Paper #4 – argument essay


Paper #4 – Argument Essay
The position paper is a “reasoned argument” on a controversial issue. A controversial issue, for example, may be an ongoing public debate (recently, police brutality or racism in the United States), or it may be a challenge to a practice that is long-standing (visiting Disneyland or caring for elderly relatives). Your choice of topic will determine the outcome of your paper. Is the issue one about which you are passionate or, at the very least, one in which you are mildly interested? Is your position on it fixed even after doing the research?

A good position paper will include all of the following.
Presentation of the issue. The length of this will be determined by how current your topic is. What does your audience already know about what you have to say?
A clear position (thesis). You cannot say, “I support both sides of this argument.” If you can, you need a different topic. That is not to say that you should not take in the validity of the opposition, but rather to say that you must be firm about which side you support and why.
Direct argument for your position.

Again, support your argument with background, facts, statistics, anecdotes, etc. Show your reader the fullness of your argument.
Counterargument and opposition. Anticipate the objections that others may have to your argument and respond to them before the opposition can.
The establishment of credibility. Credibility may be established by choice of topic, by use of outside research, and by tone.
Usage Errors: Usage errors will impact your grade. Your essay is expected to be nearly free of errors. This includes:

Correct spelling and word choice
No Sentence Fragments
No Run-Together Sentences
Basic Subject-Verb Agreement
Take the time after you have finished your essay to go over it for last minute grammar and format problems. This is a college class, and errors will negatively affect your grade.
– Use contractions
– Use “you”
– Use colloquial English (slang)

– Have a thesis
– Have a strong argument
– Remember your conclusion
– Keep to MLA format
– Proofread your essay before you submit it.

When in a Word document, your essay will be 5-9 pages in length plus a works cited using MLA style (12-point Times New Roman font, double spaced, 1” margins). A Works Cited will be expected with a minimum of three sources ( at least two to three from the RCC Library Database) and no more than five. Select these sources from the acceptable databases, journals, books, etc.