Point-Counterpoint Essay Assignment – 

Use the outline you wrote last week to write your final essay this week.

Drug issues are seldom black or white, right or wrong. Some of the most hotly debated questions of our day concern the use, misuse, and abuse of drugs. These issues deserve a good deal of critical thought.

Use the outline you created last week (see separate instruction document for the outline) to construct a 3-5 page point/counterpoint (persuasive) essay using the arguments and sources you already researched. In the essay, you will present opposing points of view on the issue you already chose from the approved list. You should present both sides in a fair way by discussing them objectively and in equal detail.

PLEASE READ THE GRADING RUBRIC FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT BEFORE YOU BEGIN. COMPARE YOUR ESSAY TO THE GRADING RUBRIC BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT WILL BE USED TO GRADE YOUR ESSAY.

Essay Structure

PLEASE READ THE SAMPLE ESSAY FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT BEFORE YOU BEGIN WRITING. COMPARE YOUR ESSAY TO THE SAMPLE ESSAY BEFORE YOU SUBMIT IT.

A good essay will include the following:

  • A title that clearly states the issue as a question. Take your title from the list of approved topics and just copy what it says there word for word.
  • An interesting introductory paragraph that clearly introduces both sides of the argument and draws the reader in. It does not contain your opinion (do not say “I think, I believe, in my opinion”).
  • The first section contains 3 strong arguments FOR the issue (the point). ***Each of the 3 arguments must cite a source.
  • The second section contains 3 strong arguments AGAINST the issue (counterpoint). ***Each of the 3 arguments must cite a source.
  • A closing paragraph in which you summarize both sides of the issue and then state your opinion on the issue.

Writing Style and Format

  • Write clearly and concisely. Use as few words as possible to make your arguments. Make your essay easy to read by eliminating extra unnecessary words, phrases and sentences. Get straight to the point.
  • Do not try to sound formal. Write as if you were talking – very simply and easily.
  • You are encouraged to submit your essay to the National University Writing Center for their expert guidance BEFORE you submit your final essay. You can learn a lot from a half hour session with them and it will improve your grade.
  • Check your work. Use spell check and then carefully proofread your essay at least once to catch spelling, punctuation and grammatical mistakes. Read your essay out loud to catch any missing words, extra words and awkward-sounding sentences. Show your essay to someone else to see if they understand what you are trying to say. Take pride in your work and strive to be mistake-free.
  • Do NOT use any quotations. Instead, paraphrase (write in your own words) the ideas or information and cite the source.
  • Type in Times New Roman, Size 12 font, double-spaced, 1-inch margins all around.

 

References

Use at least 4 total sources for your arguments. Each of the 2 arguments for and the 2 arguments against against must have at least one source.

At least 2 of the sources must support your point (for). They must come from peer-reviewed journal articles, government reports or textbooks.

At least 2 of the sources must support your counterpoint argument (against). They must come from peer-reviewed journal articles, government reports or textbooks.

Information from the course textbook is allowed, but does not count as one of your four required sources above. Other additional sources are allowed, but they also do not count toward your four required sources. Sources must be recent (published within the past 5-10 years).

You can use the National University Library database to search for sources.

Ø Public Health Advocacy

Ø Federal

Ø CQ Press Library (SAGE)

Ø CQ Researcher Plus Archive

Ø Browse Topics

Ø Health

Ø Substance Abuse

Select one of the titles

Click Pro/Con on the left side to view the arguments for and against.

Use APA 6th edition format for your References list.

 

 

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