HOW TO MAKE SURE YOUR TOPIC IS IN ARGUMENTATIVE FORM
reminder: topic for papers must be argumentative
and narrowed down appropriately. By nature of being argumentative,
there must exist opposite or opposing points of view.
Ask this question as a test of whether your thesis is in argumentative form:
What counterarguments do you expect to address OR what kinds
of counterarguments may you have to address?
If you can't find any possible opposite/opposing point of view to your argument, you probably don't have a thesis in argumentative form.
1)WRONG: Effects of nerve gas on soldiers who survive
OK/ARGUMENTATIVE FORM: Nerve gas
exposure continues to harm the health of survivors long
after the attack
2)WRONG: Problems in treating Alzheimer patients
OK/ARGUMENTATIVE FORM: Alzheimers victims in nursing
homes face more severe problems than those who receive
3)WRONG: Robots and the negative effects on the economy
OK/ARGUMENTATIVE FORM: Robots are gradually replacing
the blue collar worker in car manufacturing plants.
4) WRONG: Gambling
and corruption at the Wild Horse Pass Casino
OK/ARGUMENTATIVE FORM: Corruption has resulted
from the gambling practices at the
Think of it in terms of having to take a specific point
of view or stand in a topic. For example, in a debate,
you can't argue that there are "Different treatments for
dealing with Cancer": that's an informative paper,
appropriate to ENG101 or call for an informative paper.
For the final paper in this class you could compare
and contrast or take a point of view related to this.
SO YOU COULD ARGUE: "Herbal treatments have become an
effective alternative to cancer patients not responding
NARROWING A TOPIC:
Narrowing a topic requires you to start at the most general form of a topic (eg, health, cars, education, elderly, etc), which is level 1, then narrow it down by any one way 6 times [look at the handout on how to narrow, for example, by who, what, group affected, etc], always repeating the last level.
ONCE YOU have THE TOPIC in 6th level narrowing, you must put it in ARGUMENTATIVE FORM:
Student has Argumentative paper general interest: something about cloning
level 1 narrowing into a general topic: Cloning
level 2 narrowing: Cloning: good or bad?
level 3 narrowing: Dangers of Cloning
level 4 narrowing: Dangers of human cloning
level 5 narrowing: Clonaid: have they mastered the dangers of human cloning?
level 6 narrowing: The ethical issues faced as Clonaid offers human cloning for a price
Argumentative: Human cloning becomes a form of vanity when cloning is made into an unregulated corporate commodity by Clonaid
Student has Argumentative paper general interest: nursing homes
level 1 narrowing into a general topic: elderly
level 2 narrowing: nursing homes
level 3 narrowing: regulating nursing homes
level 4 narrowing: regulating nursing homes in AZ
level 5 narrowing: Regulating nursing homes in AZ: failing at their jobs?
level 6 narrowing: Why are the agencies regulating nursing homes in AZ failing at their jobs?
Argumentative: The agencies regulating nursing homes in AZ are failing at their jobs because they have no legal accountability for their mistakes
3rd example of proper narrowing:
Student has argumentative paper general interest in: hot rods
level 1: cars
level 2: hot rods
level 3: hot rod racing
level 4: illegal hot rod racing
level 5: illegal hot rod racing in AZ
level 6: police deterrence of illegal hot rod racing in AZ
argumentative: police deterrence programs have failed to stop illegal hot rod racing in AZ