(My position on the topic is that college is a scam in America, but I can see why for some people it is worth it) Instructions: The Introduction provides background information about the topic, including the definition of terms, history, a summary of the viewpoints, etc. Generally, this part of the paper is unbiased and straightforward with the purpose of giving the reader a basic understanding of what the topic is. At the end of the Introduction, you will state YOUR position on the topic in the Thesis Statement, which should clearly identify the position that you are taking on this topic/controversy. Oftentimes, the Thesis Statement includes “should” or “should not” to let the reader know what position the author is taking. Do NOT use 1st person pronouns (I, me, my) in the Thesis Statement. The Introduction is usually 1 or 2 paragraphs long. The Argument The Argument is where you provide compelling evidence in support of the Thesis Statement. You are trying to prove that your viewpoint is valid, logical, and supported by data. This part of the paper should be a combination of your own knowledge of the topic as well as cited evidence from your sources. You need to be careful how you use your sources in the Argument. The paragraphs should NOT begin or end with a quote or paraphrase. Each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that is your own idea written in your own words and should end with closing sentence that is also your own idea in your own words. Do not let the sources “write the paper for you.” If you rely too heavily on quotes or paraphrases to create your paragraphs, you are telling your reader that you really don’t know what you are talking about. The sources should just provide support for what you have to say about the topic. The Argument should be 3 or more paragraphs. The Opposition and Refutation In order to show the reader that you fully understand the complexity of your topic, you need to include the Opposition’s viewpoint and evidence. The Opposition is those who are against your own position on this topic. They disagree with your Thesis Statement. It is important to address and acknowledge the Opposition so that the reader can make an informed decision about this topic. After you present the Opposition’s viewpoint and evidence, you then need to Refute that information. You need to show that the Opposition’s view and evidence are flawed or illogical. Do NOT insult the Opposition by calling them “stupid, dumb, crazy, ridiculous, etc.” You will alienate readers if you engage in name-calling. The Opposition and Refutation should be 2 or more paragraphs. The Conclusion The Conclusion provides a wrap up to the paper. You should not bring up any new information, but you could recommend a call for action (what should the reader do after reading this paper?) or you could reiterate why your Thesis Statement is valid and important. Works Cited/References Be sure to cite at least six sources that have been quoted and/or paraphrased in the paper, all in order
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