1. Define your issue in the form of a narrowed, debatable question.
  2. Identify at least 3 distinct positions by researching the ongoing conversation on your issue. Try to avoid simple pro/con positions. Remember that within most issues people may have the same opinion but for very different reasons. These differences in reasoning also differentiate positions.
  3. Explain each position using sources you've 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 and interests? What are they most concerned about in terms of the issue? Also, what assumptions inform this position? What other characteristics (such as gender, race, education, political affiliation, etc.) may result in their taking this position?
  5. Begin to explain where you agree and disagree with each position. In preparation for taking your own stance in Essay 4, where do you fit in with the 3 positions you've described and analyzed? Who do you agree with and why? Who do you disagree with and why?
  6. Attach copies of each source you use.