Writing Your Position Paper's Introduction
- Grades: 9–12
- Unit Plan:
After discussion and debate of music censorship, students begin to draft their position papers, beginning with an interesting lead.
- Learn how to write a compelling introduction to a position paper
- Copies of the Model Position Paper Draft, one per student
- Optional: Computer and projector
- Optional: Writing the Introduction of a Position Paper Presentation
Set Up and Prepare
- Optional: Connect the projector to the computer and load the Writing the Introduction of a Position Paper Presentation prior to class.
Step 1: As a warm-up activity, post the following essay leads on chart paper (or begin the Writing the Introduction of a Position Paper Presentation).
- Lead 1: This essay is about whether or not potentially offensive CDs should carry warning labels. I am a music store owner and I think that they shouldn’t carry warning labels.
- Lead 2: Can you imagine going through the rest of your life being told what you can and cannot say? Music artists go through this type of anguish every time a "Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics" label is placed on one of their CDs.
- Lead 3: As a music store owner, I feel that it should not be mandatory for CDs to carry any type of warning labels.
Step 2: Ask students which lead they feel is best and why.
Step 3: Review with students the components of an effective position paper introduction. A Position Paper Introduction should:
- Capture the reader's attention. This can be done by posing a question, stating a relevant quote, making a strong statement, or using a statistic.
- State your thesis (the topic and your opinion on it from your chosen perspective).
- Introduce the main points to be discussed.
Step 4: Distribute the Model Position Paper Draft to students and read the introduction aloud. Have students assess whether or not the model introduction contains all of the required components.
Step 5: Have students write the lead to their position paper.
Supporting All Learners
As students are working on their leads, you may need to place your struggling students and ELLs in a small group and provide more examples of attention grabbing statements to scaffold their writing.
Have students work in partnerships in order to assess each other's leads or entire introductory paragraphs.
Have students read their lead to a friend or family member in order to assess whether or not it is attention grabbing.
Have students complete their position paper introductory paragraph. Instruct students to refer to the model introduction and their class notes as they write.
Review student leads and thesis statements to assure that all students have clearly stated their theses and have provided an attention grabbing leads. Re-teach if necessary.
Review student leads and assess whether or not they are level 4 attention grabbers according to the Position Paper Rubric.