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Dialectical Essay - Guidelines Introduction The introduction to an essay should state three things (these things are sometimes

s referred to as the three Ps) Problem Position Procedure In the first paragraph of your essay briefly lay out the problem or issue which your essay will address Show that the problem is genuine (i.e. there are different views on the issue) Explain why this issue is important and/or interesting Do not use rhetoric (e.g. From time immemorial mankind has wondered...) In the second paragraph or so of your essay, state your position or thesis This is the most important part of the essay and shouldnt be omitted or left until the end A good test method to make sure that you have a genuine thesis is to state it in a sentence which starts with Although it could be argued the... Although it could be argument that torturing terrorism suspects is not morally permissible, in fact it is. In longer essays it is often a good idea to outline the procedure you will use to prove your thesis This essay will have three parts. In the first part. . . Divide the body of your essay into different sections with distinct sub-headings Keep the introduction short Body A dialectical essay is an essay It differs from regular essays in that it gives both a positive argument for your thesis, and it deals with a counter-argument Your essay will have two main parts In one part of your essay you will argue for your thesis This is the positive part of your essay In the other part you will lay out an argument for the opposing thesis and then show that this argument is not cogent This is the dialectical part of your essay So, suppose you were writing an essay on whether it is morally permissible to torture terror suspects and your position is that it is In the positive part of your essay you would lay out an argument which shows that it is permissible to torture terror suspects In the dialectical part of your essay you would lay out the argument for why it is not permissible to torture terror suspects, and then show why this argument is not cogent The premisses are not acceptable, they are not relevant to the conclusion or they are not sufficient to establish the conclusion

It is important to note that the dialectical part of the essay is not where you argue against the opposite conclusion You have already argued against the opposite conclusion in the positive part of your essay If you prove that it is permissible to torture terrorism suspects, you will have indirectly proved that the opposite position it is not permissible to torture terrorism suspects is wrong Instead, in the dialectical part of your essay you are arguing against an argument for the opposite conclusion Please note that there is a difference between a part of the essay and a paragraph of an essay The paragraph is a unit of grammar Each paragraph deals with a different point In this context a part is a unit of the body of an essay Each part of the of an essay addresses a different issue In order to address an issue you may have to raise a number of different points

Conclusion The conclusion should re-state the thesis and sum up the argument for that thesis

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