Argumentation – Ethics Paper Assignment

Argumentation – Ethics Paper Assignment

Argumentation – Ethics Paper Assignment

Assignment:  This paper explores your understanding of basic construction of argument and the use of claims, supporting evidence and reasoning to establish a position. While I don’t expect this paper to thoroughly explore an issue, I will be looking for an understanding and capability of looking at two (or more) sides of an issue with credible supporting evidence. This should be based on a knowledge of discussions of evidence and general argumentation introduced during the first unit of the course.
You can choose any sort of topic which may be considered “controversial.” This can include a localized topic, a national issue, or a general issue of interest. The purpose of the paper is to examine your construction of an argument and your ability to apply some reasoning and valid evidence.
Considerations:  Your job is to examine at least two sides of an issue and construct a summarized argument for each side – and to support it with at least three pieces of credible evidence on each side. Evidence must be cited in the paper, and full citations should be included at the end of the paper. You do NOT have to create a comprehensive argument covering every claim involving an issue – limit your construction to a single argument on each side and write a summary paragraph explaining each piece of supporting evidence for the points you are making for the argument. In addition, when you list citations at the end of the paper, write explanatory statements under each source explaining why you chose that source to assign credibility in supporting your claim.
A general OUTLINE of the paper would look like this:
I.    Argument #1 – The drinking age should be lowered to the age of 18.                                                           A. “if you can fight for your country, you should be able to have a beer.”                  Use supporting evidence from national association.                                                            B. 18 year olds already drink – supporting evidence from data study.                                            C. Other nations have lower drinking ages without significant accidents                                        supporting evidence from studies of habits/laws in other countries.
II.    Argument #2 – The drinking age should not be lowered to 18.                                        A. Drinking age inhibits physical fitness – evidence of studies about                      effects of alcohol abuse on 18-21 year olds.                                                                   B. Allowing underage people to drink encourages abuse – evidence                                         from study indicating numbers of drinkers goes up when legal.                         C. The culture of other nations is constructed differently than ours – cite                                       evidence explaining how differences affect privileges.
Remember to include attribution within the summary of evidence you present in the text,  and the source credibility statements in your endnotes as an indication that you have vetted the source. This involves a sentence of two about the author of a study, and/or the reputation of a group or subject quoted, and/or an association after EACH source on the SOURCES CITED page and/or the validity of the study itself.  If you are using a long article, you aren’t required to vet each part of the article, only the portion which you use to support the claim/argument – and any connecting parts that are relevant to the whole of the use of that evidence.
The task here is to construct the claim/counter-claim on an issue with equal strength and balance rather than advocate one side, so you don’t need to argue for only one point of view on a topic – you are summarizing as if you are arguing for each claim.