Lower Division Oral and Written Communication


Related Critical Thinking Skills Course

Position Paper Assignment (Back to Upper Division Model)


Complete all of the steps below (be sure to delineate each of the steps by number):


Step One: Identify your selected topic. Be sure the topic relates directly to family life issues.  Successful completion of the assignment should not require “research” other than review of readily available e-reserve readings, notes from class discussions, discussions with available others, and insights and information attained through your life’s experiences. If you find that any other “formal” research is required to complete the assignment, it is important to change topics.


Step Two: State your essay’s central thesis.  Be sure your thesis relates directly to family life and that it is very controversial to our deliberative community.


Step Three: Identify the central issue guiding your essay.  Be sure that this issue reflects the “true  locus  of controversy  related to your thesis. Be sure as well to frame the issue as a question.


Step Four: Identify the most important relevant commonplaces shared by all members of the deliberative community (including those who share your perspective and those who disagree with your point of view on your thesis).


Step Five: Prepare 1-2 double-spaced typed pages summarizing the most compelling reasons in support of your thesis.


Step Six: Prepare 1-2 double-spaced typed pages summarizing the most compelling reasons available to those who disagree with your thesis. On what grounds do reasonable people disagree with you?


Assessment  Criteria:


·         Completes all of  the steps above (meeting all specified guidelines)

·         Provides clear and concise overview of the central issue and related subordinate issues

·         Identifies and explains key points of controversy among multiple perspectives

·         Clearly and concisely articulates the author’s perspective

·         Provides compelling, relevant, and comprehensive support for key claims and for potentially controversial assumptions

·         Provides logically coherent and internally consistent arguments in support of the central thesis

·         Reflects careful consideration of dissenting voices and divergent means of support

·         Provides a means of accountability for those affected by the author’s perspective

·         Demonstrates sensitivity and responsiveness to interests, needs, beliefs, and values of the broader deliberative community

·         Clearly communicates  key  ideas and perspectives

·         Adheres to appropriate and relevant standards of communication, including grammar, punctuation, and spelling


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