PART I

  1. Define your issue in the form of a debatable question.
  2. Find at least three distinct positions by researching the ongoing conversation on your issue. Try to avoid simple pro/con positions if at all possible. Remember that within most issue people make take the same side but for very different reasons. These differences in reasoning also differentiate positions.
  3. Explain each position using sources found in your research. You must have at least one source to support each position. What do people who take this position say about your issue?
  4. Analyze each position. Why do people take this position? What are their values? What are their priorities? What are they most concerned about in terms of the issue? What other characteristics (gender, race, education, political affiliation, etc.) may result in their taking this position?
  5. Begin to explain where you agree/disagree with each position. In preparation for taking your own stance in the upcoming Essay 4, where do you fit in with the three positions you've described and analyzed? Who do you agree with and why? Who do you disagree with and why?
  6. Attach copies of the sources you use.