Description: This final project is a continuation of the work began for the midterm. In the midterm, students chose an issue to work on, took up a stance on that issue, and began to articulate a way to argue in favor of their stance

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Description: This final project is a continuation of the work began for the midterm. In the midterm, students chose an issue to work on, took up a stance on that issue, and began to articulate a way to argue in favor of their stance

Description: This final project is a continuation of the work began for the midterm. In the midterm, students chose an issue to work on, took up a stance on that issue, and began to articulate a way to argue in favor of their stance. The final project will complete this process. It is separated into three parts. Part 1 will have students focus on the counter-argument to their position, articulated as the fourth body paragraph of their Midterm outline. Focusing on the counter-argument is essential because without dealing with the strongest competition to one’s position, one can only advance their position so far. Even if you offer a decent argument for a claim, even if you support it strongly with good reasons, you can’t be sure that there isn’t a far stronger argument available in favor of the opposite position until you’ve looked. This limits the strength of your otherwise good argument. If you support a conclusion or thesis with strong premises or supporting reasons, ​and​ you adequately reconstruct then dismiss the best argument against your position, you have achieved some success in reasoning and argumentation. So, the focus of Part 1 of the Final Project is reconstructing then dismissing an argument against your chosen position. This is generally hard to do without constructing a straw man or picking the low hanging fruit from the opposition (i.e., one of their weaker arguments). Obviously, we want our argument to win, and our biases can make honest evaluation of other positions especially hard. But offering a straw man or weak argument and then knocking it down is not an accomplishment, and actually weakens your own argument in the long run. So, Part 1 is intended to focus on doing this difficult task well. It is, at the same time, working on what will become a large part of your paper in Part 2. Remember, you’re basically building that fourth body paragraph here. Part 2 is where students will actually write their completed argumentative paper about their chosen issue, based on their Midterm outline. Part 3 is where students will respond to commentary on their argument given by the instructor. The due dates and points distributions for this project are as follows:


 

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