BACKGROUND: Students will be selecting a controversial topic to extensively
research and analyze. After researching, students will not only write
a THREE PAGE paper which outlines all of the facts of the issue, but
also makes a logical appeal to advocate one side of the issue over
the other. In addition, the student will create an INFORMATION STATION,
a presentation of all of the facts and opinions of the issue, which
will be reviewed and noted by classmates. Once all students have had
a chance review the stations of the others in the class, each student
will participate in a series of THREE CHAIR DEBATES, where they will
argue the pros and cons of the stations that they have visited.
FIRST THINGS FIRST:
The student will be selecting one of the topics below (or one of their
own choosing, with the approval of the instructor).
This will be "First come, first served." It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
that students do not attempt to analyze laws or regulations regarding
drugs, as these may prove very difficult to research, given our network
Is capital punishment justified?
Does Affirmative Action advance racial equality?
Should the President be allowed to detain citizens indefinitely
Is “Middle Eastern” profiling ever justified?
Should hate speech be punished?
Are tax cuts good for America?
Is America becoming more unequal?
Should abortion be illegal?
- Should stem cell research be legal?
Should prayer be allowed in schools?
Should we ban animal testing on medical and health
- What should be done about nuclear weapons in Iran?
Should America take
and medical for
Should we build
a wall on
a national ID
Marriage be legalized?
REQUESTED TOPICS (4th
- Abortion: Natasha/ Emily L.
- Prayer in School: /Emylee
- Torture Issues: Lisa/Andy
- Stem Cell Research: /Mariah
- Women in combat: Coreen/
- Iran and Nuclear Weapons: /Jeremy
- Economic impact of illegal immigrants: Blake/
- Animal testing: Krystal/Dallas
- Assault Weapons Ban: Lucius, Conner/Nancy
- Gun Control: Nathan/Jacob
- Birthright citizenship: /Erin
- Capital Punishment: /Joseph
- Border Control: Isaac/
- Death Penalty: /Tofer
- Gay Rights: Kayla/Emily A.
- Gun Registration/Gun Show Loophole: CJ/Jared
- Drug Testing: James/
- Corporal Punishment for children: Arlene/
- Farm Bill Work Issues: /Keaton
PART ONE: POSITION PAPER
START your paper:
- Review the critical thinking
questions (BELOW) and make sure that you address them on your topic
- Please include a TITLE PAGE for your paper, which has the title
of your work, your name, class and the date submitted.
You will write a 3-5 page
paper on your issue. DO NOT assume that reaching the 3 page
minimum will get you anything higher than a
introduce the topic
and your topic
In the next 1-5
the “yes” side
of the topic.
Be sure to bring in vital facts, the critical thinking
questions and use
the “no” side of
the topic. Be sure to bring in vital facts, the critical
thinking questions and use
a stand. Support your argument. WHY are you supporting
that side? (use your sources!)
- At the end of your paper, please include ALL sources
used. Please use APA format when citing your sources.
Here are some online resources to assist you with your citations:
- To Assist You with your Position Paper: I have put together
a couple of resources for you-
PART TWO- INFORMATION
Research your topic thoroughly.
Your goal is to create an “Information
Station” on your topic. You will present FACTS as
well as common arguments for both sides of the issue.
DO have the information organized,
clearly labeled and reproducable.
DO make sure the information
is brief and readable. Do not simply print lengthy articles
about the topic. Instead,
create a fact sheet,
and outlines for arguments on both sides
of the issue.
DO think about dividing the
research into three categories: FACTS; Arguments
for______; Arguments against_______.
DO document your sources for
the info you have collected
- I also recommend that, for some initial information regarding your topic, you try our new NBC News website, which is packed with tons of video regarding almost any issue that you can think of. The website is:
Our access code is: E5EFAR
PART THREE: THREE CHAIR DEBATE
the “Information Stations” created
by your classmates.
Students will participate in our
Three Chair Debates.
Two chairs represent each side, the third chair represents
undecideds. The undecideds
for clarity, etc. Students will be graded on
participation, as well as following the rules for NOT TALKING
when not in a chair.
Turn in paper
Information station (75
Info/facts presented on both
sides 20 points/20 points
Sources included 15 points.
Position paper (100
Introduction is an outline,
presents question (5 pts) ______
“Yes” is objective, complete with
facts (10 pts) ______
“No” is objective, complete with
facts (10 pts) ______
Critical Thinking questions addressed
Opinion is argued and well-supported
(10 pts) ______
Grammar, spelling, neatness
(5 pts) ______
Debate “ticket” (20
All four topics/issues
in the debating process.
RESPECTFUL participation and
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTIONS:
the position you have taken. QUESTION yourself and your reasoning!
a. What factors make this a difficult problem?
b. What are some of the complexities of this question?
c. What are some of the difficulties we need to deal with?
a. Do we need to look at this from another perspective?
b. Do we need to consider another point of view?
c. Do we need to look at this in other ways?
a. Does all this make sense together?
b. Does your first paragraph fit in with your last?
c. Does what you say follow from the evidence?
a. Is this the most important problem to consider?
b. Is this the central idea to focus on?
c. Which of these facts are most important?
a. Do I have any vested interest in this issue?
b. Am I sympathetically representing the viewpoints of others?
Issue Facts and Information:
Arguments for/Arguments against: