Introduction and Conclusion

This assignment is designed to foster critical thinking in the use of the professional literature. As well, students will be required to demonstrate their oral communication skills. Each student will have a debate topic assigned to them by the instructor. You will be paired with one of your peers for the debate; one being the affirmative and the other being the negative.

Your assignment is to write a well-informed four to five page argument paper plus references based on your research related to the topic. A minimum of six references should be used to prepare your paper and the papers should be in APA format. The majority of your references should be scholarly in nature.

You will use this paper as an opening argument for your debate in class, not more than five minutes in length. Both members of the pair will present oral arguments in class, followed by a Hot Seat round during which you will each have a turn to challenge one another’s arguments. After the questions/challenges have been presented during the 2-minute Hot Seat round, you will each have 2 minutes to present your closing arguments.

In summary,

  • you will be notified as to your debate topic and positive
  • you will then write a four to five page argument paper on the debate topic (this will help you outline your opening statement)
  • Based on your paper, you will prepare your opening statement that is not more than five minutes
  • You will then respond to your debate partner’s opening with questions in class (“hot seat” round)
  • Based on the paper you wrote and the comments from your opponent, you will then each offer a 2-minute closing statement.

Argument paper must contain:

  • Introduction
  • Support
  • Refutation
  • Conclusion
  • In the Introduction

A background on the topic is appropriate. This consists of a brief history and a review of basic facts.

A thesis statement is required. This informs the reader of the writer’s opinion regarding the matter under discussion and previews plan of development.


Present points of discussion. Each point is typically given its own paragraph and is supported by evidence. Most often, begun with weakest point and concludes with stronger arguments. If all points are equally strong, builds a relationship with audience by discussing the most familiar, less controversial points first.


Acknowledge the opposition. Acknowledgement does not imply agreement. In this portion of the essay, the writer needs to “refute” or disagree intelligently with the opposition.


Restatement, in general terms, the major arguments marshaled in defense of thesis. Summarize key points, restate thesis, reinforce the weakness of his opposition, underscore the logic of his presentation, re-emphasize why this debate is important.

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