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Focusing Your Topic

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Alyson Welker

on 8 May 2014

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Transcript of Focusing Your Topic

Focusing Your Topic
Step 1
If an argument is to establish such a worthwhile exchange, it must focus first on a single topic and then on a particular question at issue.
Step 2
Whether we choose our own issue or are assigned one, the next step is to choose one question at issue--a particular aspect under consideration.
Step 3
The final step in establishing the focus of an essay is determining the thesis.
Complete the "Narrowing from Topic to Thesis" worksheet within the discussion forum for this week.
A writer who does not focus on one and only one question at issue risks producing a disorganized essay, one that will be difficult to follow because the readers will not be sure they understand the point the writer is arguing.
While the issue and question at issue state, respectively, the subject and focus of the paper, they are neutral statements; they do not reveal the writer's opinion nor should they.
To encourage objective analysis, the question at issue should be expressed in neutral rather than biased or emotionally charged language.

The thesis, however, states the writer's position, her response to the question at issue.
An issue is any topic of concern and controversy. Not all topics are issues since many topics are not controversial.
Pet care, for instance, is a topic, but not an issue; laboratory testing of animals, on the other hand, is an issue.

Should abortion remain legal?
Should the government fund abortions for poor women?
Should a man have the right to prevent a woman from aborting her/their fetus?
Should minors be required to obtain parental permission to have an abortion?
When does life begin?
Abortion, for instance, has many questions at issue:
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