7.1 Evolving an Outline (~15-30 minutes)
Your Personal Packet contains all the content that will serve as the foundation of your Position
Paper. Now that you have the content organized, you are ready to build your Position Paper and
move it through the writing process. As always, your Instructor will provide specific information
A solid outline prepares you to construct and submit a successful paper. Begin by reviewing the
structure and sequencing of your outline to confirm that you selected the best evidence and
claims and listed them in the best order. Our basic framework is a good place to start:
Three major points of background context
Claim and evidence
Claim and evidence
Claim and evidence
Opposition and refutation
The assignment calls for 750-1250 words. At approximately 250 words a page, that gives us
about 4-5 pages, which at about 3 paragraphs a page, is roughly 10-15 paragraphs. Our outline
already has us prepared for an introduction, context, three claims with evidence for each, a
refutation, and a conclusion.
Different writers approach building out an outline differently. One way to start is with the context
and develop it before moving into the claims and evidence. Because the context can be
expanded or condensed to fit the assignment length as needed, some writers prefer to start with
a claim and expand each claim and its evidence individually and equally before moving to the
refutation and then the context. Finalizing the conclusion and introduction last is pretty standard.
The Position Paper requires inclusion and integration of five sources, which should be defined in
the outline already. The goal of our paper is to present a convincing argument, and while
integrating source material is an important element of argumentative writing, the source material
being cited shouldn’t simply be dropped in and connected with topic and transition sentences.
As we know, the reasoning that links the evidence to the claims and the claims to the position is
a very important part of the overall argument and needs to be clear.
Writing for clarity is always a useful goal; clarity includes both accessible language and wellorganized ideas. Remembering that your goal is to communicate clearly encourages you to
keep your audience in mind and reminds you that using big words is not necessary. If your
writing is to dense that your audience can’t understand it, you have not succeeded in
communicating with your audience. The evidence and reasoning should speak for themselves,
so to bring them together only requires explaining the connection. The goal of your writing is to
showcase your thinking and your ability to construct an argument for an audience by connecting
claims to a position and supporting them with evidence. The writing shouldn’t get in the way and
should contribute to the task, but the thinking is the intellectual skill being demonstrated, and the
outline serves the role of solidifying the thinking before delivering it through writing.
Starting with a carefully constructed outline and developing it intentionally one section at a time
will also allow the revision process to focus on advancing and polishing a solid submission into
a spectacular submission. Outlining can also help you avoid extensive revision and last-minute
efforts to modify the paper so that it fulfills the assignment. Once you have built the basic
elements and know that you have included all the specific required directions from your
Instructor, you can work to elevate your submission with innovative, creative elements that
demonstrate your ability to construct an exceptional submission. One way to do that is to add
touches that are tailored to your audience.
As you review your Position Paper with ethos, pathos, and logos in mind, you might consider
how you can apply these rhetorical appeals to tailor your assignment to your Instructor, who is
your main audience. Consider the feedback you received from your Instructor on the Group
Presentation and how it can be used to tailor the Position Paper. Also think of what you learned
about visual design. Do you include visual elements as part of your evidence? If not, can and
should you? Knowing that your submission is solid gives you room to play by adding bits of
humor or other rhetorical moves to appeal to your audience.
Finally, give yourself enough time to take breaks and revisit your writing with fresh eyes and a
rested mind. Because you have outlined, you don’t have to worry about getting lost and not
being able to find your way back to where you left off. Short sessions of concentrated writing
can be more effective than extended sessions when you are tired, anxious, or distracted. You
can even plan to build out a section at a time to avoid the potential pain of a marathon writing
session, especially at the last minute. With your presentation experience and a solid Personal
Packet, populating your outline and finalizing your paper should be a relatively painless process.
Executing a planned writing process should allow you to highlight your advanced thinking and
writing skills in a product you are proud to submit.
Print a completed draft of your Position Paper, and bring it to class.
February 28, 2020
Federal and state governments have, for a long time, offered significant financial support
for colleges, universities, and other higher learning institutions. These funds are used by these
institutions to finance their operations and meet their financial obligations. Nonetheless, over the
past three decades, the government has reduced its financial support considerably to these
institutions. This decision has had adverse financial implications for higher learning institutions.
The University of South Florida (USF) is among the top-performing universities in the State
University System, according to major indicators acknowledged by the Florida Board of
Governors. Being a top-tier learning institution, USF requires more funds to develop its education
framework, improve its academic position, and offer additional scholarships to needy students. It
is for these reasons that the State of Florida should increase funding for USF.
