Unit 2: Researched Argument: How can we bridge the differences that divide us? Subject VEGETARIANISM AND HOW IT IMPACTS US Our second unit for this course will be a researched argument answering the question “How can we bridge the differences that divide us? Our goals this unit are to use research to back up a position and to argue a position thoughtfully, with the goal of starting a conversation. We’re also working within a limited topic, so another goal is finding an angle in a provided set of readings. Let’s look at the basic requirements of the essay: • 8-11 pages, typed, double-spaced, 12-pt. Times New Roman font. • Utilizes a minimum of eight sources. At least two of these sources should be academic (scholarly, peer-reviewed), and you should aim to use a variety of sources—journal, magazine, newspaper, book, interview. • Follows MLA or APA guidelines for format, in-text citations, and bibliography. • Remember that you are not“preaching to the choir,” nor are you trying to force readers to agree with you. You want them to take your argument seriously. Your goal is conversation not conversion. Your tone and argument should reflect this. • You may choose your audience; be prepared to explain who you are writing to & why. • You will choose a particular element of differences and how they divide us to focus on – the readings in They Say/I Sayhave some great examples. • Your essay will argue something to do with differences in our American culture and possible solutions. Be very aware of the scope and nuance of your argument. Many of the examples we read are arguing a position, but they’re not entirely “for” or “against.” They take a strong position, but one that is quite specific. Your argument will likely follow a similar pattern. • Worth 200 points—see the rubric (on 2nd page) for more on how this essay will be graded. There are five major strategies writers use to write position papers (adapted from Reading Critically, Writing Well). These are worth considering in depth here, though they are all covered in They Say/I Say: 1. Presenting the Issue: Writers need to contextualize the debate. Remember that an argument must be arguable, so you’ll need to present the various sides on the issue. 2. Asserting a Clear, Unequivocal Position: This is, in essence, your thesis, and an argument is not complete without one. 3. Arguing Directly for the Position: This is where you back up your argument with reasons. Facts are the best source, though statistics, examples and anecdotes, and expert opinions and analogies are other ways of doing this. 4. Counterarguing Objections and Opposing Positions: Writers anticipate readers’ objections and address them. This can include concession or refutation. 5. Establishing Credibility: If a writer isn’t seen as credible, readers will likely not give the argument serious consideration.
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