identify and clearly present a key/important debate, controversy or question
1. Your ability to identify and clearly present a key/important debate, controversy or question (presented as an argumentative statement) related to your topic.
a. This should be stated in the introductory section of your paper. Use the group ‘presentation statements’ provided earlier as guidelines for what a
controversial or argumentative statement should look like.
2. Your ability to ‘answer’ your question: specifically, to defend your argumentative statement against competing/alternative arguments.
a. Your introduction should clearly present your key question, and your argumentative statement or conclusion (i.e., something to the effect of: “In this paper I
argue that …”).
b. Then in the body of your paper, you need to identify and present at least 2-3 different arguments related to your question, including those you may not agree
with while trying to demonstrate with evidence why they are weak.
c. Attempt to present a convincing case for which argument you think is strongest (there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, only stronger or weaker arguments). This means
you should try and assess what the weaknesses are in each argument and which of these arguments has the most convincing evidence.
d. Focus on developing an argument, not merely describing the issue and history.
i. Assume I already know the background;
ii. No more than ¼ of your paper should be devoted to description/background – all other information should be related to presenting/supporting/refuting arguments.
iii. History and other details should be brought in as relevant to support your arguments.
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