Position/Proposal Statements & Convincing Arguments

Learning Objectives

Students in this assignment will:

  1. further develop their ability to read critically, generate original ideas, and present these ideas persuasively in an academic, college-level essay. This includes writing well-supported, coherent, original arguments, and
  2. synthesize sources to help argue a position or proposal.

Defining the Issue in a Position Paper

The purpose of a position paper is to generate support on an issue. It describes a position on an issue and the rational for that position. The position paper is based on facts that provide a solid foundation for your argument. Choose an issue where there is a clear division of opinion and which is arguable with facts and inductive reasoning. You may choose an issue on which you have already formed an opinion. However, in writing about this issue you must examine your opinion of the issue critically.
Now that you have defined the issue in paper II, it is time to state your position and argue that position in paper III.

This paper has three sections for the position paper:

Section 1: State Your Position and preview your arguments

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  • State your thesis, which is your position statement. Make sure it’s clear.
  • You should have between 3-6 arguments to support your position.
  • List those arguments in this thesis paragraph.
  • Don’t argue yet, just preview what you will argue in the paper
  • This section should be 1 paragraph in length.

Section 2: Argue Your 1st Argument. Use a minimum of one source to make your argument convincing.

  • Introduce your first argument using a strong topic sentence that relates back to the thesis statement.
  • Explain the argument as best you can.
  • Make it convincing by using solid evidence and sound reasoning.
  • Use an anecdote, expert opinion or facts/statistics to support your argument, and be sure to cite the source in the paper using parenthetical notation.
  • This section should be 1-2 paragraphs in length.

Section 3: Argue Your 2nd Argument. Use a minimum of one source to make your argument convincing.

  • Introduce your argument using a strong topic sentence that relates back to the thesis statement.
  • Explain the argument as best you can.
  • Make it convincing by using solid evidence and sound reasoning.
  • Use an anecdote, expert opinion or facts/statistics to support your argument, and be sure to cite the source in the paper using parenthetical notation.
  • This section should be 1-2 paragraphs in length.

Defining the Problem in a Proposal Paper

Proposal claims ask the audience to act in a certain way – to do something based on the information you provide and the argument you make, and the claims are often stated as “should/should not” statements. You can, however, use a more sophisticated verb construction that will carry more weight than “should/should not.” For example, “Offering more courses via the Internet offers innumerable benefits for SMCC students.” The claim of a proposal argument urges an action to occur, usually in response to a problem. The reasons in the argument justifywhy the action is to be taken.
Now that you have defined the problem in paper II, it is time to state your proposal and argue your proposed solution in paper III.

This paper has four sections for the proposal paper:

Section I. Present the proposal – proposed solution to the problem.

  1. Present your claim (thesis)
  2. Explain the specifics of the proposal, but do not argue yet. (1 paragraph)

Body Sections include the Justification: Convince the reader that the proposal should be adopted. This is accomplished by doing the following:

  • Section II. Solution is Feasible: Reason 1, presented and developed. Write 1-2 paragraphs arguing that your proposed solution is feasible. Feasible means doable financially, legally, and morally. Is it capable of being carried out. Use a minimum of one source to support your arguments.
  • Section III. Solution Solves the Problem: Reason 2, presented and developed. Write 1-2 paragraphs that argues how your solution will solve the problem. Use a minimum of one source to support your arguments.
  • Section IV. Solution is the Best Solution: Reason 3, presented and developed. Write 1-2 paragraph that shows your solution is better than other. Explain what has been done previously and how your solution is better. Use a minimum of one source to support your arguments.

Paper III Guidelines

  • Write a 2-3 page paper (600 words minimum) that proposes a solution and argues that the solution: solves the problem, is feasible, stands up to objections, and is better than other solutions OR presents a position on an issue and argues that position. Do not try to argue ALL or your arguements. Shoot for 2-3 arguments. Any extra arguments will be used on the final paper.
  • Use the information above to help organize your paper. Remember, you do not need to define the problem or issue. You already did that (Paper II). Begin with your thesis(proposed solution or position statement).
  • Use sources as much as needed, and be sure to cite your sources using parenthetical notation – APA style. Use your resources as a guide.
  • Include a references page with a list of the sources used in this section of your paper only. Do not include a full working bibliography.
  • Use active voice and DO NOT use first or second person
  • No conclusion needed.
  • Save your file in the correct format (Name P2.doc)

 

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