1. Select a controversial issue about which you hold a very strong position. The issue can be something that affects you personally, or that affects the larger world you live in (Los Angeles, California, the U.S., or the planet).
NOTE: You may not select an issue for which your position is based on faith belief. This means if you are for or against an issue because of your religious beliefs, you may not select that issue for this assignment. This is because faith cannot be argued; there are many religions in the world, and you cannot make a reasonable argument that the beliefs of your religion are “more correct” than any other.
2. Once you have selected the issue, state your position on the issue in a clear, well-written sentence. DO NOT USE I, ME, MY or MINE in your sentence. Try a sentence structured around “should / because” clauses.
3. Then, consider the reasons why you hold the position you do. What would you say to the person who asks “Why do you think you are right?” What reasons would you provide in an effort to convince someone that your position is the right position to have on that issue?
4. Once you have considered the reasons of support for your position, consider the best argumentation strategy for each. You should be able to argue for your position using each of the three appeals — logos, ethos and pathos. How can you make an argument that appeals to logic? What kind of experience or expertise can you cite to support your position? Which emotion will you appeal to in order to convince your audience that your position is the right one?
5. Beneath your statement of position, compose three separate paragraphs that each argue for your position. Each paragraph should employ one of the argumentation strategies discussed above. You will thus write a logos-based paragraph, an ethos-based paragraph, and a pathos based paragraph. Create a heading above each paragraph, i.e. LOGOS, and double-space beneath that heading to begin your paragraph. For the ethos-based paragraph, you may need to do some research for an expert’s quote or anecdote.
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