Topic Should young children be pushed to compete at athletics?
Analyzing and Synthesizing Opposing Positions Essay Acceptable length: 6 pages double space (point deduction if you over- or underwrite) Minimum number of sources: 3 accessed through Forsyth Library You need to have at least 4 in-text citations (combination of direct quotes or paraphrase). Use at least every source one time. If you cannot find sources in the Forsyth Databases it is permissible to use Google Scholar. You are being assessed on the sources you choose, so make sure the sources are credible. Use MLA or APA format Avoid Wikipedia Topic: Your objective is to demonstrate the conventions of weighing both sides of a topic to discover a truth. Your goal is to conclude your essay by pointing out points on which both sides agree–that’s their common ground. Because of the author’s narrow viewpoint, (s)he might not realize there are some points or ideals or values that are shared. But you will write objectively (even if you have an opinion, put it aside for this paper): your role is to play mediator. Choose an issue or topic that is/has been debated and discuss it in an objective, unbiased way; Do some prewriting on your topic to determine Side A and Side B; if you cannot determine at least two sides to the argument (some issues might have three + sides) then you need to choose a new topic. This is not a persuasive paper; as the textbook says, “Writers try to adopt an impartial stance when analyzing opposing arguments” (10th edition, p 195) and “The main purpose of your analysis and synthesis is explanatory: to help your audience understand a controversial topic as well as the different points of view and the values on which they are based” (11th edition, pg 171).
Be creative with your topic–contribute in a meaningful way, do not simply regurgitate old arguments. If you choose current, but exhausted, topics (i.e., immigration, health care) make sure you review recent legislation and current events and use that research to find common ground. Focus primarily on chapter 5 (admittedly, the 11th edition update is a much improved chapter, so my apologies to those still using the 10th). Do not present your argument with opinion (rational appeal), but with hard evidence, e.g., facts, statistics, research from verifiable sources. Be as balanced (i.e., give equal space to both sides) in your evaluation as possible. In the conclusion, if possible, include a possible compromise that neither side has suggested (why would they? They’re biased). To do this you will need to include points/values that Side A and Side B already have in common. They might not be able to recognize their shared value, but that’s for you to determine for them. Review sample essays from the text carefully. Look for how the writers explain side A and then transition to side B. Look for the objective language. Look for the verbs and tone. This is what you want to model. You may choose any topic except for the following: global warming, pollution, abortion, drug testing, capital punishment, gun control & 2nd Amendment, same sex marriage, marijuana