,” par. 5).
▪ Evidence 2: Working on this one.
▪ This evidence demonstrates that education can play a powerful role in addressing
o SC6: Education programs, funded by governmental agencies and philanthropic corporations,
can help those who are homeless gain access to stable housing.
▪ Evidence 1: Businesses can follow the examples of Amazon, Starbucks and Vulcan to
support local areas in addressing homelessness (Putnam, par. 6).
▪ Evidence 2: Tacoma Community College offers a successful housing assistance program
(“THA,” par. 1).
▪ This evidence demonstrates that schools can partner with businesses and innovate to help
students find housing.
o SC7: Education programs can help students who are homeless access healthcare.
▪ Evidence 1: Schools can become sites for mobile health services, linking education and
health care.
▪ Evidence 2: Schools can respond by offering additional mental health services.
▪ This evidence demonstrates that healthcare is needed and can be provided by schools.
o Counterargument: The San Diego Union Tribune’s editorial board has recently insisted that
ending homelessness would mean “‘ending mental illness,’” suggesting not only that
homelessness is primarily due to mental illness, but that the problem is impossible to solve
(qtd. in Halverstadt, par. 9).
o Rebuttal: I argue, instead, that mental illness is just one of a complex set of problems that
can be addressed, in part, through coordinated and targeted educational programs. Not only
can schools provide “wrap around” services for students experiencing or vulnerable to
homelessness, they can further the political will of San Diegans through advocacy, networks,
and influence. As liaison for the National Center for Homeless Education argues, “[T]he
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education system can play a pivotal role in preventing experiences of homelessness,
providing critical school-based supports” (Dukes, par. 5).
o Conclusion:
▪ As a next step, GCCCD students should advocate that our colleges assess and address the
needs of students who experience or are vulnerable to homelessness. In part, through
student and faculty government, we need to be involved in making this happen.
INTRODUCTION DRAFT: San Diego today, more than 8,000 people are homeless which
includes people living out of doors, sleeping in cars, or otherwise “lack[ing] a fixed, regular, and
adequate nighttime residence” (Wilkens, par. 3; “2017 Homelessness Assessment” 2). In 2017,
San Diego’s homeless population ranked fourth in the nation, and although this number has
dropped six percent in the last year, this drop is likely due to the recent exclusion of RV residents
from the homeless count, rather than to new policies or programs supporting the homeless
(“2017 Assessment,” 17; Wilkins, par. 3). Homelessness in San Diego persists despite new
survey results showing that most San Diegans across political lines favor developing programs
for the homeless, even at the cost of tax increases (“SurveyUSA,” table 15). In part, the
persistence of homelessness in San Diego is due to disagreement about the primary causes of
homelessness which, if understood, could lead to effective solutions. The San Diego Union
Tribune’s editorial board insists that homelessness results from mental illness despite evidence to
the contrary, while area leaders cite housing costs and neighborhood opposition to facilities for
the homeless” as significant causes (ctd. in Halverstadt, par. 9; ctd. in Garrick, par. 5). Although
I agree that factors like mental illness, housing availability, and housing costs pose significant
challenges to those facing homelessness, I argue that to create lasting change, our primary efforts
should focus on creating comprehensive educational programs for those who experience and are
vulnerable to homelessness.
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Entries are listed in alphabetical
order, not numbered.
Works Cited
 Title; Starts on its own page.
“2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress.” US Dept. of Housing and
Lines under Urban Development, Office of Community Planning and Development, Dec. 2017,
the first are
indented ½” Accessed 8
Oct. 2018.
“Adult Classes Begin at San Diego Rescue Mission: Downtown, San Diego Residents Without
Shelter and Diploma.” San Diego Continuing Education News Room.
Accessed 8 Oct. 2018.
Dukes, Christina. “Strengthening Partnerships Between Education and Homelessness Services.”
United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, 3 May 2018, Accessed 26 Sept. 2018.
Garrick, David. “Forum Focuses on Solutions, Causes of San Diego’s Homelessness Crisis.” San
Diego Union Tribune, 20 Mar. 2017, Accessed 26 Sept. 2018.
Halverstadt, Lisa. “Three Myths About San Diego’s Homeless Population.” Voice of San Diego,
13 June 2016, Accessed 26 Sept. 2018.
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Holland, Gale. “Mental Illness and Homelessness are Connected. But Not How You Might
Think.” Los Angeles Times, 7 Aug. 2017, Accessed 26 Sept. 2018.
