Argumentative Essay Project: Pro/Con Arguments

Instructions: You have already identified the topic and the two opposing arguments that you will be investigating in your essay, and have found evidence supporting those arguments. Now you will organize, evaluate, and explain the arguments surrounding the issue in this paper. When writing the arguments, imagine that you are a lawyer first representing one side of the issue, then the other; you must give both sides equal time, and fairly and fully represent the arguments that each side offers. Note that this paper will not include your stance or opinion on the issue – the reason that you are objectively examining the issue now is to decide what your stance will be!
Before writing the paper, you should analyze your evidence by:

Identifying the two opposing positions/groups on the issue; i.e. pro vs. con
Finding the major and most common arguments of each side, or the premises used to support that side’s conclusion (pro or con). You should be able to find at least three supporting reasons for each side.

After you have analyzed your evidence you will be ready to write your paper.  This should include:

A short opening paragraph (2-3 sentences) that explains what the issue is. You’ll expand this to create a proper introduction in the next step of this assignment; for now, just describe the issue
At least two (one for each side) body paragraphs in which you:

State the argument you are representing (Side A’s position or Side B’s position)
Support the argument with evidence and reason (remember, you are acting as the lawyer for Side A/Side B.  How do you convince the jury to vote for your side?)

References to a minimum of six sources. You may need to look at more than six documents/publications to find the relevant arguments. The material you use has to go into more depth than the superficial arguments found in resources like Pro/; if you see an argument cited there that you’re interested in using for this assignment, then you must find its primary source
Your bibliography from Part II copied and pasted into the end of the paper. Be sure to update it to include any new sources and to exclude any sources that you do not use in your analysis
Attributive tags that establish the credibility of (or provided other information about) your source
In-text citations for all sources that you use IN THE TEXT
Do not include your opinion! This part of the essay project is an objective examination of two sides of an issue

Formatting: 3-5 pages, not including reference page (approximately 1000 words), one-inch margins, left side justified, double-spaced, 12 point font, MLA or APA format
Guidelines for a good paper:

At the start of the paper, clearly state the issue being discussed
Keep your paper focused—everything should be relevant to the issue being discussed
Avoid repeating. (Good organization will help to avoid repetition)
Examine the arguments on one side and then move to the other side
Keep your paragraphs focused –talk about one argument/point in one paragraph
Keep the paper objective—at no time should the reader be aware of what your position is on the issue

All of what you turn in should be your own work, written specifically for this assignment.  If you include any material that comes from your sources, put it in quotes and cite the source. Don’t cut and paste from the web. If you copy anything without acknowledging it or turn in a paper that has been turned in elsewhere, you will receive a zero for this assignment. Note that this paper will be submitted to

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