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What is a Position Argument?

A position argument starts with a desire or need to make a point known about a certain subject or issue. In most cases, the person making a position argument has very strong feelings and emotions about the subject they are discussing (Cengage.com, PDF). A position argument also uses evidence and can be cited by factual information and credible sources. This type of information will strengthen your argument and show the audience your point in a believable manner. The basic features include: Premise (What is the background to the argument? What is the base of this argument?) Thesis (A clearly stated position) Recognize the counter argument(s) Your argument(s) Conclusion (provide a plan of action)

Writing a Position Argument


To write in this genre the person presenting the argument should have some knowledge about the topic. The position argument will allow an opportunity to give your point of view as well as giving the other points of view that others might have towards this subject. When picking the resources for your subject, you will want to have resources that will back up your point of view and will also want to have a few opposing views showing the audience other points of views.

You will also want to pick resources that are credible and trusted; some sites are more credible than others, you will want to do background research on those sources and individuals that have written on the topic. Below are the steps to start writing your position argument: 1. Organize and outline your point of view on a particular issue. 2. Present a thorough position on an issue. 3. Establish your credibility.

Position Argument Outline Format:


The Introduction: 1. Introduce the topic A. Provide background on the topic (premise) B. Assert the thesis (your view of the issue) Your introduction should answer these three questions: 1. What is this? 2. Why am I reading this? 3. What can I do? The Counter Argument: 1. Summarize the counterclaim 2. Provide supporting information for counterclaims 3. Refute the counterclaim

4. Give evidence for argument Your Argument: 1. Assert point #1 A- Give your opinion B- Provide support 2. Assert point #2 A- Give your opinion B- Provide support 3. Assert point #3 A- Give your opinion B- Provide support The Conclusion: 1. Restate your argument/claim 2. Provide a plan of action 3. Address opposing facts and then explain why reader should align with you

What is a Position Argument a Genre?


Genre: An artistic category or style. A position argument is taking a "position" (for or against) on a topic of

debate. The author has to first pick a topic; once the topic has been chosen the author will research and use credible sources to back their information up. Then the author will need to give information regarding both sides of the argument, but then follow with reasons why the reader should agree with the authors particular view on the subject. For example, if the author was writing a piece on the position that Abortion should be illegal, the author would research and cite information on the risks, side effects, and ethical points of view of Abortion and then bring in it to their piece in a way that will motivate the readers to agree with their side. The position argument genre can have so many topics and is not directly related to only one.

The Genre's Range


The range in a positional argument is very large. Meaning you can write about almost any subject as long as you can provide a counter argument. That being said, you could have the position of, "should people brush their hair?" One side of the argument may say yes for public decency and the other side may say no because of time consumption. Then you may get into a more impacting problem for example, "should the USA switch over to the metric system." Basically, anything with two (or more) different views with different severity's are able to fall under the positional argument genre. Below are some other examples: Prayer in school, and should the state or federal governments decide this?

Immigration into the US? Abortion, yes or no? Abortion at what gestational age? Gay marriages, or gay adoptions The death penalty Is the youth of today that different from the youth culture of past generations Should parents be able to monitor their childrens internet access Not only could we look at the Position Arguments range in topics but you could also consider it's range in approaches. Writing a positional argument essay could be persuasive but we could also take it a step further and incorporate a visual feel, auditory feel, or even both to your argument. Below are some examples: Debates Speeches Power Points Documentaries Public Service Ads Political Cartoons Comics Commercials

Who Is The Audience for Position Arguments?


The audience will vary depending on your genre, but there can be a wide range of audiences that you may be directing to. For example, one

of the topics above is the topic of abortion. Who are some of the audiences you would be directing toward here? Parents, mothers, family members, doctors, religious groups, state legislature, etc. There are many different audiences for every genre, you will need to make sure you are clear who you are directing your argument toward. Along with choosing your audience, you must all make sure you know about your audience so that you can provide the correct data and examples. With this same topic of abortion, if you are directing your argument on the legality of it, it will want to provide stats, and current laws. However, if your audience is towards a religious group, you could look at moral aspects. Choosing your audience is very crucial because the amount of impact and credibility your audience will find in your argument will vary directly depending on who your target audience is. Connecting to your audience is key to grab their attention and it will strengthen your position. The factual evidence you choose to present depends on who your audience is. For instance, if you are trying to prove your point to a sheltered audience or children, you might not want to bring in any explicit examples to try and prove a point.

Why Do People Write Position Arguments?


That question could be answered with another question. Why do people get into arguments? Every individual has a point of view on any given subject. They obtain this view by studying and evaluating people,

media, and texts. After getting a basic understanding on a subject the individual will start to develop a position on that subject. As far as this individual knows his position is the truth about this subject. That is, of course, until someone comes along with the opposite position on an argument. This will, most of the time, lead into a debate of the two positions with both parties trying to educate the other individual on their knowledge. Which leads back to the first question, "Why do people write positional Arguments?". Here are some reasons below: Individuals would write a position argument because they have a subject they would like to sway their audience and educate others on a topic that is important to them. Individuals have an underlying motive. Individuals want to show the audience their side of the story.

Similar Genres
Evaluations are similar genres to position in argument because they are both arguing a particular subject to whomever the information is presented to. For example subjects about technology might not interest nature enthusiasts or what will interest college students might not interest businessmen. When picking a topic it is important to think about who you are trying to reach out to and what audience you are most likely to attract. This way you are able to write with a style that is relatable to that group of people. In proposals, the person is looking for different solutions and

considering which solution is better to the audience whereas, in position arguments, you have to look at different angles of your subject. It is also similar to a Report because you're presenting information about your topic at hand. In fact, you're presenting both sides of the argument.

References
"Argument Papers." Purdue University. Web. 7 Feb 2014. Brizee, Allen. "Conclusions." OWL. N.p.. Web. 22 Feb 2014. <https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/724/04/>. Brizee, Allen. "Introductions, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusions for an Argument Paper." OWL. N.p.. Web. 22 Feb 2014. <https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/724/1/>. Glen, Cheryl. The Harbrace Gude to Writing. 2nd ed. Wadsworth: Cengage Learning, 2012, 2009. 226, 261. Print. Cooper, Alisa. "Position and Proposal Arguments."Eng102Online. N.p.. Web. 22 Feb 2014. <http://eng102online.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Position-andProposal-Arguments1.pdf>. "List Of Literary Genres." Wikipedia. N.p., 22 Feb 2014. Web. 22 Feb 2014.

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_literary_genres>. "Literary Genre." Vocabulary. N.p.. Web. 22 Feb 2014. <http://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/literary genre>. Stewart, Craig. "General Format for Position Paper."Montana. N.p.. Web. 22 Feb 2014. <http://www.montana.edu/craigs/HDCF 371 POSITION PAPER FORMAT.html>. "Writing a Position Paper." Simon Fraser University. N.p.. Web. 4 Feb 2014. <http://www.sfu.ca/cmns/130d1/WritingaPositionPaper.htm>.