05.01

Description

Remember that the culminating project in Module 5 is a position paper that you will write to help Chen, a cultural geographer, with his dissertation. A position paper is an essay that presents a position or opinion about an issue and contains evidence to support that position or opinion. The opinions and evidence you present to Chen will be an invaluable resource. As you work to complete your project, Chen will send you requests for project milestones to complete. These milestones will be the building blocks you use to compose your final paper. For this first project milestone, Chen would like you to complete the following steps:
Review the Grading Rubric for this lesson.

View the Position Paper Sample, which includes excerpts from a sample position paper in response to this question: Is Islam a peaceful religion or a radical religion? The excerpts provide examples of a thesis statement, a catchy introduction, supporting evidence, a conclusion, and a bibliography—all elements you will be expected to include in your paper.

A position paper is essentially an essay of argumentation. The purpose of a position paper is to convince an audience to accept a particular stance on a topic or subject. Writing in this style surrounds you every day in speeches and newspaper editorials. For this assessment, you will read two examples of persuasive writing and evaluate the persuasiveness of the argument.

Read the following texts. One is a speech by President Barack Obama about the plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero in New York City, and the other is an article titled “From Mecca to Jakarta: The World of Islam Is No Monolith.”

After you read the text, write a review of the text in which you answer and respond to the following questions:
Identify the thesis in each text. Explain what the author is trying to convince the reader to believe.
Describe how the writer tries to argue his or her thesis. Identify whether the author cites sources, includes expert commentary, cities specific examples to convince the reader, or uses some other method to support his or her thesis.
Identify any bias in the readings and discuss the balance of the argument. For example, if the author is trying to convince the reader that an Islamic mosque should be built at Ground Zero, does he or she consider the viewpoint of someone who might be opposed to this construction and explain why the viewpoint should be abandoned?
Explain which text is more convincing.
Explain what piece of evidence is missing from the readings that would strengthen the author’s position.

Write your article review in the Lesson 05.01: Project Milestone 1 section in your Module 5 Portfolio. The Module 5 Portfolio is a document you will use to collect all the Module 5 project milestones you complete throughout the module. The portfolio contains a list of all the project milestones and instructions for completing each one. You will find a link to the portfolio on every assignment page in Module 5. However, ideally you should save a copy of the portfolio to your computer upon completion of Project Milestone 1 and add to that copy of the document as you work through the module.

Upon completion, submit Project Milestone 1 to your instructor.
The Module 5 Project requires you to complete research to learn more about a given topic.

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