- Introductory Paragraph: Summarize the two arguments in a sentence or two. Then state your claim (State which text has the strongest argument)
- Supporting Paragraph: Support your claim with specific evidence from the text. Then comment on the effectiveness of that information.
- “One of the strongest arguments in the text is…” (Refer to specific information in the text: examples, facts, statistics, studies, etc.)
- “This strongly supports the position because…” (How is this information important/relevant/convincing?)
- Supporting Paragraph: Support your claim/argument/thesis with more specific evidence from article. Then comment on the effectiveness of that information.
- “Another powerful point addressed in the text is…” (Refer to specific information in the text: examples, facts, statistics, studies, etc.)
- “This further supports the claim by…” (How is this information important/relevant/convincing?)
- Concession/Rebuttal: Acknowledge the opposing argument’s main points. Then rebut (refute/disprove/invalidate) them
“The opposing text makes some valid points. For example,…”
(Specifically mention strong opposing points in counter argument)
“However, those arguments are weak because…”
(Rebut/disprove/invalidate the opposing claim and reemphasize your claim)
5. Conclusion: Creatively restate your claim and leave readers with strong final thoughts on your position.
- Summarize the topic of the two arguments and state which argument is strongest (claim)
- Note specific arguments & facts from the speech to support your claim
- Note more specific arguments & facts from the speech to support your claim
- Concession/Rebuttal: Acknowledge opposing arguments. Then refute or invalidate them
- Restate your claim (reiterate who has the strongest argument)
Are Tweens Ready for Cell Phones?
The two speeches debate the appropriate age for children to own cell phones. While both speakers make valid points regarding safety, Deborah Pendergast’s speech, which is in favor of tweens having cell phones, presents the strongest argument.
To begin, Pendergast says that cell phones give parents and their kids a sense of empowerment and security. Cell phones connect children to their parents while simultaneously allowing them to feel independent and learn responsibility. The line of communication allows parents to keep in close contact with children, which, often times, can help ensure children’s safety. For example, if a parent is late picking up his child, he can make a phone call to ensure his child is not waiting anxiously and avoid potentially risky situations.
Furthermore, Pendergast reinforces her argument in favor of children having cell phones by referring to developmental research. She states that psychologists say between the ages of 10 and 12 is the ideal time to teach independence. Allowing children to have cell phones, she argues, is an opportunity to help children develop age appropriate responsibility.
Linda Sidner, who argues that cell phones makes children less safe, makes some valid points. For example, she states that parents might be become careless about knowing where their children are, simply because they have cell phones, so they may take the easy access for granted. She also states that cell phones give children access to dangerous sites on the internet, which parents may not monitor. Furthermore, she warns that allowing children to have cell phones puts them at risk for cyber-bullying. While these arguments are valid, they are weak compared to the opposing view, which emphasizes the benefit of safety and age-appropriate personal growth. There may always be potential risk involved with cell phone use, but the sure benefits outweigh those risks.
Sidner and Pendergast both present valid arguments, but Pendergast’s speech in favor of providing children with cell phones provides more reasonable arguments.