Jennewien, Chris. “Housing and Homelessness Are Focus on County Supervisor Debate.” Times
of San Diego, 18 Sept. 2018, Accessed 26 Sept. 2018.
“Mental Illness and Homelessness.” National Coalition of the Homeless, June 2017, Accessed 20 Oct. 2108.
Putnam, Mark. “It’s Time to Change the Narrative on Homelessness.” Impact: The Voice of
Philanthropy, 7 Aug. 2017, Seattle Foundation,
Accessed 20 Oct. 2108.
“Substance Abuse and Homelessness.” National Coalition of the Homeless, June 2017, Accessed 20 Oct. 2108.
“SurveyUSA News Poll #24027.” Sponsors: KGTV-TV San Diego and the San Diego Union
Tribune. Accessed 20 Oct. 2108.
“THA – Tacoma Community College Housing Assistance Program: A Summary.” Tacoma
Housing Authority, Accessed 20 Oct. 2108.
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Wilkens, John. “San Diegans Think Homelessness is Getting Worse, Would Support Spending
More Tax Dollars to Help, New Poll Shows.” San Diego Union Tribune, 26 May 2018, Accessed 26 Sept. 2018.
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c h a p t e r one
The Costs and Benefits of Immigration
Few issues are more controversial than immigration.1 The flood of
illegal immigrants across U.S. borders enrages many native-born
residents who believe that immigrants compete for jobs, unfairly
draw on government benefits, and fundamentally alter the social
fabric of America. These native-borns fear that non-Englishspeaking foreigners who move to the United States—legally or
illegally—and do not integrate into mainstream social and political life are threatening to erase our culture’s distinctive character.
Part of this anxiety is rooted in ethnocentrism and group animus. People tend not to like others who look or act differently
from themselves. As Donald Kinder and Cindy Kam noted in their
recent book, ethnocentrism is common in many different societies. People divide themselves into “in-groups and out-groups,”
and these types of “us versus them” distinctions color public
opinion and make it difficult to develop balanced public policies.2
Others are concerned about immigration because they view the
material costs of open-door policies as broad-based but see the
benefits as concentrated. As researcher Gary Freeman argued, the
impact of open policies falls on disadvantaged workers who feel
their wages are depressed by newcomers and on taxpayers who
worry about a drain on public resources, while the benefits accrue
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to small groups of successful immigrants who get good jobs and
to some businesses that gain the skills of new arrivals.3
Both ideas (group animosity and unfavorable cost-benefit
ratios) make it virtually impossible for the American political
system to resolve the many conflicts involving immigration. Many
taxpayers feel that immigrants receive more benefits than they
deserve and that the social costs of undocumented arrivals are
enormous. As long as these are the prevailing citizen interpretations, immigration will remain controversial, many will favor
punitive policies, and political leaders will find it impossible to
address this topic.4
In this book, I seek to reframe the public debate over immigration policy by arguing that the benefits of immigration are much
broader than popularly imagined and the costs are more confined.
Despite legitimate fear and anxiety over illegal immigration, I
suggest that immigrants bring a “brain gain” of innovation and
creativity that outweighs real or imagined costs. Throughout the
nation’s history, immigrants have enriched economic, intellectual, social, and cultural life in the United States in a number of
fundamental respects.5 The nation needs a new national narrative
on immigration that moves from themes of illegality and abuse
to innovation and enrichment. The country needs to build a new
public policy based on empirical realities, not abstract fears and
To build a stronger case for immigration, the government
needs to make policy changes that promote the benefits of immigration, while simultaneously adopting policies that reduce fears
about its social and material costs. Policymakers should expand
visa programs that bring talented and entrepreneurial foreigners
to the country.6 And the government should take border and
employment security seriously to ease citizen concern about the
impact of illegal immigrants on national life. These actions will
not completely reassure those who oppose immigration based on
group animosity or economic impact. But if these policy shifts are
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adopted, they will help citizens see the virtues of in-migration and
make them less anxious about new arrivals.
A Brief History of Immigration
From 1820 to 1920 nearly 30 million foreigners arrived in the
United States. Close to 400,000 immigrants arrived in 1870 alone;
ten years later that figure rose to over 450,000 and remained
high for several years.7 These migrants transformed America, supplying labor for the great industrialization that swept over the
country. But their presence also ignited sharp divisions over the
character and impact of foreign immigration. Indeed, many of the
current debates mirror arguments that took place more than 100
years ago.