The state of Florida should increase funding for the University of South Florida so that the
institution can enhance its education system. With more funds, the university can develop its
education framework at the same time, enhance the academic position of its students. Recent
reports have shown that every dollar the state invests in the university is effectively utilized
towards delivering greater returns to its students and the society at large. With additional funds,
the USF can enhance its education system by introducing new and retaining existing highperforming faculty, hire qualified full and associate professors, and hire more instructors.
Furthermore, the funds will also be used to improve undergraduate student recruitment, enhance
innovative research partnerships, enhance student success, and increase the university’s resources
The additional funds by the state of Florida will enable USF to improve the students’ academic
and living environment. By increasing its funding to USF, the university can improve the
academic aspects of the students by adding additional faculty resources. With the funds, USF can
improve individual attention to students by substantively reducing the student-to-faculty ratio. This
will be achieved by hiring more professors and instructors who will effectively cater to the
education needs of all students.
The academic aspects can be improved by establishing new and expanding existing
learning premises. For instance, the money will allow the university to finish the construction of
the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute in Tampa. The funds will also be
utilized to execute and supervise pilot programs for different degrees at the same time, support
partnership programs with other higher learning institutions (University of South Florida, np).
In addition to improving the academic aspects, an increase in funds by the state will enable
USF to improve the living conditions of the students. The University of South Florida has over
50,000 students from more than 140 countries. This means that the institution must provide quality
but affordable living spaces for those students who live on campus. Thus, additional funds will
finance the construction and expansion of the residence hall to accommodate more students. More
dining halls will also be built to ensure that all live-on-campus students eat quality food (Reeves).
By increasing its funding, the state will enable the University of South Florida to give more
scholarships to students. Currently, USF gives approximately $505 million to students in financial
aid. Specifically, the institution offers approximately $91 million, $124 million, $63 million, $225
million, and $2.5 million in scholarships, grants, waivers, loans, and work-study, respectively. The
additional funds will allow USF to give more scholarships and other forms of financial aid to needy
students on all its campuses. As mentioned, since students come from over 140 countries, some
come from poor backgrounds. The university’s values are based on providing quality education to
all students irrespective of their backgrounds. It is because of these values that USF is obligated to
offer some form of assistance to those students who are not able to pay for their tuition (Huss).
The State of Florida should not increase the funds for USF because college tuition has
increased exponentially regardless of the consistent state funding. Fundamentally, the education
system in Florida and America, in general, has failed due to high college fees. Students are charged
a significant amount of money for their tuition. The increased fees can be used by the university
to finance its academic and living aspects. Therefore, whether or not the state increases its funding,
the university will continue with its operations (Marcus).
Indeed, college tuition has increased considerably. However, the university still needs
additional funds from the state to maintain its activities and operations. Fees from the students
cannot sustain USF’s financial obligations. The fees can only be used to pay professors and
instructors but cannot pay for the construction and expansion of faculty infrastructure, acquisition
of educational resources, and provision of scholarships and financial aid. Therefore, the University
of South Florida needs more funds from the State of Florida to enhance its sustainability and
effectively run the institution (Reeves).
The State of Florida should increase the funds to USF. USF is among the leading
universities in Florida and the United States. The additional funds will allow the institution to
finance its academic aspects, expand its faculty resources and infrastructure, finance the living
aspects of students, and increase financial aid to students. As a top-tier university, USF must have
all the required academic resources to cater to the educational needs of all its students.
Bok, Derek. “Inside Higher Ed.” How to Improve the Quality of Higher Education (Essay), 21
Sept. 2017, www.insidehighered.com/views/2017/09/21/how-improve-quality-highereducation-essay.
Huss, Michael James. “What Is Preeminence and Why It Matters to You.” What Is Preeminence
and Why It Matters to You | USF Admissions, 2019, admissions.usf.edu/blog/what-ispreeminence-and-why-it-matters-to-you.
Marcus, Jon. “Most Americans Don’t Realize State Funding for Higher Ed Fell by
Billions.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 26 Feb. 2019,
Reeves, Megan. “Florida Again Ranked Top State for Higher Education.” Tampa Bay Times,
Tampa Bay Times, 5 Aug. 2019,
University of South Florida. “USF Among Top Florida Institutions in Key Performance
Areas.” USF News, 13 June 2019, www.usf.edu/news/2019/usf-among-top-floridainstitutions-in-key-performance-areas.aspx.
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