In week 5, you will be submitting a position paper. In this forum, create and post your outline, concept map, or other visual representation for that essay. Then provide feedback to your peers about their outlines.

First, read the article which is linked here. The author provides good advice on how to identify a good thesis and recognize a strong argument. The tips here will help you as you assess your peers’ outlines in this forum, as well as help you build a strong thesis and outline for your position paper.

Initial Post

Then post the outline of your week 5 position paper. To receive full credit, the outline must contain the following:

  • Thesis statement,
  • Topic sentences, and
  • Supporting points for each topic sentence.

Remember your thesis statement should be a single complete sentence, not a question. Your paragraphs should support that thesis statement. Your purpose in the essay is to persuade.

Please do not make your initial post as an attachment or link. I may process the forum in Turnitin and attachments cannot be processed.

Responses to Other Students

When responding to your peers’ outlines, consider these questions and suggestions.

  • What questions do you have after seeing their outline/mind map?
  • Using the critical reading strategies in the article above, determine the strengths of the outline as well as areas for improvement.
  • Is there a strong and well-worded thesis statement?
  • How do the body paragraphs support the thesis statement?
  • Pose questions to help your peers strengthen their position.
  • Play devil’s advocate to help them defend their position.
  • Offer possible supporting points or research if you know anything that might help.

250 words minimum answer

Classmate #1:


It’s been a challenge trying to formulate a compelling thesis statement, along with adding good topic sentences. I hope everyone else had an easier time than I did working on this week’s forum!

Thesis Statement

The death penalty is an unethical punishment that costs more to carry out than to offer life in prison and puts innocent people’s lives at risk in the criminal justice system.

Topic Sentences

  1. Human life should be preserved, regardless of the situation.
  • Everyone has the fundamental right to live.
  • There is no evidence to support the death penalty being a useful tool to deter crime.

2. Each death penalty inmate is approximately $1.12 million (2015 USD) more than a general population inmate (Mcfarland 2016)

  • That’s $1.12 million of the taxpayer’s money that could be going towards something more beneficial to the U.S, such as the Education system.
  • Non-Death penalty cases that carry out to the end of incarceration cost significantly less.

3. A study done in 2014 shows that over 4% of defendants may be innocent (Williams 2014).

  • This puts innocent people’s lives at risk in the criminal justice system.
  • The wrongful execution of an innocent inmate is irreversible. Imagine the heartache family members will endure learning that their loved one was taken from them by mistake.


Williams, Sarah C. P. “More Than 4% of Death Row Inmates May Be Innocent.” Science Mag, American Association for the Advancement of Science., 28 Apr. 2014, https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2014/04/more-4-death-row-inmates-may-be-innocent.

Mcfarland, Torin. “The Death Penalty vs. Life Incarceration: A Financial Analysis.” Susquehanna University Political Review: Vol. 7, Article 4, Scholarly Commons, 2016, https://scholarlycommons.susqu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1026&context=supr.

Classmate #2:

Class and Professor,

My week five position paper will be over how the important the family unit is. On a larger scale, I think it affects society as a whole, and on a microscale, it is extremely important to people involved, parents, and especially the children. My thesis statement will be, “The complete family unit is critical to the proper social development of a child”. I plan on having my supporting sentences as the body of the essay and backing up the thesis. They will be:

What the traditional family has always been. This will cover the history of family units, and most notably what the nuclear family was, and why it is part of the culture.

How did the family unit begin to dissolve? What are the events or movements that began to breakdown the family, or how did this happen?

The effects on children from broken family units. This is the main issue that I see with the family unit breaking down. Children suffer the most, and it carries over to adulthood. Although this can be manifested in many different ways. This is central to not only children, but the macro view of the issue. It is children that eventually grow up and will hold these issues. This may be a sensitive topic to some, but I myself, just like half of Americans grew up in a divorced family. It has been an interesting topic to me, and I chose it because I am curious and wanted to learn more.

150 words answer to each