1- now that you've located your topic, it's time to find your "counter," i.e., the "argument against," which is so important in a philosophical discussion.
for example, for those of you exploring women equality, there is this "traditionalist" argument, which is a cultural argument about the role of women in traditional patriarchal societies. this discussion belongs in a topic called: gender role i.e., the traditional man/woman differentiation of roles, with men being in a more favorable social position: this is known as patriarchy.
you have to find which kind of argument you'd like to pursue. again, i think that the narrower your argument is, the better.
2- look for better sources. to do this you have to read different sources and sort out the good from the not-so-good. remember, sources are important.
3- if you are making claims, you should support it with facts. for example, if you say that lack of social opportunities is a cause of poverty, you should be prepared to back it up with data. to do that you should consult .org websites, newspaper & magazine articles, etc. these sources must be cited in your paper.
so, for the next assignment i'd like to have a page with an introduction stating your research topic plus the counterargument you will argue against. this is the time to incorporate my suggestions.
the assignment should look like this [whatever your topic is]. if you have problems stating your point, then try to reproduce verbatim whatever is in red below. it should look like this...
Phi 2010 Research Paper, 2nd Assignment
"Making a case for better food from the better treatment of animals"
In this paper I will try to prove that animals being raised in factory farms in America deserve a better treatment. My argument is twofold, first, I will try to show the public and environmental health risks associated with unregulated factory farming, while stressing that animal cruelty is ethically wrong (this is just an example).
I will argue against a counter, which defends the idea of "intensive production as a way to cope with food prices and adequate nutrition for an increasing and poorer population."
My point will be that in spite of this reality, we as developed nation are posed with the challenge of providing food that is good, healthy and meet the ethical and ecological standards of the new century.