Arguing Both Sides


Read the guidelines carefully in the book. You will choose one topic from the list in the book on p.89 – 90, and then you will write TWO papers, with a thesis at the top of each paper.
First you are arguing for ONE side of an issue, and then in the next paper, you are arguing the OTHER side of the same issue.
* Be sure to use Word documents; do not use “Pages” files or Google docs. 
No intro/conclusion necessary at this point, and you are not acknowledging the opposing view since each paper IS the opposing view of each other.
Although sources are not required, if you choose to include facts, information, or references to people or events, then correct MLA citations are REQUIRED. Failure to include correct and appropriate MLA in-text citations and a Works Cited List will result in a failing essay grade and could result in a charge of plagiarism. 
Links: How to Cite Sources in MLA  (Links to an external site.)and Sample Works Cited List  (Links to an external site.)
You will write multiple drafts, which will be peer-reviewed online, and the final draft is submitted through Canvas which uses the third-party tool: Turnitin, the plagiarism detection website. 
Preparing an Argument – Exploring Both Sides of an Issue
The difference between:

a topic
an issue
a question at issue
a thesis

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Example of a TOPIC: drinking – by itself, not an issue; not controversial or arguable.
Example of an ISSUE: The drinking age being raised to 21 years old – is arguable; a position either for or against will be taken.
Example of a QUESTION AT ISSUE: Should the drinking age be raised to 21 years old?
Example of an OPEN THESIS: The drinking age should be raised to 21 years old. States an position on the question at issue, but does not contain the reasons for the position.
Example of a CLOSED THESIS: The drinking age should be raised to 21 years old so there are fewer accidents. (What is the hidden, unstated assumption? Animals don’t deserve to be in pain.)
In other words: here is how you would put a THESIS in STANDARD FORM:
Premise 1: Teenage access to alcohol includes access to driving.
Premise 2: Drivers under 21 have more accidents
Conclusion: (Therefore): Raising the drinking age will decrease DUI’s.
An effective argument MUST acknowledge BOTH sides of an argument.
Here is an example: (choose your own topic)
Proposal: Physical Education Courses Should Not Be Required
PRO (Support Proposal)
CON (Oppose Proposal)
1. PE grades unfairly lower the GPAs of some good students
1. Physical fitness is a critical part of education: “A sound mind in a sound body.”
2. Students should exercise on their own time, not for credit.
2. Students need an occasional break from lectures, textbook, and exams.
3. School is for study, not play.
3. A few hours of PE courses never hurt anybody.
4. One gym course can’t turn a poor athlete into a good one.
4. What good is improving your mind if your body is going to pieces?
5. Do taxpayers realize that they are paying for students to bowl and play badminton?
5. PE courses teach some valuable social skills.
6. PE courses can be dangerous.
6. Most students enjoy taking PE courses.
Focusing an argument begins with taking a clear stand on the issue. See if you can express your point of view in a one-sentence proposal, such as the following:

Students should (or should not) be required to pay for a campus parking permit.
U.S. citizens should (or should not) be allowed to cast their ballots online in all local, state, and national elections.
Cell phones should (or should not) be banned in all classrooms.

Each assignment must be formatted in MLA style and double-spaced. 
Watch this video:video tutorial about MLA formatting (Links to an external site.):

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