PPA 503 – The Public Policy Making Process Lecture 6c – How to Argue in a Position Paper.
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PPA 503 – The Public Policy Making Process Lecture 6c – How to Argue in a Position Paper
Introduction Goal. –Critical awareness of your own position, critical understanding of other positions, and willingness to consider and to engage other positions. Objective. –Reasoned argument for a position showing awareness of alternative positions and reasoning.
Introduction Product. –Written document that explicitly argues and aims to persuade. Scope. –Position paper offering either a “big picture” of conditions, causes, or consequences relating to a problem or a “little picture” of significant particulars.
Introduction Strategy: Your position in relation to others. –Make a list of know positions on the problem. –Ask and answer the questions, “What does my position have in common with others on this list?” and “How does my position differ from or conflict with others on the list. –Note specific commonalities, differences, and conflicts of values, assumptions, or ideas between your position and other positions. –Identify potential grounds for cooperation and for competition.
Task #1. Outline Your Argument If authoring for professional organization, understand the mission and how your position relates to the mission.
Task #1. Outline Your Argument Informal structure. –Problem. –Issue. –Question about the issue that has at least two answer and is therefore arguable. –Claim (the arguer’s assertion or answer to the question).
Task #1. Outline Your Argument Informal structure (contd.). –Support: Justification. –Reasons (“because” or the relevance of the assertion. –Assumptions (“why”, or the values, beliefs, and principles that motivate the assertion as well as the authority represented in the assertion. Elaboration. –Grounds (supporting evidence for the reasons and assumptions) –Limits (constraints the arguer would place on a claim.
Task #1. Outline Your Argument Informal structure (contd.). –Support (contd.): Anticipated reactions (potential responses from diverse other positions). –Cooperative or supporting assertions. –Competitive or opposing assertions. –Altogether different assumptions. –Challenges to reasons or to grounds.
Task #2. Write the Position Paper Review the method in Chapter 2 before you write. Do not simply use the outline to fill in the argument. Organize your argument according to the needs of the readers and the aim of the writer.
Task #2. Write the Position Paper The message that he document conveys typically will be your claim or your answer to the issue question. Or it will be a conclusion you draw that derives from the claim. You must clearly understand your authority and make it clear to the readers.
Task #2. Write the Position Paper The document must clearly show whose position it communicates. Anticipate responses, but do not rebut them in the position paper. Condense greatly for now. Put lengthy evidence in an appendix. Use APA style. If you are authoring a paper for an organization, leave enough time for consultation. Remember to check the final product against the standards in Chapter 2.