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Throughout this course, we have been focusing our arguments on the practice of arguing to find meaning. Because of that, it is important to practice balancing opposing viewpoints of a single issue.This essay allows you the chance to do just that. Because much of the writing you will be doing throughout your academic and professional career will be argumentative, this essay will help you to hone your rhetorical skills in several ways: first, this essay will help you to establish an environment of civilized discourse within your writing (essential for productive argumentation); secondly, this essay will allow you to practice your research skills in both identifying and integrating sound arguments; and thirdly, this essay gives you a chance to practice your critical thinking skills—skills you will need for success throughout your academic and professional life.
Remember, the purpose of this essay is not to prove whether you are right or wrong, but instead prove that you can fairly present two sides of an argument and logically determine the best solution to the problem you are faced with. With that in mind, we ask that you withhold your personal opinion, personal judgments of the material, or personal narrative until the concluding remarks of your essay.
The final draft of your essay should meet the following guidelines:
- is between 900 and 1200 words in length;
- includes direct quotations and paraphrased passages from four or more scholarly texts representing more than one side of the issue;
- qualifies each of the authors (authors representing each side of the debate should have compatible credibility);
- withholds personal opinion until the conclusion of the essay;
- is written clearly, concisely, and accurately;
- is written primarily in third-person;
- includes a References page;
- has been closely edited so that it contains few or no mechanical errors.