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Position Paper

In this essay, you'll return to use many of the techniques you practiced in your response paper for Unit 1. Only this time, instead of using just personal experience, you'll use other sources to lay out the range of positions on the issue you've focused on as well as to support the position you take on the issue. This is a common way to use sources in academic writing and also one way that academic writers begin to make arguments of their own.

The question you'll answer is"Now that you've done some research on the topic, where do you see your position within the range of possible ones writers take on this issue? Why?"

You're answering it for a reader you identify. You might imagine the reader of this paper to be the professor of a class on your group topic. Based on the discussions we've had in class and your reading, what can you assume about his or her likely expectations for focus, organization, evidence, and style?

Your goals: This is your chance to pull together everything you've learned about academic writing. You'll use those summary skills one more time and, as in the last response paper, focus on where your ideas fit into the conversation or argument on this issue. You'll also want to think about
  1. What will my audience be most interested in hearing?
  2. How can I select the sources that will best support my points?
  3. What kind of organization will be most useful for my reader?
  4. What's the most effective balance of my own thoughts and outside source material?