What is the central claim of the secondary source? Evaluate it. Why would it be supported? What are some possible counter-arguments? Do you agree or disagree with the claim?

Position Paper Assignment Sheet
A position paper is an essay that identifies claims and arguments surrounding an issue. You will often be asked to compose papers that do this; it is a fundamental part of conversation surrounding any number of topics and a necessary skill in academic and professional writing. Composing a position paper asks you to carefully consider all sides of an issue before choosing one.
In preparation for this essay, you will read secondary articles based on Toni Morrisons Song of Solomon. You may select one of the approved secondary articles discussed in class.
You have also, at this point, finished reading Song of Solomon. Using your reading of the articles and novel, you will take a position on either a contextual issue related to Song of Solomon or a critical issue brought up about Song of Solomon. A successful paper will identify the claim being made, analyze the reasons one would use to support that claim, identify concessions and counterarguments, and reiterate the claim. Some of your evidence for the position paper can come from Song of Solomon; you should also include specific and pointed examples and analysis from the secondary text.
Just as in Essay #1, you will follow the classical model, keeping in mind the standards of academic discourse: implement MLA style, avoid first person, and actively engage with the primary and secondary texts. Each body paragraph should contain at least two references to the primary (the novel) and/or secondary (the article) material.
Some questions you might consider:
What is the central claim of the secondary source? Evaluate it. Why would it be supported? What are some possible counter-arguments? Do you agree or disagree with the claim?
How does this reading inform your understanding of your essays topic? What additional questions does this reading raise for you?
Evaluate the rhetorical structure of the secondary source. Has the author supported their claim adequately? How? How could it have been stronger? Consider the organizational structure, evidence, and use of rhetorical appeals.
All essays should follow the Classical Model
There are several assignments that help scaffold the overall process: a Thesis Statement Workshop, an Outline, an Introduction Workshop, a Conclusion Workshop, a Draft, and the final essay. Each stage must be submitted by the date indicated in the individual assignment.
The final paper should be at least 1200 words.
All sources must be attributed and cited properly in MLA format, including in-text citations and a Works Cited page.
Using external sources beyond what has been provided is not recommended and, in fact, strongly discouraged.

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