This assignment is not an essay but an exercise that helps build toward your Final Paper for the course. Your task in this assignment is to construct the best argument you can for a position on a controversial topic. Your argument should be your own creation. You may take inspiration from other arguments, but the formulation of the argument you present should be original to you.
To prepare to write this paper,
- Begin by choosing a topic from the PHI103 Final Paper Options list.
- Construct an argument for a position on the topic. This is the position that you will defend in your Final Paper. Make your argument as good as possible: In particular, make sure that all of your premises are true and that the truth of the conclusion is demonstrated by your premises.
- Consider possible objections to your argument, and revise it several times until you have an argument that is as strong as possible.
- Search in the Ashford University Library for quality academic sources that support some aspect of your argument.
- Constructing quality arguments is harder than it sounds; you may find that your first few attempts have problems and that it takes quite a bit of time and effort to revise an argument to a point that the premises adequately support the conclusion. You will be revising this argument for each of the remaining assignments in this course.
In your paper,
- Present a main argument in standard form with each premise and the conclusion on a separate line.
- Provide support for each premise of your argument. Explain the meaning of the premise, and provide supporting evidence for the premise. [One paragraph for each premise]
- Pay special attention to those premises that could be seen as controversial. Evidence may include academic research sources, supporting arguments, or other ways of demonstrating the truth of the premise (for more ideas about how to support the truth of premises take a look at the instructor guidance for this week). This section should include at least one scholarly research source. For further information about discovering and including high-quality research take a look at the FindIt@AU Tutorial.
- Explain how your conclusion follows from your premises.
- For an example of how to complete this paper, take a look at the Week One Annotated example The Ethics of Elephants in Circuses. Let your instructor know if you have any remaining questions about how to complete this paper.
In this class, you have three tutoring services available: Paper Review, Live Chat, and Tutor E-mail. Click on the Ashford Writing Center (AWC) tab in the left-navigation menu to learn more about these tutoring options and how to get help with your writing.
For guidance about how to paraphrase sources visit the Ashford Writing Center Guidelines for Paraphrasing Sources webpage. For guidance about how to quote sources visit the Ashford Writing Center Integrating Quotes Into Your Essay webpage. For guidance about summarizing visit the Ashford Writing Center Guidelines for Summarizing Sources webpage.
The Initial Argument Paper
- Must be 400 to 600 words in length (not including the title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center (for more information about using APA style, take a look at the APA Essay Checklist for Students.
- Must include a separate title page with the following:
- Title of paper
- Student’s name
- Course name and number
- Instructor’s name
- Date submitted
- Must use at least one scholarly source in addition to the course text.
- The Scholarly, Peer Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment.
- Must document all sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center (for more information about how to create an APA reference list, take a look at the APA References List webpage.