Developing an Argument

Write a paper developing the arguments for the first round of debates. READ AND FOLLOW ALL DIRECTIONS IN THIS INSTRUCTION SHEET.

The paper should contain an introductory paragraph, a body, and a concluding paragraph and a reference page.

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You will be graded on the following criteria each of which counts equally:

Analysis (the depth of understanding of the issues)
Reasoning (your use of logic and reasoning to make your argument)
Support (how well you evidence your contentions)
Structure (how well you organize your ideas)
Style (the effectiveness of your language)

Paper length: 1000-2400 words not counting your title page or your references.
Type, double space, includes embedded citations and a reference list (the list is not part of the word count).
You will be handing in both a paper version and a version to TurnIt In.com.*

Don’t underestimate the strength of the arguments for the other side. This is an individual paper and not a team effort. Your team for the actual debate will be strengthened if you have come at this topic from different perspectives which you can then share.

You are expected to do EXTENSIVE research for your paper and for your debate. Ten sources that you actually use should be the minimum and twice that is not overkill. You should research both sides of the argument.

IF YOU BORROW IDEAS FROM ANYONE YOU MUST CREDIT THEM BY EMBEDDING YOUR CITATION IN THE TEXT AND INCLUDING THE SOURCE IN YOUR REFERENCE PAGE. IF YOU USE SOMEONE ELSE’S WORDS YOU MUST PUT THEM IN QUOTATION MARKS, EMBED YOUR CITATION WITHIN THE TEXT AND INCLUDE THE SOURCE IN YOUR REFERENCE PAGE. If you fail to adequately identify your sources, you will receive a zero on the assignment. You must credit sources from which you quote, paraphrase, or borrow an idea. This credit must be in the form of an embedded citation in the text of the paper as well as a citation in your reference page. If you plagiarize you will be reported to the office of Student Development. See your catalogue or your student handbook for the definition of and penalties for plagiarism.

***See the separate handout on writing better papers for suggestions to strengthening each of the five criteria on which you will be graded.

You must hand in your paper to turnitin.com BEFORE you turn in your paper copies. The paper COPY is due IN DUPLICATE on the class period before the first debate at the BEGINNING of class. Papers received at the end of class are late. Papers without duplicate copies for your opponent will not be accepted.

For those students debating on the following class, you MUST schedule a meeting with me to go over your paper in advance of the class.

Here is the exact format you should follow:

Title Page Clarifies Your Side and What you are Debating

Title page should have your name, and the title “Brief for the (Fill In Affirmative or Negative) on the proposition: fill in the exact wording of your proposition.

Your Introduction: Your reader’s Roadmap to the Paper

Introduction: You should have an introductory paragraph in which you grab attention and preview your thesis and your main ideas in each section of the paper and have a transition to the body of the paper. This should be no longer than a paragraph or two.

The Body of the Paper Makes ther Argument in Three Parts

The body of the paper should have three sections:
Section one has the issues you initially intend to raise
Section two has the arguments your opponent will raise in response to you. this has two parts: 1. What direct refutation you expect and 2. What new issues you expect your opponent to raise.
Section three is your refutation of those issues that your opponent has raised and tells how you intend to rehabilitate your argument after it has been attacked.

Paragraphs should be Well Organized and Short

Paragraph Structure: Each paragraph should stand on its own. It should start with either an attention grabber, a transitional sentence, or the main idea that it is supporting. If the main idea is not in the first sentence, it should be in the second sentence. The paragraph should then support that main idea and have a concluding sentence that summarizes or restates the main point of the paragraph. If this is not the last paragraph in the section, you should either include a transition to the next paragraph in your summary or you should follow that summary with a sentence transitioning to the next paragraph. No paragraph should be longer than half a page typed double spaced in 12 point type using Times New Roman font.

The concluding Section Sums Up Your Points

Your conclusion should NOT contain any new material. It should summarize your thesis and your main points and give the reader a feeling that the paper is completed. This should be no longer than a paragraph or two for this paper.

Use of Headings Matters

I expect headings that help highlight what you are trying to say. Note how I have used them here. Headings help clarify you structure and highlight your ideas for your reader. You should have headings for each section but you should also use them to highlight each important idea.

References are Crucial

You must use proper references. If you quote, you must embed using ltalix type, the author, date of publication. Here is an example: Wells (2019), p.12. If you borrow an idea but use your own words, you must credit the source by embedding in parenthesis the author’s last name and the date of publication.
You must also include a separate reference page with the full citation for each source: Author, Title of Article, Title of Publication in which the Article Appeared, Publisher, and Date. Include all sources you used but do not pad this. I expect ten to twelve references for this paper and this does not count dictionaries from which you got definitions. However, there is no limit to the number of sources you can use. Gather as much ammunition as you can. Do not confuse search engines with sources. Do not confuse the web address on which you found the material for the citation. The Library web page includes helpful material about the proper way to cite sources. USE IT.

(Online sections of the class do not hand in a paper version of this project and exchanging with your opponent is optional. You should send your paper to your partners but only after the assignment is handed in by all team members). For more information on Developing an Argument check out this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument

Developing an Argument

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