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Discussing arguments in a paper

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I'm currently writing my first academic paper. My subject is Proposition 8. In one chapter, I intend to compare the arguments put forward by proponents and opponents, and I wonder how I should present them. Should I divide each side's arguments in two distinct paragraphs? Or is it better to present each argument separately and present each side's views on that argument?

Here is a trial for the 2nd option:

1) Proponents think marriage should remain a heterosexual-only institution. Opponents think everyone should be treated equally.

2) Proponents argued that the CA Supreme Court hadn't respected the will of the people. Opponents thought that amending constitutions should be avoided.

3) Proponents said domestic partnerships already guaranteed gay couples the same rights as marriage would do. Opponents said that only marriage could provide the greatest security to couples.

4) Proponents were concerned about gay marriage's potential impact on children's education. Opponents argued that Prop. 8 had nothing to do with education.

Not sure at all, maybe the 1st option would be better? Please, tell me what you think about it, I'm really open to all suggestions.

Thanks a lot!

  • Discussing arguments in a paper -

    If you choose your first option above (first paragraph, I'm guessing), you'll have a comparison/contrast paper, not an argumentative essay.

    Here is one of the best places online to learn what you need to know about writing argumentative essays:

    Go into ,Form: Tradition and Innovation, and what you'll see what the classic order of an argument is. Below this classic order are three alternative orders. Choose one that will fit your need.

    The point is that you want to make YOUR STANCE the strongest position, and you want to refute only the main ideas of the opposition. You shouldn't even try to cover them all.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd deal only with your options 1 and 3 above. The others aren't major enough to warrant the time you'd spend on them.

  • Discussing arguments in a paper -

    I should restate that last part: If I were in your shoes, I deal only with your numbered items 1 and 3 ....

  • Discussing arguments in a paper -

    Thank you very much ;) Everything is much clearer now. However, I think I'll choose the "comparison/contrast" option since the assignment I was given is more of a research paper in which I have to include some sort of debate. Plus, I have to remain formal.

    Thanks again and until next time :)

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