Debate position statement

Choose one of the following questions and write a position statement of around 600 words. Try and stick to 600 words, not more, and not too less. Position statements are part of evidence-based writing and there is information below on that. Make sure that you read the information provided and produce a good standard of academic work.


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1.1 Do adverse circumstances affect the self?

1.2 Does social comparison generalise to all cultures?

1.3 Is research on social thinking published in 2019 and 2020 reproducible and generalisable?



What is evidence-based writing?

We ask that you use evidence-based writing. This means that you must provide support for the ideas that you discuss and the arguments that you make. The writing for research page offers a great summary of this stating that academic arguments should be grounded in proofs, recorded facts or other auditable supporting tokens. For our purposes, this means that you need to support arguments with reference to academic papers.  See the next section for examples of “suitable supporting tokens”.

A second component of evidence-based writing that is not always so obvious, but that allows for evaluation of research, is to also add details of the supporting references. For instance, if you are using a research report, state a summary of the research question or the aim of the study, the method of gathering data and/or the task, the participants, the results, how they were interpreted and how it relates to your argument, all in 2-3 sentences.

For the purposes of the debates, avoid lists of references and instead discuss what you choose to cite in a bit more depth.

How many references per post?

The number of references depends on the questions that you choose to answer and also on the way that you will make your arguments. For position statements, you should choose 1-3 key references to discuss in-depth as evidence of your ideas and you may find that you use up to 7 supporting references.

How old should references be?

You should balance classical and current literature. Current literature is research papers and reviews published within the last 5 years and where appriopriate aim to have at least one research report from the last 2 years (2019 & 2020) as a key paper in each of your debates and contextualise it within in the older literature.  Classic literature is older and more established research and this is very useful as supplementary materials for introducing a theory, concept or methodology. Ideally, your final reference list should have an even split between in terms of current studies and more established research.

How to structure a post

Think about position statements as mini-essays. Start with a very brief introduction that summarises your response to the research question and your main arguments. Then elaborate on your arguments with evidence in 2-3 further paragraphs.  Finally, make a short concluding paragraph that has your main take-home message.



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