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Position Papers Drafting
Drafting n Developing Your Topic –Draw on personal experience. –Use secondary sources.
Drafting n How to Gather Information –Look for sources that help establish the importance of the issue on which you are taking a position. –Look for sources that reflect divergent points of view. –Look for sources that challenge claims made in other sources.
Drafting n Create the Bibliography –Especially look for writers who disagree with each other or with you. –List key claims in each source you read. –Summarize (occasionally quoting key phrases) the evidence presented in support of these claims.
Drafting n Creating an Exploratory Draft –After you read at least a half dozen sources. –Evaluate your reasons and evidence. –Draw on your experiences and attitudes.
Drafting n Creating an Exploratory Draft –The basic point I want to make is______. –One reason I think this is_____________. –The evidence that goes with this reason is ___________. –Another reason is ___________________. –The evidence that goes with this reason is ___________.
Drafting n Formulating a Thesis –The basic point I want to make is_______. –Rewrite the sentence so that it expresses your position as clearly as possible. –This sentence will become your thesis.
Drafting n Including the Components of an Argument –Provide evidence. –Qualify a claim. –Make your reasons explicit or find reasons that would be more appropriate for your intended audience. –Respond to likely objections.
Drafting n Using Argumentative Strategies –Acknowledge and respond to objections. –Cite consequences (cause and effect). –Cite credible sources. –Cite precedent. –Cite principle. –Consider pro and con, good news and bad. –Define key terms.
Drafting n Using Argumentative Strategies –Evaluate each source you cite. –Make comparisons. –Note contrasts. –Point out conflicts. –Provide a narrative to give background. –Summarize and challenge your opponents point of view.
Drafting n Engaging Your Audience: Introduction –Let readers see how a topic relates to what they know, care about, and need. –Establish a conflict that matters to readers.
Drafting n Relating to Readers –Begin by making a claim that readers are likely to agree with. –Acknowledge concerns or attitudes your readers are likely to have. –Create a visual image readers can recognize. –Relate the conflict to the reader.
Drafting n Establishing Conflict –A conflict is at the heart of every position paper. –The reader must be aware of that conflict. –How does the conflict affect them directly? –The conflict will motivate people to read your paper.
Drafting n Establishing Conflict –Refer to widely divergent attitudes or practices. –Create or incorporate a visual image that suggests conflict or danger. –Use a “point-counterpoint” structure. –Present some startling information that challenges readers’ preconceptions.
Drafting n Creating an Appropriate Voice –Reflects the writer’s attitude towards the topic. –You’re either for or against something. –Appeals: n Emotional. n Logical. n Ethical.
Drafting n Emotional Appeals –Use language and details that evoke strong emotional reactions. –Describe the actions of a group your readers are likely to oppose or even see as an enemy. –Identify consequences that are likely to inspire or alarm your readers.
Drafting n Emotional Appeals –Make comparisons that are likely to evoke strong feelings in your readers.
Drafting n Logical Appeals –Summarize opposing points of view accurately and fairly. –Acknowledge and refute opposing points of view. –Use impartial language.
Drafting n Ethical Appeals –Use language that will establish yourself as someone readers can like and trust. –Imply that you and your readers are on the same side of a conflict.
Drafting n Providing Structure –Make your ideas accessible. –Create clear expectations. –Provide links between one paragraph and the next.
Drafting n Making Information Accessible –Put a thesis statement where readers will expect to find it. –Use headings. –Begin paragraphs with topic sentences. –Use special typefaces and white space to highlight key points.
Drafting n Creating Expectations –Assert or strongly imply your position in the title of your position paper. –Assert or strongly imply your basic claim early in the text. –Use forecasting words or phrases.
Drafting n Creating Links –Use transition words or phrases. –Refer to a point that has been mentioned in a previous passage, and then add some new information about that point.
Drafting n Concluding Your Position Paper –Frame your argument. –Restate your main claims clearly and unequivocally. –Mention the consequences of accepting or ignoring the position you have adopted. –Recommend a course of action.
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