In your documented 3-4 page position paper, you will present an arguable opinion responding to the issue you choose from the options below. Your goal in this paper is to convince me that your position is valid and worth listening to. (Not necessarily to convince me to change my position). Within the paper, you are to address all sides of the issue, persuading me that your knowledge is well-founded. That means that you must support your argument with evidence to ensure the validity of your claims, as well as address the counterclaims to show that you are well-informed about both sides. In-text citations and a bibliography or works cited page is required. You may either use Turabian (Chicago Manual of Style) or APA format.
Analyzing an Issue and Developing an Argument
You should do some research on the subject matter chosen. While you may already have a position on your topic and an idea about which side of the argument you want to take, you need to ensure that your position is well supported. Supporting evidence will likely include a combination of the following:
- Factual Knowledge – Information that is verifiable and agreed upon by almost everyone.
- Statistical Inferences – Interpretation of the facts.
- Informed Opinion – Opinion developed through research and/or expertise.
- Personal Testimony – Personal experience related by a knowledgeable party.
- Introduction which introduces the topic, provides background, asserts your position on the issue.
- Counter argument which summarizes the counterclaims and provides supporting information to those claims, yet refutes the claim by poking holes into the counterclaim argument.
- Your argument, which asserts the points to your claim, supports your claim with evidence and gives your opinion.
- Conclusion, which restates your thesis and major points.
You will present one of the following topics. You are expected to present both sides of the issue, additional evidence to support the issue, and your position on the issue.
- Did the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Underdevelop Africa?
- Did Colonialism Distort Contemporary African development?
- Is the Abundance of Mineral and Energy Resources the key to Africa’s Development?
- Should International Drug Companies Provide HIV/AIDS Drugs to Africa Free of Charge?
- Is Sexual Promiscuity a Major Reason for the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Africa?
- Is Corruption the Result of Poor African Leadership?