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Point/Counterpoint Writing Assignment: Home



  1. Login to Opposing Viewpoints database using the link in this sentence. Your borrower ID is your student number; and your PIN is the last four digits of your social security number. If you’re an international student, your PIN may be 9999. Click Connect to Database.

  2. Choose a topic from the Issues list.

  3. Find a point and counterpoint in the Featured Viewpoints section found under the issue of your choice in the Opposing Viewpoints database. Choose one viewpoint that argues one way and one viewpoint that argues another. Below is an example found under the issue of adoption.

  4. Read the two Featured Viewpoints from the Opposing Viewpoints database and complete the outline provided for you (look to the left for outline).

  5. Using the outline, compose a four-paragraph essay (350-400 words) containing the following guidelines:

  • Include an introductory paragraph with a thesis containing both viewpoints; one body paragraph with supporting details about one viewpoint; another body paragraph with supporting details about the other viewpoint; and a final paragraph with a concluding opinion.

    An example thesis statement might be: "Two arguments exist regarding the current state of adoption in America: one argues that adoption breaks the bond between mother and child, while the other praises the love and stability often found in adoptive parenting."

  • Use standard American-English grammar and usage. No slang, jargon, or contractions. Consult this guide for help with grammar and mechanics.

    Improper: There are lots of problems with adoption system today.
    Proper: There are a good number of problems with the adoption system today.

  • Write in the third person. This standard of writing gives your paper a level of objectivity.  Eliminate usage of the following pronouns I, my, me; we, our, us; you, your, yours.

    Improper:  I believe the adoption system is in need of reform.
    Proper: The adoption system is in need of reform.
  • Format the paper and cite your two sources using MLA format. You should have at least two in-text citations and two sources in the bibliography.    Consult this guide for help with MLA style.  To learn how to properly set up a paper in MLA format, watch this video.