Discussion: Take a Stance

In this module, you learned about the basics of essay-writing—finding thesis statements, organizing paragraphs, and supporting claims. At first, it may feel awkward to organize your thoughts into an essay, but organizing your thoughts to make an argument is something you do in regular conversations all the time. Think about the last heated discussion you were in—how did you defend your point of view? Did you include supporting claims or evidence? Did you mostly rely on emotional appeals (ethos), logical appeals (logos), or something else?

In this course, you will get practice taking a stance on an issue and defending your point of view. Let’s practice that now in the following discussion assignment.

STEP 1: Pick ONE of the following questions to post about. Click on the link and read all of the corresponding background information about it from The New York Times, including the questions at the bottom of the page.

  1. Should Kids Be Social Media Influencers?
  2. Should Texting While Driving Be Treated Like Drunken Driving?

STEP 2: Post your reply (in at least 250 words) in the discussion forum. Your response should include a clear stance on the issue with supporting evidence as to why you feel the way you do. Show that you can think critically on the topic by integrating your own thoughts, analysis, or experiences.

STEP 3: Respond in two separate posts to two classmates (in at least 75 words). Explicitly address their responses and try to extend, complicate, or redirect their points in a substantive, knowledge-demonstrating way.