The Position Paper
For this assignment, you are to write a position paper. The position paper requires you to establish a clear claim. You are to “draw a line in the sand” and state your position. In your introduction, you should establish the problem or the importance of the issue by providing some background information about the topic. Also, you should identify the people who are negatively impacted by this problem or issue. Towards the end of your introduction you should establish a clear claim—your position. As you make your argument, you should consider your opponent’s position, but your goal is to establish a claim and argue your point.
Select a topic from the below list:
- Should the state government ban capital punishment?
- Should teenagers under the age of eighteen be allowed to play adult rated video games?
- Should couples live together before marriage?
- Are participation trophies in youth athletics a good idea?
- Should citizens be allowed to enter into plural marriages (polygamy)?
- Should local governments be allowed to use surveillance cameras in public areas?
- Should convicted felons who have served their time have the right to vote in local, state, and national elections?
- Should all citizens be required to serve in the military for at least two years?
- Should smokers be required to pay more for their health insurance?
- Should citizens (excluding professional athletes) be allowed to use steroids for recreational use?
- Should city or county governments impose curfew laws on children under the age of eighteen?
- Should people on welfare be required to submit to drug testing?
- Should first-time parents be required to attend a parenting class?
- Should all middle and high school students be required to participate in extracurricular activities?
- Should American citizens receive free tuition to attend a public college or university?
- Should students be allowed to drop out of school at the age of sixteen?
- Should America have a national high school exam to determine promotion and graduation?
- Should K-12 schools be required to teach comprehensive sex education?
- Should K-12 students be required to wear school-uniforms?
- Should kids in elementary be allowed to have social media accounts (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, etc.)?
I do want you to research at least four (4) sources (i.e., articles from magazines, scholarly journals, edited collections, book chapters, official reports) for this assignment. Your sources should provide you with enough information about both sides of the argument. Please locate at least three (3) of your sources via the TCC database. (No Wikipedia sources!)
*** Make sure your sources are credible and relevant to the topic.
MAKE SURE YOUR PAPER HAS A TITLE. YOUR TITLE IS NOT THE REWORDING OF THE PROMPT. YOUR TITLE SHOULD REFLECT YOUR THESIS, OR THE PREMISE OF YOUR ESSAY!!!!!!!
Length: 3-5 pages
Other reminders: Font Times Roman / Size 12; Double Spaced; Include Page Numbers (top right corner of page); and NO COVER PAGE. Your first page should look like this:
(Top left, some teachers might ask you to place it on top right and double space)
Jane Doe (Your name)
ENC 1102.Ref # (the class and the reference)
Dr. Valladares (my name)
————— (Date the paper is due)
“If You Want to Feel Funky, Feel Free. But Please Don’t Spread that Funk on Me: Social Commentary in Today’s Comedy Routines” (Title of paper)
The beginning of your paper
Outline of a Position Essay
Below is a very general skeleton of what you should aim for in this argumentative essay:
Introduction (Remember, every essay should have some type of introduction) [1 to 3 Paragraphs]
- Your objective in this introduction is to grab your reader’s attention. In other words, encourage them to want to read your essay. Please refer to the writing multiple leads handout.
- You should establish the context for your position by clearly defining the debate / conflict. Consider who is negatively impacted by this problem.
- You should allude to the values or principles that form the basis of your position.
- Also, you should establish that there are different sides to this debate.
- Of course, you should establish your claim—STATE YOUR POSITION!
Body (Remember, I hate teaching formulaic writing, so I will give you a general outline of how one of your main points / grounds might be argued.) [4 to 6 Paragraphs]
Main Point / Ground (What you do for this ground should be done for each ground you establish):
- You should be prepared to establish a ground and explain to your reader the significance of this ground as it relates to your claim (position).
- You should be prepared to provide details (i.e., logical reasoning, evidence, data, and/or scholarship) to support the assertions you make in each ground.
- You should use your research—those secondary sources—for better backing.
Conclusion [1 to 2 Paragraphs]
- Bring closure to your discussion.
- You might offer an alternative way to view your issue.
- You might reiterate what is wrong with your opponent’s position and what is right about yours.
Because there are several ways you can introduce the opposition’s perspective in your essay, I will simply remind you to present the other side somewhere in your essay. It’s very important that you discuss what your opponent says about the issue. Now, you can do this in each ground section, you can present your opponent’s side in one paragraph after the introduction and proceed to argue your claim based on your grounds, or you can present your opponent’s side near the end of your essay and provide a rebuttal and closing remarks in your conclusion section.
Again, please include a Works Cited section at the end of the paper.
Submission: Please submit your essay through canvas; do not email your final papers!
REMEMBER to save your paper electronically.
If you have any other questions, please see me during my office hours, or email me.
-Thursday, *** Works Cited due
-Tuesday, *** Outline due
-Thursday, *** Final Paper due