Argument pages are primarily pages that link out from argument summaries on main debate pages, and that allow editors to expansively document the potentially massive body of supporting quotations for an argument.
Writing model pro and con arguments
Arguments are the basic units of a debate. You must know how to write good arguments and in Debatepedia's simple format. Here is what a good argument looks like on Debatepedia:
- Offering drivers licenses to illegal immigrants will make roads safer in the US With millions of illegal immigrants lacking drivers licenses, there are millions of drivers on the road who have not taken a driver's license test and who probably do not know the traffic safety laws. Issuing driver's licenses to illegal aliens and requiring that they take a driving test would help resolve this safety hazard.
Or, you could use a supporting quotation to summarize the argument, making it look like this:
- Offering drivers licenses to illegal immigrants will make roads safer in the US Sam Gomez. "Should illegal immigrants be granted Driver Licenses in New York State?" Clarkson Integrator. December 12, 2007 - "The last real benefit of the policy change is the most obvious; safer streets. We all remember taking driver ed, the signs, parallel parking, three point turns, the works. Obviously, people who do not have to pass that rigorous rite of passage known as 'the driving test' aren't going to be well equipped to handle driving on congested roads. Not knowing the rules of the road aside, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that unlicensed drivers are five times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than validly licensed drivers. Clearly, safer roads would also be good for everybody."
Some of the key features of this model argument include:
- A bullet point should start arguments for visual reasons.
- The "claim" is essentially a one sentence summary of the argument's conclusion. It is basically a header for an argument. It should be as concise and to-the-core-point-of-the-argument as is possible. The rule of thumb is that it take up no more than a single line the pro or con side of a debate, which requires that it be very concise. Part of the reason for this is that "claims" are what are made into the titles of argument pages (below).
- Argument summaries come after the "claim". This is where a more detailed, generally three to five sentence, description of the argument is presented.
- Or, a summarizing quotation after the claim. It is good to have a balance of argument summaries and summarizing quotations on a debate article.
- Link to argument page/evidence: The above arguments have a link to their own argument pages. Argument pages are whole pages dedicated to a single argument, with the "claim" being the title of the argument page (click on the above argument). On these pages, supporting evidence (quotes, studies, facts) can be presented in mass in support of an argument. The example provided above demonstrates that the "claim" is made into the title of the argument page. The next section shows you how to create these pages.
Making an argument page
The easiest way to make an argument page is the following: Go to the debate page where the argument is written. Click the "pencil" editing icon. Once in the editing page, go to the argument. You will be making the argument header (which is the one sentence "claim", conclusion, or summary of the argument) the title of the new argument page that your are making. So, the first thing you want to do is make sure that that argument header (summary) is good and worthy of being made into the title of that argument's new page. This means making it as concise and representative of the broader point as possible.
Now, to make the page. First, you will write "Argument:" in front of the argument. So, "Argument:Chapter 11-style provisions allow a business to reorganise" (this is how Debatepedia and other readers differentiate that this article is an "argument article", opposed to a debate or other article. Then you will place two brackets around this ( [[ ]] ). Click "save page". You will find that the argument is now red. You will be taken to a blank page. Make a section called "== Supporting Evidence ==" and begin researching and documenting supporting evidence, quotes, articles, and links on the new page!
Finally, it is better that the "Argument:" part is excluded from the "rendering" on the actual debate page (it's important to be there as a way to categorize the page as an "argument" page.) You can hide the "Argument:" part by going back to the debate page, clicking "edit", going to the argument, copying the argument and pasting it to the right of your new bracketed argument.
So, this will all look like the following in the editing window:
[[Argument:Chapter 11-style provisions allow a business to reorganise| Chapter 11-style provisions allow a business to reorganise]]
When you press "save", the new argument page link will appear as: