English Language
How to take a position in an essay

How to take a position in an essay

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Crafting a Strong and Supported Argument in Your Essay

A stance is your personal perspective on a debatable topic or question. Unlike closed questions which only require factual answers, open questions allow for discussion and opposing viewpoints. When it comes to taking a stand in your writing, it all begins with making a decision. Here are some helpful tips for developing a stance on a topic you may not feel strongly about:

  • Consider how the topic relates to you personally. Did you experience or observe anything in your life that is relevant to the prompt? How did it make you feel? Did it influence your beliefs or worldview?
  • Put yourself in someone else's shoes and try to empathize. How would a parent or advocate for a specific cause feel about this issue?
  • If you are still struggling, choose the stance you feel most strongly about and support it with further research and contemplation.

Once you have chosen a stance, the next step is to develop arguments to support it. Are there any counterarguments to consider? This is where your stance becomes a thesis statement that clearly declares your position on a complex and debatable topic.

Strengthening Your Thesis Statement for a Strong Argument

Taking a stance in your writing is one thing, but having a strong thesis statement that supports it is another. Your thesis statement should clearly state your stance on a complex and debatable topic.

Definition of a thesis statement: A sentence that declares your position on a complex and debatable topic.

How can you tell if your thesis statement is strong or weak? Let's start with an example of a non-stance and develop it into a strong thesis statement.

A non-stance is a fleeting and unimportant personal decision. For example: I'll have pizza for dinner.

A weak personal stance is a decision on an unimportant topic that lacks room for debate. For example: Pizza is my favorite dinner.

A personal stance involves engaging with others and their opinions, but is based on opinions rather than solid evidence. For example: Pizza is the best dinner.

A weak stance is similar to a personal stance, but is limited in scope and lacks concrete evidence. For example: Pizza Palace has the best pizza among all pizza chains.

When taking a stance, it's important to understand the difference between causation and correlation, and how to use them to support your position.

The Importance of Causation vs. Correlation in Your Argument

When making an argument in your writing, it's crucial to support your position with solid evidence rather than just suggesting a possible connection. This is where understanding the difference between causation and correlation comes in.

Causation refers to a direct cause and effect relationship, while correlation may only suggest a relationship. To strengthen your argument, focus on causation and back it up with concrete evidence rather than simply relying on correlations. By taking a firm stance and using strong supporting evidence, you can craft a compelling and well-supported argument.If you're trying to establish a cause and effect relationship, think about whether removing the cause would also eliminate the effect. If not, what you're dealing with may be correlation rather than causation.Defining a position in an essay involves taking a stance on a question or prompt that is open to argument. For instance, one could argue that Papa Domino's Pizza Shack offers the healthiest pizza among other chains due to its focus on science-backed healthfulness rather than taste alone. However, this position is up for debate, as others may prioritize different evidence.So, how can you turn this position into a strong thesis statement for a position paper? Consider this example:Thesis statement: Papa Domino's Pizza Shack is leading the charge against childhood obesity compared to its competitors by providing healthier pizza options, running successful advertising campaigns, and promoting a progressive company culture.This statement is multifaceted and requires multiple points to support it. In fact, it could be the main topic of an entire position paper.Not only does the claim that Papa Domino's Pizza Shack offers the healthiest pizza need to be backed up, but so do the assertions of leading the fight against childhood obesity, successful advertising campaigns, and promoting a modern company culture. This paper must explain and tie in these aspects to demonstrate how the company is making a difference in the battle against childhood obesity.A strong thesis statement is described as "complex" because it allows for multiple points of discussion and debate. A good position should have enough room for discussion that it would be impossible to cover all arguments in one paper. If you can address every counterargument in your paper, your position may be too narrow.Now that we know what makes a good position, let's delve into how to write one for your essay or position paper in more detail.

Writing a Strong Position Statement

Your position should be clearly stated in the introduction of your paper. When it comes to writing your position statement, here are some do's and don'ts to keep in mind:

  • Do: Be clear and direct when taking a position. Avoid using vague language or ideas.
  • Don't: Exaggerate your position. Stick to the facts and avoid sensationalism.
  • Do: Consider how many body paragraphs you can use to support your position. This will help you craft a strong thesis statement.
  • Don't: Be afraid to reassess your position if it appears weak. It's better to switch to a stronger stance than to waste time defending a weak one.

How to Establish a Position in an EssayWhen writing a timed essay for a classroom or standardized test, it's vital to clearly establish your position on the given prompt. To improve your chances of success, take a stance that you have solid evidence and knowledge to support. In a timed essay, your main objective is to present a well-supported argument that showcases your understanding of the topic. Therefore, focus on demonstrating your level of comprehension rather than highlighting your personal passion or sparking endless debates. When taking a position in an essay, your key skill to utilize is reading comprehension. You must demonstrate your ability to recall and understand the prompt.Introduction to Position in an EssayA position refers to your standpoint on an open-ended question or prompt that can be argued from both sides. When presented with a question, avoid taking a stance that is too narrow or closed off. Instead, opt for a relatable position that allows you to express your thoughts thoroughly.Tips for Writing a Strong Position StatementThe thesis statement in your introduction is where you clearly state your strong position on the topic. A powerful position statement is essentially a multi-faceted thesis statement that provides numerous angles for discussion. It should be complex, arguable, and capable of withstanding both attacks and defenses.Points to Keep in Mind while Taking a Position in an EssayWhen taking a position in an essay, it's crucial to use clear and concise language. Avoid being gimmicky or taking extreme positions on the topic. Stick to a reasonable stance that can be supported with evidence.

Establishing Your Stance in an Argumentative Essay

Before you start writing your argumentative essay, it's important to lay down a solid foundation. Creating an outline can help you determine if your position has enough material to support it. If you find that your stance is weak, it's best to rework it early on. This will save you time and effort in the long run.

In an argumentative essay, your position should be one that can be backed up with solid arguments and counterarguments. It's essential to take some time to consider how the prompt relates to you and others. Put yourself in others' shoes and try to understand their perspectives. This will help you choose a position that not only aligns with your beliefs but also allows for healthy and productive debates.

By following these simple yet effective tips, you can establish a strong and well-supported stance in your argumentative essay. This will not only impress your readers but also strengthen your argument and make it more convincing. Remember, taking a well-thought-out position is key in any argumentative essay.

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