October 22, 2009 Archives
You can think of this as the "pro" side of a pro/con argument. A position would be some debatable claim that you can back up with evidence. As always, 200 words, uploaded to Turnitin.com.
A claim is debatable if a reasonable person would be able to point to credible evidence to back up an opposing (or alternate) position.
As I've frequently stated in class, this assignment is not looking for a bumper-sticker position that involves repeating slogans on ready-made controversies such as abortion, gay marriage, legalization of pot, or unrealistic portrayals of women in the media.
Avoid normative statements. "people should stop stealing" or "the government should lower taxes" are statements about what what you would make happen if you were ruler of the world. But a list of what "should" happen is not the same thing as a list of reasons for a position.
"Teachers should challenge their students." (A normative claim, not an argument.)
"If teachers do not challenge their students in the classroom, then the next generation of graduates will enter the world with the expectation that the surest path to success is to do what is safe and expected of them, rather than pushing themselves to their personal limits." (This states a position, rather than merely asserting what everybody ought to believe if you ran the universe.)