This reading was broken into four different sections; “Choosing an Issue to Write About,” “Ways In: Bringing the Issue and Your Audience into Focus,” “Testing Your Choice,” and “Formulating a Tentative Thesis Statement.” In the first section we learned about the criteria an argumentative issue should meet. It most be a controversial issue, arguable, one of which you already have a little bit of background knowledge on, one that’s researchable and finally and most importantly, one that you care about. It goes on to list an array of different topic choices and provided information on how to research your chosen topic. The second section of the reading helps you explore your topic even further. It teaches you how to identify your readers and the positions they may take on the given topic. It also restates the importance of framing. By framing your issue, you are able to more directly reach your reader. The next section is about testing your topic choice. If you do not know enough or do not have enough time to research your topic, then you may want to consider changing your topic to something that you are more knowledgable about. In order to have a powerful paper, you must also feel strongly about your topic as well as feel a personal need to reach a deeper understanding of the issue. The final section in the reading was all about formulating a thesis. A thesis is important because it tells your readers simply and directly what you want them to think of your issue and why. A thesis needs to be clear and concise in order to reach your readers.
For the most part I felt like this reading was a recap from our first reading assignment. I did however, find the first and third sections to be extremely helpful to me. I felt the topic I chose for my diagnostic essay was not a strong enough issue to write my first essay over. These sections reassured me that my chose for a topic change was for the better. My second topic, if laptops cause more harm than good in school, was able to meet all the criteria for a argumentative issue topic. In the “Testing Your Choice” section, I was also able to answer all the questions testing my new topic. Not only did I know the basic background information on the issue, but I felt strongly about the issue as well.