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

         chemical attacks

         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

         home care.


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 Wild Horse Pass



         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

         to Chemotherapy"





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


For example

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