In an issues paper, you are focusing on persuading rather than informing your reader. While library research is fundamental to both an issues and a research paper, the nature of the information you select may differ. While you weave your sources into your paper, your voice takes precedence. You are making a unique and valuable contribution to the conversation about the issue.
Testing your issue
Use your emotions to help you focus on the issue.
Types of sources for evidence to support your argument (be sure to verify the credibility of your sources!)
Format of paper
Two models are suggested for issues papers:
First: the general format model
Establish your premise and why you’re taking the position
Include appropriate place for illustrative anecdote or quotation
Begin with counter arguments and support for counterclaims
Refute and include evidence
State your position on the issue
Use separate paragraph for each reason and incorporate sources
Review major reasons to reinforce your purpose
Include plan of action, if appropriate
Introduce issues and capture reader’s interest
Statement of background
Provide information reader needs to know to understand your point of
Interpret the information you’ve provided and define terms
Give the reasons (with evidence) for the position you’ve taken
Indicate why you’re not persuaded by the arguments of different positions/claims (shows you are knowledgeable about all aspects of the issue)
Summarize important points
Frieda Mendelsohn, mentor at Empire State College, has written a helpful guide on writing issue papers for her students. She includes tips on organizing, where to begin writing (not with the introduction!) Check out her guide: http://fmendelsohn.
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