I went to Sarah Lawrence College, a liberal arts school just outside New York City. Although I left college a happily employed journalist/blogger, I didn’t take journalism classes. Instead, I took a number of non-fiction and fiction writing workshops where my writing was torn apart. In the process, I developed my voice, tightened my language, and became a better editor. Those skills made me a more effective editor of our college newspaper and helped me pick up digital media gigs in New York.
For your course project, you will write a paper on a specific topic or problem dealing with a subject from the natural sciences. In first assignment, you selected a topic.
In this assignment, you will prepare arguments in support of and in opposition to your topic. If you have difficulties in formulating arguments, please contact your instructor for guidance.
In this assignment, complete the following:
• Develop three written arguments in support of your thesis.
• Develop three written arguments in opposition to your thesis.
Be sure to include the following:
• Support your arguments with reasons and scholarly references.
• Provide evidence from your textbook or an external reference to support your arguments. The external reference can be from a reliable source on the Internet or a book/journal article from the Argosy University Online Library.
Each written argument should be at least a paragraph in length.
Note: These arguments cannot be statements of your own opinions. They must be supported by scholarly references.
Every field has slightly different requirements for acceptable evidence, so familiarize yourself with some arguments from within that field instead of just applying whatever evidence you like best. Pay attention to your textbooks and your instructor’s lectures. What types of argument and evidence are they using? The type of evidence that sways an English instructor may not work to convince a sociology instructor. Find out what counts as proof that something is true in that field. Is it statistics, a logical development of points, something from the object being discussed (art work, text, culture, or atom), the way something works, or some combination of more than one of these things?
Marjorie's younger sister, Ann, needs to be driven to the dance at her middle school. Marjorie's parents are debating whether to go to a movie, and they feel Marjorie's parking ticket demonstrates a decided lack of maturity.
arjorie knows disorganized begging and groveling won't work. She develops her argument carefully, considering the key components in logical persuasion:
1) Anticipate the objections of your opponents;
2) State your position clearly;
3) Back up all your assertions with data; and
4) Demonstrate the benefits of your position
ith these points in mind (not consciously, perhaps; she is a teenager), Marjorie develops the following argument: Her ticket was a slight lapse (it was her first ticket since getting her license over a year ago), and she paid the ticket with money she earned at MacDonald's. She would be happy to drive Ann to the dance and save her parents the trouble. Also, with both herself and Ann occupied, wouldn't her parents prefer a quiet evening at home. Marjorie knows that a movie they wanted to see, is now available at Blockbuster's. She and her incredibly responsible friend Sarah (the girl her parents like so much), will only be going to the mall and then to Sarah's house. Marjorie will be home early and plans to fill up the gas tank.
ajorie's argument, though not eloquent, has merit. She has not lied, she's anticipated her parents' probable objections well, she's offered specific data to counter their objections, she's stated her position clearly, and she's offered a number of benefits her audience (her parents) will receive by agreeing with her position.
In matters concerning employment, either weight should be including in the Civil Rights Act, or new, separate federal anti-discrimination legislation based on weight should be established. In health care, health care organizations should include language on weight bias in their patients' rights policies, and require weight bias training for all health care professionals. In schools, overweight and obese children should be protected from bullying and intimidation in school by requiring states and/or school districts to adopt and enforce policies prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying on school property. Weight should be included as a specific protected category.
Your list of strengths and weaknesses can help you develop your argument. Prioritize the strengths and weaknesses of each position and then decide on the top three to five strengths and weaknesses. Then, using a technique for developing content ideas (e.g., clustering, association, or journalist’s questions [see the section in chapter 2 titled “”] ), begin to expand your understanding of each item on your list. Evaluate each one in terms of how you can support it—by reasoning, providing details, adding an example, or offering evidence. Again, prioritize your list of strengths and weaknesses, this time noting the supporting comments that need more work, call for more evidence, or may be irrelevant to your argument. At this stage, it is better to overlook nothing and keep extensive notes for later reference.
When you develop your argument, you are confirming your own position, building your case. Use empirical evidence—facts and statistics—to support your claims. Appeal to your audience’s rational and logical thinking. Argue your case from the authority of your evidence and research.
As you develop your ideas, remember that you are presenting them in a fair-minded and rational way, counting on your readers’ intelligence, experience, and insight to evaluate your argument and see your point of view.
This guide provides teachers with strategies for helping students understand the differences between persuasive writing and evidence-based argumentation. Students become familiar with the basic components of an argument and then develop their understanding by analyzing evidence-based arguments about texts. Students then generate evidence-based arguments of texts using a variety of resources. Links to related resources and additional classroom strategies are also provided.