When we think about “argument,” we often envision a heated exchange. The in-your-face kind of arguing, however, seldom leads others to see value in our position. In this assignment, you will learn to write a different type of argument—a reasoned argument in which you will challenge your readers’ thinking without ridiculing their beliefs.
You will start by choosing a controversial issue that you are interested in and on which you hold a strong position. I strongly encourage you to “reuse” the topic you explored in “Analyzing and Synthesizing Opposing Viewpoints,” but you can choose a different one. If you want to change topic, make sure it is something with which you can familiarize yourself within the next week or so and get my approval before you start.
Your paper will need the following basic features:
1. A clear presentation of the issue, or debate. What different opinions are there?
2. A well-supported position. What do you believe? For what reasons? What credible evidence is there to support your reasons? “Credible evidence” means statistics and expert opinions, or research. If you are using the same topic as in the last paper, you can use some or all of the same sources. The total number of sources for this paper is six. Use Opposing Viewpoints to find any additional sources you may need. Notice that we will be using APA style this time, the system of documentation of the American Psychological Association, so you will need to change all the entries in your list of “References.”
3. An effective response to opposing viewpoints. When you take a stand on a controversial issue, it is important that you anticipate and rebut your readers’ objections. This is called “refutation” and it means that you will show what is wrong with the opposing arguments. Other times, you may want to concede valid objections or concerns, and say that you agree with them. Concession to strong opposing points can work in a reasoned argument because it shows that the writer is reasonable and it builds a foundation of common concerns between writer and readers. In many cases, a concession is really a “concession refutation,” because the writer says they agree with the reader only to move on and indicate how they differ.
4. A clear, logical organization. You will need a thesis statement that asserts your position and provides a forecast of the reasons you will offer to support it. Additionally, you will want to make an effort to use clear transitions, words such as because, however, admittedly, on the other hand, therefore, finally etc.
Required length: 4 pages (title page and list of references do not count).
Number of sources: 6