Assignment 3: Position Argument

Assignment 3: Position Argument


Proposal: July 20

Rough Draft: July 23

Final Draft: July 24


Purpose: Argue a point. Take a stand. Change a behavior. Correct a misconception. Refute an argument or belief. Launch a manifesto! In an essay of four to five pages, identify an interesting problem or issue related to a social/economic issue that merits your taking a stand; translate your stand (or position) into a thesis statement; support the good reasons for your position with specific details and examples; and marshal your reasoning and appeals to persuade others to accept your position by modifying their thinking, behavior, or influence.


You might decide to take a position on some facet of corporate influence, language use, or electronic communication. Or you might decide to take a stand on an issue that is even closer to your heart. The issue you choose must be debatable and lend itself to genuine disagreement. Try to narrow your topic by choosing something that relates to your home town, campus, or other areas where you have experience. You are welcome to choose controversial topics as long as you adhere to our rules for class conduct and etiquette. Regardless of what topic you choose, you must demonstrate your awareness of the most current developments surrounding that topic. For example, topics such as the drinking age and the legalization of marijuana are popular topics for college students. However, many students compose essays that do not engage with “current” opposing viewpoints. To avoid this, be sure to read a variety of the most current conversations from various positons regarding your topic.



Step 1. Choose your topic

Step 2. Choose an argumentative structure. You can choose Position, (Ch. 7) Factual (Ch. 8), Definition (Ch. 9) or Causal (Ch. 11) in Everything’s an Argument.

Step 1. Open by defining the situation or problem that calls for your attention and establishing an audience who is (or should be) invested in this situation or problem.

Step 2. Provide a thesis that states your purpose (express or defend a position, question or argue against a belief or action, invite or convince an audience to change an opinion or practice)

Step 3. Marshal rhetorical appeals, good reasons, details and examples to enhance your points.

Step 4. Acknowledge and respond to opposing viewpoints.

Step 5. Supply a clear, identifiable conclusion that you want your audience to reach or reconsider.

Step 6. List your target publication and audience under the title of your essay.


As you consider your audience and the possibilities for productive disagreement, be mindful of your tone. You can hold an opinion and advance an idea without being confrontational. In fact, sophisticated debaters concede points to each other and search for common ground. This behavior shows a willingness to engage in genuine dialogue, and it also creates a positive atmosphere for any disagreement.

Length: A well-developed position argument will be approximately four or five, double-spaced pages, following MLA.