Approaches to Presenting Opposing Viewpoints
You must fairly, fully, objectively, and convincingly present the opposition to your argument in your essay. How you choose this is up to you, but it will likely be one of the following approaches. If you’re going to approach your opposition differently, I strongly recommend you come to my office to discuss your approach. Regardless of your approach, opposing viewpoints must be presented and addressed, and each opposing view point must be supported by at least two different and credible sources.
Review of Literature: If you take this approach, you will fairly present multiple perspectives and arguments on the topic, and each key perspective must have at least two sources (more is better) and at least its own paragraph. Your review of literature will be no less than 25% of your essay and no more than 33% of your essay (roughly 2 pages) and will have a small introduction, a number of informative paragraphs that indicate there is disagreement in the field on the topic, and a brief conclusion that indicates why the argument needs to be made. There’s a lot more to a review of literature than this—make sure you look at the material in the Review of Literature folder in the folder for this assignment on Blackboard.
• Regardless of the approach you take, be very careful to avoid strawman and hasty generalization fallacies. Do not oversimplify the opposition, which is likely the view of your audience; instead, present it strongly so you are forced to make your points strongly.
Source Use and Presentation Details
• All of the sources you use must be cited both in text and in your works cited and must be in MLA format.
• All of your sources must be credible and reliable, and you must introduce them and their credibility the first time you bring them into your paper. Always prefer to establish the credibility of the authors establish the credibility of the source itself if you have no named authors.
• No more than two of your sources may be from the same publication.
• At least two of the sources must be scholarly journal articles.
• At least two of the sources you cite must be from 2012 or more recent.
• At least one piece of evidence in your essay must be data.
• None of your sources may be interviews.
• You must present at least two credible sources to acknowledge each opposing view. (Each opposing view paragraph, whether that’s in your review of literature or the first paragraph if you’re presenting the piece as a point-counterpoint, must contain at least two sources to help show that the view is being presented fairly.)
• In the argument, the majority of each paragraph should be your argument, which you’ll support with sources. (In the review of literature or the opposing paragraphs if you go with point and counter, the overwhelming majority of each paragraph should be source material.)
• Prefer paraphrase and summary. No more than 10% of the source material you present should be direct quotation
• Each must contain at least three comments you’ve added throughout the text in addition to the letter. Remember, no more than one of the minimum of three may be about a surface issue, which means at least two must be focused on an aspect of the content, the organization, the assignment, etc. (You’re welcome to add more than three comments, just make sure at least two are about content, not surface issues.)
• Each letter must contain at least four paragraphs, one for each of the focus areas below. Use the questions and prompts below to guide the feedback you offer, and make sure you critique. In your critique paragraphs and in the comments, I expect to see both suggestions for improvement and praise about what is being done well, and I expect to see an evaluative letter focused on helping the author improve the draft (not a summary of what the author has done; not just a personal response to the ideas—you may include this, as it helps you build rapport with the author, but the letter and comments must be much more than just response; not just a bunch of compliments). Both critiques must be posted by midnight the day after we begin them in class.
• Make sure your topic sentences are clear: “In terms of content and purpose, I think…” Also make sure your discussion is specific and developed. Use phrases like “for example.” Remember, this is a letter to your peer, so address him or her, and close with your name.