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  #1  
Old 01-09-2011, 10:47 AM
luckyal29 luckyal29 is offline
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Counter Argument to Stop Smoking

So my students are starting a persuasive/research project soon. We've been brainstorming ideas, topics, etc. I've hinted to my students "Stop Smoking" would be great as they would find loads of evidence/stats in articles to support not smoking.

This is their first full research paper and I want to focus on the research process to find evidence to support their topic. I want to do away with the counterargument but the district rubric calls for a counterargument so I can't eliminate it. My students need to write a paragraph to address the other side of the topic.

How do they write a counterargument when an issue is so one-sided? Several of my students are leaning to "stop smoking," "don't join gangs." How can you write a paragraph to support "join a gang" or "going ahead and smoke?"

I'm not sure how to tackle this counterargument component. Two choices I see

1. Now we haven't picked topics officially yet, so should I make my students pick more debatable topics?

2. For students with one-sided issues, their counterargument would be "freedom of choice"

3. Just ignore the district and forget the counterargument
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  #2  
Old 01-09-2011, 10:50 AM
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TeacherNY TeacherNY is offline
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I am 1000% against smoking but for the sake of argument they could research how much money is made in the tobacco industry,how many jobs it supports, etc. They could talk about how many jobs would be cut if everyone stopped smoking?
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:05 AM
luckyal29 luckyal29 is offline
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TeacherNY - That's a great idea! That counterargument can be used on the other issues such as fast/junk food. Thanks!

Love how I posted a topic and got an answer within five minutes
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckyal29 View Post
Love how I posted a topic and got an answer within five minutes
Well, I am avoiding cleaning my house right now so I had time to kill LOL
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  #5  
Old 01-09-2011, 11:33 AM
JustMe JustMe is offline
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Yes, in Kentucky it's easy to argue against a ban on smoking because it will truly financially ruin families.
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:22 PM
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SpecialPreskoo SpecialPreskoo is online now
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You could argue the fat that people gain weight when they quit smoking... LOL I've heard that one from some friends when they would try to quit. They replaced one bad habit with another one.
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:36 PM
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KateL KateL is offline
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Or you could frame it as why people make certain choices - why some people choose to smoke while others choose not to smoke, or why some people do join gangs while others don't.
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:21 PM
Jerseygirlteach Jerseygirlteach is online now
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How about the argument that to continue smoking in a climate that so clearly favors non-smoking is an expression of individual liberty.
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:25 PM
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Aliceacc Aliceacc is offline
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Or the idea that it's a slippery slope when government tells us what we can't do for our own good?
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckyal29 View Post



How do they write a counterargument when an issue is so one-sided? Several of my students are leaning to "stop smoking," "don't join gangs." How can you write a paragraph to support "join a gang" or "going ahead and smoke?"
I don't think you would write a paragraph in support of the counterargument. To do so would be misleading the kids...if they are supporting a position of stopping smoking, they shouldn't turn around and write a paragraph that goes against that view.

Rather, they should address what other people's counterarguments would be, and how those counterarguments are not valid. Cover all bases...like, how would you address someone who said they can't stop smoking because they will gain weight.

I would imagine that's what the guidelines mean.
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