Over the course of the twentieth century, the level of American
immigration has fluctuated considerably depending on political
and economic circumstances.8 As shown in figure 1-1, in-migration
between 1860 and 2007 reached a high point of over 1.2 million individuals in 1907, but then dropped to under 300,000 in
1917 toward the end of World War I. Levels rose again during
the 1920s but slowed to a trickle during the Great Depression of
the 1930s. In the last few years, levels rose to around 1 million
new entries each year. Today, around 13 percent of immigrants
are first-generation arrivals, while 11 percent are American-born
children of immigrants.9
Early immigrant waves in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries came largely from European stock. These initial migrations
gave us our language and people with experience in farming, business, and trade. The Germans arrived in the 1840s and 1850s,
seeking land and fortune in the Midwestern part of the country.
They were followed by Russians, Irish, and Italians in subsequent
decades.10 With this mix of ethnic backgrounds, the image of the
“melting pot” became the prevailing metaphor of this time period.
In the mid-twentieth century, though, the main countries of
origin shifted south and east. The largest sources of immigration
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FIGURE 1-1. Number of Lawful Immigrants, 1820–2007
Millions of immigrants
Source: U.S. Dept of Homeland Security, Office of Immigration Statistics, Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, 2007(
in recent years have been Asia, South and Central America, and
Africa. Of the 1,052,415 legal permanent residents who came to
America in 2007, 36 percent emigrated from Asia; 32 percent
entered from the Caribbean, Central America, or other parts of
North America; 11 percent migrated from Europe; 10 percent
arrived from South America; and 9 percent came from Africa. The
largest single country of origin was Mexico (14.1 percent of all
lawful immigrants), followed by China (7.3 percent), the Philippines (6.9 percent), and India (6.2 percent).11
These immigrant waves were very controversial. 12 The languages, even the alphabets, of these new arrivals were unfamiliar,
and the immigrants themselves were racially and ethnically different from their European predecessors. In many cases their religious, cultural, and political backgrounds differed significantly,
and it was harder for them to assimilate.13 Americans did not
always accept them as fellow countrymen and women, and their
cultural distinctiveness would put the idea of a melting pot to a
fundamental test.
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The large population movements over the past decades are not
just a U.S. phenomenon. In 2008 there were an estimated 191
million “transnational immigrants” and over 30 million political
refugees around the world.14 With the advent of civil wars, natural disasters, economic inequality, and relatively cheap air travel,
migration has become a growth industry. Indeed, the economies
of many developing countries rely heavily on the remittances
migrants send home to their families from their earnings abroad.
People move not only to gain better economic conditions, but
to reunite with families, seek freedom of political expression, or
escape poor personal circumstances.15
With large numbers of people on the move, widespread migration has become one of the defining hallmarks of the contemporary period. The previous era, when individuals tended to stay
close to home, is over. People’s vision of the world has broadened with the advent of global media such as television and the
Internet. Those thinking about going elsewhere can see what the
alternatives are and appear to have fewer inhibitions about resettling, especially when conditions in their home country are not
very favorable for economic or political reasons.
Immigration is a serious political issue in many countries
besides the United States. Comparisons of attitudes toward immigration in western nations shows the United States to be about at
the midpoint in the share of residents who think immigration is a
problem. According to national surveys, the western country with
the highest percentage of citizens who feel immigration is a problem is the United Kingdom (62 percent), followed by 50 percent in
the United States, 49 percent in Germany, 47 percent in Italy, 41
percent in Poland, 38 percent in the Netherlands, and 35 percent
in France.16 The variation in public attitudes across these nations
suggests that citizen anxiety can be managed even when foreigners look and act differently from native-borns. What is needed are
national policies that understand the source of public discontent
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and take actions to minimize public perceptions of immigrant
social and economic costs.
Immigration Pathways
Immigrants come to the United States in three general ways. First,
they can become legal permanent residents through marriage,
extended family ties, or special skills, or as political refugees.
Using visas known as green cards, legal permanent residents are
able to live and work in the country. Of the 35 million American
immigrants in the United States, an estimated two-thirds (around
23 million) are legal permanent residents.17 Individuals with green
cards can a …
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