How many people could argue against my position? What would they say?

Thesis-   Healthcare information technology productivity can be boosted by cellular phones because they can provide increased access to Ear’s, promote patient and physician communication, and provide quick access to medical literature.




15 pages with charts/graphs supported with research


You need an anchor point to ensure everything you discuss is tied to this concept.  I just gave the class a ONE week extension.  Your paper is now due on the 27th of June INSTEAD OF the 20th.

To write an argument essay, you’ll need to gather evidence and present a well-reasoned argument on a debatable issue.

How can I tell if my topic is debatable? Check your thesis!  You cannot argue a statement of fact, you must base your paper on a strong position. Ask yourself…

  • How many people could argue against my position?  What would they say?
  • Can it be addressed with a yes or no? (aim for a topic that requires more info.)
  • Can I base my argument on scholarly evidence, or am I relying on religion, cultural standards, or morality? (you MUST be able to do quality research!)
  • Have I made my argument specific enough?

Why do I need to address the opposing side’s argument?

There is an old gunk-few saying which states, “The hand that strikes also blocks”, meaning that when you argue it is to your advantage to anticipate your opposition and strike down their arguments within the body of your own paper. This sentiment is echoed in the popular saying, “The best defense is a good offense”.

By addressing the opposition you achieve the following goals:

  • illustrate a well-rounded understanding of the topic
  • demonstrate a lack of bias
  • enhance the level of trust that the reader has for both you and your opinion
  • give yourself the opportunity to refute any arguments the opposition may have
  • strengthen your argument by diminishing your opposition’s argument

Think about yourself as a child, asking your parents for permission to do something that they would normally say no to. You were far more likely to get them to say yes if you anticipated and addressed all of their concerns before they expressed them. You did not want to belittle those concerns, or make them feel dumb, because this only put them on the defensive, and lead to a conclusion that went against your wishes.

The same is true in your writing.

Developing Your Position

Now that we know what a strong thesis statement is, we can begin to craft one of our own. Most effective position statements often answer these three questions:

  • What is the essay’s subject?
  • What is the main idea that will be discussed about the topic?
  • What is the evidence or support that will be used to support the main idea?

Let’s suppose that I want to write an essay about playing sports. I might begin with a sentence like this:

Playing sports is really good for people.

This is a good start because it does express my position without announcing it; unfortunately, it is vague and general and therefore ineffective. It is not all that exciting for my reader, and it leaves my audience too many unanswered questions. WHY is playing sports good for people? HOW does playing sports benefit people? WHICH people benefit from playing sports? Asking questions about the topic is a great way to find more specific information to include in my thesis.

Let’s suppose now that after asking these questions, I’ve decided I want to narrow my topic into children and sports. I might next have a thesis like this:

Playing sports is really good for children.

Now my thesis is more specific, but I still haven’t really answered the Why and HOW questions. Maybe I think that playing sports helps children develop better cooperation skills, better coordination, and better overall health. I might have a thesis that ends up like this:

Playing sports is beneficial for children because it helps them develop better cooperation skills, better coordination, and better overall health.

Notice that I have beefed up my vocabulary a bit by changing “really good” to “beneficial.” For help with specific vocabulary, check out the Using Precise Language page.

Notice that I also now have the three major elements of a thesis statement:

1) A subject: playing sports

2) A main idea: playing sports is beneficial for children

3) Support or Evidence: better cooperation, better coordination, and better overall health.

Most effective thesis statements contain this type of structure, often called an action plan or plan of development. This is such an effective type of thesis because it clearly tells the reader what is going to be discussed; it also helps the writer stay focused and organized. How can you now use this pattern to create an effective position statement?

Remember, this is not the only type of effective thesis statement, but using this patch.

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