Assignment 3.4: Using standard forms of argumentation to build up your own reasoning

Purpose of the assignment

You will practice building up your own reasoning to support a given position, finding effective arguments against the opposite position, and writing a text that expresses both your own arguments and the counter-arguments that you have come up with.

Subject matter

All of chapter 3

Tasks

You are asked to defend the proposition that in your country there should be an obligatory social service of twelve months for young people. This obligatory social service would mean that every male or female inhabitant between 18 and 25 years of age has to carry out tasks under the leadership of older professionals that have an important social value. These tasks may include animal welfare, caring for the elderly, keeping the environment clean, volunteering at a sports organization, helping children who have difficulty doing their homework, etcetera.

Or:

You are asked to refute the proposition that in your country there should be an obligatory social service of twelve months for young people. This obligatory social service would mean that every male or female inhabitant between 18 and 25 years of age has to carry out tasks under the leadership of older professionals that have an important social value. These tasks may include animal welfare, caring for the elderly, keeping the environment clean, volunteering at a sports organization, helping children who have difficulty doing their homework, etcetera.

  • Construct a network of arguments that support your position.
  • Think of possible arguments that could be used in favor of the opposite position, and also think of possible ways to counter these arguments.
  • Write a text in which you use your own arguments in support of your position and defend yourself against arguments in favor of the opposite position.
  • Compare your text with the text from a fellow student who has defended the opposite position. Does your text discuss all arguments mentioned in the text of your fellow student? And does the text of your fellow student address the arguments that you have put forward yourself?