Argument Paper

For the Final Paper, you will identify a specific claim relative to one of the topics listed below and defend it with as strong an argument as possible. These topics are presented below as questions. The best way to develop a thesis statement is to offer an answer to the question, and then state in a clear and specific sentence the basis for your answer.

Should homosexuals be able to marry?
Is racism and anti-Semitism still a problem in the United States?
Is factory farming cruel to animals?
Is anthropogenic climate change (what used to be known as “global warming”) a problem that needs immediate and/or long term attention?
Should physician-assisted suicide be legal?
What, if any, limits should there be to embryonic stem cell research?
Should public workers be allowed to join unions and engage in collective bargaining?
Is the death penalty just and applied fairly?
Are there any legitimate restrictions on gun ownership?
Is it a problem if one percent of Americans possess 50% of American wealth and assets?
Should abortion be legal?
Should evolution be taught in the public schools?
Are science and religion in conflict?
Can one be moral and not believe in God?

Part One – Thesis
In this part of the paper, the thesis is to be stated clearly and specifically. It should appear no later than the end of the introduction paragraph.

Part Two – Argument
This part of the paper will present the argument for the thesis. The focus should be on identifying the strongest support for the thesis. Then, present that support by constructing an argument. This argument, or set of arguments, will probably employ both deductive and inductive reasoning.

Part Three – Counter-thesis and counter-argument
In this part of the paper, the strongest objection to the thesis is presented along with an argument (probably briefer than the argument in Part Two) for that thesis.

Part Four – Response to counter-thesis
In this part of the paper, you respond to and refute the counter-argument based on evidence discussed in Part Three. This response will draw on the earlier argument in Part Two to show that the original thesis can be defended against this objection.

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