Position Paper

Position Paper


First draft (optional) due to instructor vial email in a Word document: April 20th

Final Draft Due: May 2nd


This assignment is to write a 4/5-page paper in which you take a position on a scientific topic and use at least three peer-reviewed scientific article to defend it. The topic should be one that is a source of disagreement or controversy within the scientific community.


The first draft of the paper is to be emailed to me in a Word document with your name in the title. The final draft is to be submitted on Blackboard, again with your name in the title.


Your paper must be cited in a style approved for science writing, i.e. APA, CSE, ACS, AIP.


Remember that you are to build your paper around scientific arguments, NOT moral ones. Beware topics (abortion, euthanasia, animal testing, genetically-engineered babies) that lend themselves to moral arguments. If you choose one of these topics, make sure you are building a scientific argument for or against them. Do not argue morality.


You will be graded on:


  • Use of effective scientific arguments rather than moral ones. (20 pts)
  • Your overall writing: grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, readability, professionalism. (20 pts)
  • Organization: is the information you use to support your arguments disseminated strategically? (20 pts)
  • Effective use of sources. (20 pts)
  • Clarity of purpose: does the reader have a clear understanding early in the paper of your argument and overall goal? (10 pts)
  • How closely did you follow directions? (10 pts)