Write a one- to two-page paper (single-spaced) in which you argue for some position on a specific social issue. In selecting a topic, keep in mind that you will have to argue for an opposing view in the second assignment and that the topic will be the basis for all three parts of this assignment. Here’s what you must do: 1. Write a brief introduction to the topic. Explain what the social issue is, why it is important, and what you are going to do in the paper (thesis and outline of development). This should be no more than five sentences. 2. Present an argument defending your thesis. The conclusion of the argument should be something like “x is morally wrong” or “x is morally permissible but not obligatory,” etc. Your argument must be valid if deductive, or strongly support the conclusion if inductive. 3. Support at least one of your premises, preferably the weakest or most controversial, with a subsidiary argument that shows that the weak premise is true or should be accepted. If you have two weak premises in your main argument, you will need two subsidiary arguments. How long this section should be depends a lot on your issue and your argument. Use your best judgment in determining what you need to do to convince your reader of the premise(s). 4. Present at least one challenge to your main argument or supporting argument(s). Put yourself in the shoes of someone who disagrees with you. What would he or she say about your argument? The challenge should not be a counterargument but a challenge to the premises, presuppositions, or implications. Try to make it as convincing as possible. (If you can’t come up with a decent criticism, then you have likely chosen a bad topic.) Respond to that challenge. Do not simply reproduce arguments found in the course text. Your argument should be presented in fluid prose.
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