To understand the perspectives
of those writing on your issue, it is useful to analyze the contexts
(background or history, values, beliefs, affiliations, cultural context,
etc.) of the writers, who will vary as individuals but may also show
similarities to others who hold similar positions. As a way of grappling
with the issue of context, begin your analysis of perspectives by examining
your own. By applying a series of context questions to yourself, you
should be able to see more clearly how context and background influence
positions that people take on issues. By acknowledging your own vested
interests (affiliations, beliefs, values, background, etc.), you may
be better able to see understand other perspectives in the culture and
Purpose for the Analysis:
To look closely and critically at your own context and thereby to
develop the skills for applying similar analysis to outside sources
and their origins.
Audience for the Analysis:
Your instructor and classmates are the audience for this analysis.
Answer the following questions. Then select a few of your responses and write a
focused and developed analysis of your own context for reacting to the issue.
The final Personal Position Analysis should be approximately 500 words.
Position Analysis Questions
1. As of now, what is your
position on this issue?
2. What is your tentative
claim? (State as a complete sentence.)
3. What are some reasons you'll
use to support that claim? (State each reason as a complete sentence.)
why you take the position you do—not so much your logic or reasoning
but the contextual influences that may have shaped your position.
Where did you grow up? Describe your neighborhood, school, hometown?
How might your local community have influenced the way you view this
Describe your values and beliefs, your convictions and/or where you
get your morals or your sense of right and wrong. What helps you to
define what's right and wrong? Where do you think your sense of values
came from? How might these values, beliefs, convictions, and morals
affect your views of the issue you're writing about?
What people have been most influential in shaping your views? How do
they influence your ideas? How might they influence the way you view
this particular issue?
Describe any biases that you have that may influence how you view this
issue. Do you have something to gain personally from taking the position
you do? If so, what is it?
Can you think of any specific personal experiences (event, story, film,
book) that may have influenced the way you view this issue?
6. How might your education affect
your position on this issue? How were you schooled—at home, or in a
public, private, religious, charter, or alternative institution? Have
you received formal education or training from work or service-related
affiliations? Has your education extended beyond the classroom—via travel
or unique circumstances? How might your education—in and out of school—have
influenced your views on this issue?
How has the research you have done thus far on your issue affected your
position? Explain. What values, beliefs, purposes or concerns
do you share with the sources you have found? Where do your values
or beliefs diverge from your sources?
choose two or three of the most significant points from your responses
to discuss in a focused personal position analysis of approximately