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Switch to Forum Live View argumentation advice please!
6 years ago  ::  Nov 20, 2007 - 9:52PM #1
k-lamb
Posts: 79
I'm trying to write an argumentation essay for my dual credit Composition course. Somehow, my high school failed to teach us how to write one. I'm kind of stuck. I've worked on it for 5 days now and have gotten nowhere. Here's my thesis statement: "Religious expression should be allowed--not enforced-- in public schools." Now, obviously, I'm expected to come up with a solid argument for why I feel that way. All I can say now is, "Uh, because it sucks to not be able to express personal beliefs." Great start, now can I show some intelligence? I mean, how can you back up an argument involving one's personal beliefs? I really don't know where to start. Is there a method or process that I can use that makes things easier?
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 22, 2007 - 7:42AM #2
CharikIeia
Posts: 8,303
You need some factual background, and you could tie your paper to ongoing discussions.

Facts you may refer to:

What the law says -- freedom of expression is granted by the constitution, after all.

How the issue is handled in different places -- In Turkey and in France, for instance, teachers and students are forbidden to wear any religious symbols at schools and universities. Reasoning is that these are largely state-run governmental places, and that governement places must stay neutral places (the constitution says this, too -- so, is there a contradiction within the constitution?).

A good argument always is one that takes the opposite stance serious, so you need to make it clear why anyone would get the idea to not allow religious expression in schools.

Would you find it okay if your math teacher gave lessons wearing a burqa? Wouldn't that distract from the teaching, diminish it?
tl;dr
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 23, 2007 - 2:19PM #3
Summer813
Posts: 325

CharikIeia wrote:

You need some factual background, and you could tie your paper to ongoing discussions.

Facts you may refer to:

What the law says -- freedom of expression is granted by the constitution, after all.

How the issue is handled in different places -- In Turkey and in France, for instance, teachers and students are forbidden to wear any religious symbols at schools and universities. Reasoning is that these are largely state-run governmental places, and that governement places must stay neutral places (the constitution says this, too -- so, is there a contradiction within the constitution?).

A good argument always is one that takes the opposite stance serious, so you need to make it clear why anyone would get the idea to not allow religious expression in schools.

Would you find it okay if your math teacher gave lessons wearing a burqa? Wouldn't that distract from the teaching, diminish it?


Chari, just to clarify: in the U.S. the idea is that freedom of speech/expression and freedom of religion include the wearing of religious symbols, and that allowing individual students to do so does not in any way imply a governmental endorsement of the religions thus symbolized; therefore governmental neutrality with regard to religion is preserved.

It's the same as someone wearing a religious symbol while visiting any other government building, etc.

Shared pain is lessened, shared joy increased. Thus do we refute entropy. - Mike Callahan, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 23, 2007 - 3:34PM #4
CharikIeia
Posts: 8,303
I don't know whether that clarifies anything, Summer.
Will k-lamb be back, or was she not serious?
But, as you're here: what about the US version of the math teacher with the burqa?
tl;dr
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 25, 2007 - 11:31PM #5
k-lamb
Posts: 79
Hey. I am back. I was serious. I really appreciate your input. I think this stuff is easier for some. I am just not a very opinionated person, so I always see different sides to every issue. By the way, I've made progress, And I'm hoping it's what my professor wants. I used some information I've found, but I also used some personal experience in my introduction.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 26, 2007 - 1:07AM #6
Summer813
Posts: 325
Best of luck with the paper. :)
Shared pain is lessened, shared joy increased. Thus do we refute entropy. - Mike Callahan, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 26, 2007 - 11:55PM #7
k-lamb
Posts: 79
Thank you very much, Summer!
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