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Opposition Paper (100 points)
Length: 3-5 pages double spaced with standard MLA formatting and citation
You’ve begun work on your Persuasive Researched Essay by choosing a topic and completing some research. The next step I want you to take is actually to take a break from thinking about it from your perspective. Instead, you’ll write a 3-5 page essay from a view different from your own on the same topic. You are, in effect, forcing yourself to see things through a different perspective as best as possible. This includes using reliable research to support the opposing viewpoint, creating a thesis, and working through supporting points. It can be incredibly difficult to do this, but it will help you as a writer and a thinker.
Now that you’ve completed a reasonable amount of research, it’s time to analyze the opposition. To allow for a certain amount of flexibility concerning your final position, you won’t just use this essay to attack counterarguments. Instead, you will take this opposing position, supporting these claims. In essence, this is you’re trying to truly represent an opposing view. For example, if the initial idea was that “Criminal executions shouldn’t be televised,” you could now defend to your audience the idea “Criminal executions should be televised” or “criminal executions should be available to view on limited networks”. Once again, you will back up your claim with at least three supporting reasons. It would probably be easy for you to initially compose an argument based on your own opinions and experiences without referring to secondary sources. In contrast, one often has difficulties conceptualizing and defending opposing perspectives without conducting a fair bit of research. In this assignment, you are required to use at least three (3) reputable sources to defend your new claim. Just a quick note, you are still yourself even as you represent the opposition. You have to bridge the gap between what you think and how you can establish common ground with another perspective.
*NOTE: There is not a grading rubric for this assignment because I grade on a much more individualized scale. I still expect the same level of writing including these elements: MLA, mechanics, flow, clarity, thesis statement, and assignment description use. Believe me, your grades are higher when I grade this assignment holistically. It can be the most difficult assignment of the semester so I try to help you individually. Really, I recommend using the Writing Center tutors for this assignment in particular. They can help you keep your arguments rational even if you’re struggling to see things from another perspective.
The format of the piece is as follows:
1. Start by illustrating the problem/issue with a real-world example (Introduction)
2. Present your solution/stance (Thesis statement). This thesis should oppose your original thesis
3. Present your reasons to back it up, effectively using at least three sources to illustrate or back up your reasons (Supporting paragraphs)
4. Call for action/Re-affirm the effectiveness of this approach (Conclusion)
Once again, remember to consider the elements of persuasive appeals: the pathos, logos, and ethos. How will you effectively appeal to each, like a standard commercial often does? For help, use Chapter 7: Responding to Objections and Alternate Views from Writing Arguments. Your grade on this essay will be based on the following criteria:
Following the general outline stated above
Using standard MLA citation and formatting style
Referencing at least three reputable sources during your essay
Representing your opposition as reasonable and rational (thus avoiding logical fallacies and pseudo arguments)
Using standard spelling and mechanics
I, as the instructor, will be your initial audience. This paper allows me to see that you’ve fully considered and engaged with counterarguments to your claims. As this paper allows you to begin composing both sides of the argument, you are the audience, as well. You will need to decide who you final audience is, though. Who would support this particular stance on the issue?
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