Arguments for and Against Death Penalty
The Death Penalty: ISSUE: Should the death penalty be banned? If so, why? If not, why not?
WHAT SHOULD THE SIGNATURE ASSIGNMENT LOOK LIKE? WHAT ARE THE
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE SIGNATURE ASSIGNMENT
Students will be required to take a position “YES” or “NO” on ONE specific issue and provide
substantive arguments supporting their position that are evidence based. Also, in the problem
students will be required to consider objections to their position and arguments, and to respond to their objections.
GATHERING EVIDENCE AND INFORMATION WILL REQUIRE SOME RESEARCH.
Fair-mindedness should be practiced. Relevant questions and issue should be identified and
researched. And, students should avoid fallacies, or be aware when one argues using a fallacy.
This is a problem solving exercise, not a persuasive essay per se—although persuasion is
In the last three Sessions we will cover approaches to solving this problem—bringing together all
the material covered in the class.
THE ESSAY SHOULD BE A MINIMUM OF 1500 (ALTHOUGH THERE IS NO WORD LIMIT)
QUOTES MUST HAVE QUOTATION MARKS AND REFERENCES.
USE MLA OR APA FORMAT.
THE ESSAY MUST BE SUBMITTED TO BOTH THE TURNITIN ASSIGNMENT BOX AND THE
REGULAR ASSIGNMENT BOX IN THE LAST WEEK
THE ESSAY IS DUE THE LAST DAY OF CLASS.
WHAT THE SIGNATURE ASSIGNMENT SHOULD LOOK LIKE
INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH (100-300 words minimum)
The introductory paragraph should present the following:
State the problem and the hypothesis or proposed solution to the problem: FOR EXAMPLE, “In
this essay I will argue that the terms of Proposition 64 on the California 2016, November ballot
should be enacted nationally.” Or, “In this essay I will argue that Marijuana should be legalized for
recreational use nationally.” Or, “In this essay I will argue that Marijuana should not be legalized for
Explain or describe your general position, and any general qualifications to the proposed solutions.
This will require some description of Prop. 64.
BODY OF ESSAY (PRESENTATION OF ARGUMENTS AND EVIDENCE AND RESPONSES TO
AT LEAST THREE ARGUMENTS FOR YOUR POSITION. There is no one way to present
arguments and evidence, of course. This problem will require addressing positions on issues,
issues (those issues deemed most important to the election and why). Outline the arguments for
your position first. Identify the most important evidence and explain how that evidence supports
your position. In stating opinions and claims, students should consider the reasons or grounds for
their opinions and claims. Students should identify those key opinions and claims that support the
argument and provide evidence and arguments for these claims. Opinions or claims lacking
evidence and argument do not offer support for the position presented.
EXPLAINING AND REFUTING SEVERAL OBJECTION OR COUNTER-ARGUMENT: Identify the
strongest criticismS of not merely your proposed solution, but also of your argument for you solution–the arguments and evidence presented. Explain these objections, and then respond to
CONCLUDING REMARKS (100-300 words minimum)
In your concluding remarks you may do a variety of things: 1) summarize your position. 2) express
final thoughts, convictions, or reservations 3) reflect on what additional evidence might change
your way of looking at the problem 4) express your overall degree of confidence in the solution.