Essay

In Phase III, you are ready to craft a term paper of 3-5 pages (12 pt. font, 1” margins, MLA or APA format including sources) that brings these two sides into dialogue. You will need to look beyond direct quotes from a public figure, to explore the sources of their thinking. Where do these ideas come from? What assumptions do they include? What values do they represent? Why are those values important to members of a particular community, or to citizens as a whole?

In Phase III, you will write your paper following this outline:

Part A: Introduction: Presents the background for your issue (what the issue is, why it is important /relevant, what does it have to do with our lives, what is the central question you are going to address). If you have done this well in a previous submission, you may draw from it or even copy it here.

Part B: Thesis 1 “In response to this question, one point of view is that we should…..” (here, you will state your first position). Present appropriate arguments for this position – i.e., premises to support the conclusion — and wherever appropriate, cite your sources. Make sure you are using sources that are specific, credible and identifiable; refer back to your text for help determining what constitutes a good scholarly source.

Part C: Thesis 2: Here, you present an argument against the position you have just outlined. What is an alternate perspective? What will they argue for? Their assumptions, values? Their sources? Are they credible? Why?   Make sure you point out any weaknesses in Thesis 1 that this view would highlight — are there fallacies in the first position? Questionable claims or assumptions? Shaky predictions? Values you reject (and if so, why)? Why would these arguers believe they have a stronger point of view?

Part D: Thesis 1 responds to Thesis 2: Repeat the critique process, in the other direction. Show weaknesses / strengths for Position 2, and explain how proponents of Thesis 1 might seek to respond to criticisms leveled against them.

Part E: Your own conclusion: Based on this dialogue, what do you see as the relative strengths / weaknesses of each side? Do you support one or the other, or do you perhaps have a third view to present? Based on everything you’ve learned, what do you think we should believe / do with regard to the issue you have raised? Why is this the best solution? What values does it represent?

Please make sure to review and edit your writing; have someone else read it, especially if you know this is not your strong suit. Remember, no jargon, no slang, no text-speak; grammar, spelling and punctuation do count. You are writing as if for publication. Be proud of what you have to say… picture it on the editorial page of Sunday’s paper, and write accordingly!

A note on citations: Please use APA format, and remain consistent within the format – if you have questions about the requirements of APA go to the library home page and click on the link for the appropriate model. You can get complete citation instructions online. I do expect a Works Cited page as part of your submission.

 
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