PERSUASIVE RESEARCH ESSAY;ethical standpoint

PERSUASIVE RESEARCH ESSAY;ethical standpoint

Overview
For your final essay assignment in the class, you will research a topic from an ethical standpoint, and present a persuasive, argumentative essay that summarizes and

evaluates your research. This means you aren’t just presenting an overview or summary of whatever topic you choose, but are arguing a stance on this issue from an

ethical standpoint. This will require that you present counter-arguments and refute them in your essay, so that you are allowing the voice of the opposition to be

heard, then effectively responding back to those voices by offering evidence that contradicts, and possibly even discredits, the opposing view.
Your final draft should be 5- 7 pages long and should rely on three outside sources that have been approved in advance.

Choosing a topic
The first thing you’ll need to do is choose a topic that deals with an ethical or moral question. You should choose something you are interested in learning more about

and would like to develop an opinion on. You should not choose something you’ve already researched or written about for another class. For this assignment, it is ideal

that you don’t already have a strong opinion about your topic (although you might have some idea of your stance, it’s best if you choose a topic that you don’t already

have a passionate, developed stance on) so that your initial questions will be objective and your stance will be determined solely through your research. Your topic

should address an ethical issue; in other words, it should ask whether a particular thing is good or bad, right or wrong, healthy or unhealthy, correct or incorrect,

and so on.

Once you’ve chosen a topic, you will need to narrow your focus by defining the issue, the people, place or thing affected by the issue, and the question you are asking

about it. For example, “Euthanasia” could be narrowed down to focusing on the “Right-to-die” laws that apply to children, which can eventually be narrowed to “Is

Berlin’s new “right-to-die” law, which has been extended to include terminally ill children ethically right?” You have to be very careful as you craft your focusing

question for this essay, because you’ll need to consider all of the definitions you’ll be required to provide to your readers. In the case of the above example, you’ll

need to clarify what you mean by “right” and “ethical” and who it is or isn’t “right” for (not to mention the “why” question, which will take up most of your essay).

As the writer, you get to decide how your own terms are defined, but you still need to make those definitions very clear to your audience.

Once you’ve determined your focusing question, you’ll need to do some extensive research in order to develop your stance. Look at your focusing question from as many

angles as possible. This will help you to come up with counter-arguments, refute those counter-arguments, and solidify your own stance, in addition to giving you ample

evidence to back up that stance. Your focusing question, once you’ve answered it for yourself, will become the main argument, or thesis or your essay.

Research and Sources
For this essay you’ll need to incorporate supporting information from at least three different credible sources, and each source will need to be referenced more than

once. One way of organizing your sources and distributing them evenly throughout your essay is to organize your essay as such:

1)    Introduction and thesis (main argument). Possible use of source to illustrate topic.
2)    Main point #1
a)    source to back up main point
b)    counter-argument
c)    source to refute counter-argument
3)    Main point #2
a) source to back up main point
b) counter-argument
c) source to refute counter-argument
4)   Main point #3
a) source to back up main point
b) counter-argument
c) source to refute counter-argument
5)   Conclusion

Credible sources mean that they were written by experts on the topic they address and have been published through reputable means, such as scholarly or medical

journals, government websites, or university printing presses. Examples of credible sources are: anything that has been peer-reviewed and published in an academic

journal; newspaper, magazine, or online journal articles; interviews with known experts, either published by another researcher or conducted on your own; chapters from

textbooks and other nonfiction books found at the Chemeketa Library; Government reports and legal documents including anything from a .gov website; educational

surveys, reports, handouts, guidelines, or articles published on an .edu website, nonfiction books or journals published through university presses.

Be sure you give yourself plenty of time to conduct your research, as your first round of research may not give you the results you want. Oftentimes, it becomes

necessary to conduct additional research as your focusing question becomes more defined and specific.

Writing the essay

Audience: Remember who your audience is and anticipate their potential rebuttals to your argument so that you can refute them within the body of your essay. Consider

the demographic of your classmates and instructor and appeal to their emotions and rationality in ways that will affect these readers on a specific level.

Stance: Your stance is the most important voice in your argument and should guide the tone of your entire essay. Make sure your thesis, wherein you’ll state your

stance, is worded specifically, powerfully, and articulately so that the reader is clear about your argument from the onset. Any evidence you use to back up your

argument should be directly supportive of your thesis/stance, and you should refer back to your stance in your essay’s conclusion.

Turn a Question into an Argument: One way of determining your stance and allowing it the power to inform your writing is to ask yourself questions about your intended

topic. While answering these questions, pay close attention to the answer that your feel most passionate about; chances are, these are the questions that you’ll be

able to successfully argue a stance on in your essay. Choose a question that you are able to answer with conviction, and turn that into your stance, or the driving

argument or your persuasive essay.

Anticipating the Opposition: Writers of an argumentative essay must consider what others will say to refute their argument. This is the source of energy for this kind

of paper. Raising the objections of your opposition and then — carefully, kindly, perhaps even wittily — showing how your way of seeing things is better reveals you,

the author, as a thoughtful, reasonable, thorough individual. Don’t cheat by raising only the weak or silly arguments that your opponents might raise; your paper

becomes strong by taking on the strength of the opposition. Also, never belittle or threaten your opposition in any way. What is the point of defeating someone who

isn’t as strong or even stronger than you are? Respect for the opposition goes beyond sportsmanship; giving the enemy its due makes your argument all the stronger.
Logos, Pathos, and Ethos: The goal of argumentative writing is to persuade your audience that your ideas are valid, or more valid than someone else’s. The Greek

philosopher Aristotle divided the means of persuasion—appeals—into three categories–Ethos, Pathos, Logos.
Ethos (Credibility- Greek for “character”), or ethical appeal, means convincing the audience via the character of the author. We tend to believe people whom we

respect. One of the central goals of argumentation is to project an impression to the reader that you are someone worth listening to, in other words making yourself as

author into an authority on the subject of the paper, as well as someone who is likable and worthy of respect. Another reason why you should begin your research early-

you need to become the voice of authority in this essay!
Pathos (Emotional- Greek for “suffering” or “experience”) means persuading by appealing to the reader’s emotions. We can look at texts ranging from classic essays to

contemporary advertisements to see how pathos, or emotional appeals, are used to persuade. Language choice affects the audience’s emotional response, and emotional

appeal can effectively be used to enhance an argument.
Logos (Logical- Greek for “word” or “logic”) means persuading by the use of reasoning. This will be the most important technique when it comes to writing persuasively.

Giving reasons is the heart of argumentation, and cannot be emphasized enough. You’ll need to anticipate and address every “Why?” that your audience might come up

with.

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