Position Paper Instructions
The position paper is to be 5-8 pages long, double spaced.
It must include a bibliography, which is included in the page count.
The position paper must be based on one of the two pre-assigned topics.
Topic A – Evaluate Kirsch’s explanation of why we waited so long for the electric car.
Write a short position paper, arguing for or against the author’s position, for Topic A
• If arguing “for” the author’s position, you must do more than just agree with them; you must give additional, outside evidence to support their view and/or extend their argument to new areas.
• If arguing “against” the author’s position, you must account for their evidence and the things they got right, as well as what you believe they got wrong, and you must provide evidence for why you believe they are wrong.
An argumentative paper always argues for or against some position or idea.
So for example:
1. Kirsch argues that the electric car took a long time to appear on the market as consumers chose alternate technologies (internal combustion) while waiting for an improved electric car.
This is NOT an argumentative thesis, as it just restates Kirsch’s argument.
2. Kirsch argues that consumer choice delayed the appearance of the electric car. I will support Kirsch’s case by expanding his argument to show how it applies to solar panels and natural gas.
This is an argumentative thesis; it argues for Kirsch’s thesis by showing how it also applies to other technologies.
You can write in the first person.
You should state your thesis up front and outline your argument in the first section of the paper.
You can use quotations, but use them sparingly, introduce them and explain their significance, if possible paraphrase rather than quoting.
Always give a page number when referring to a source.
You will be evaluated on 6 FACETS of your writing:
Fairness – Were you fair to the author, did you evaluate their argument or a straw man?
Argument – Do you have one, is it consistent, is it persuasive?
Clarity – Is your presentation clear, can it be understood, do you make frequent writing mistakes?
Evidence – Do you use a standard referencing style consistently, do you use paraphrasing and sometimes quotations, do you demonstrate that you understand your sources when discussing ideas?
Thesis – Do you have one, is it clearly stated, is it on topic, is it argumentative, do you stick to it?
Significance – Does your writing show you understand the significance of the topic, do you demonstrate an awareness of context in your arguments?
All out of 5, for a total of 30