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I. Introduction ● Title
-May be serious or more lighthearted in tone, depending on the desired effect ● ¶1 Introduction paragraph
-Engages readers with a strong opening sentence. Remember that the best attention-getter is often what initially sparked your interest in the topic
-Clarification of the focus on the pragmatism and idealism question—are you considering education? Career? Church planting? Teaching strategies?
-Definition of pragmatism and idealism for your specific purpose. For example, you might say, “For purposes of this discussion, pragmatism is defined as a focus on vocational training, designed to lead directly into a career, while idealism is defined as a focus on the liberal arts, designed to foster critical thinking and a broad intellectual skillset.
-Introductory paragraph concludes with a thesis statement in the following format:
Because of SP1 (synthesis point one), SP2 (synthesis point two) and SP3 (synthesis point three), pragmatism is less/more important than idealism in ___________ (your specific scenario).
Your three synthesis points here (X, Y, and Z) should be the basis for your three synthesis paragraphs.
II. Summary Paragraphs (2)
● ¶2-Summarize at least two sources that generally advocate pragmatism. Don’t forget to summarize them in light of your own arguments—remember, this is about framing them fairly but usefully for your readers.
-Use the following topic sentence:
-While Author A and Author B disagree about ________, they are both agreed that pragmatism is more important than idealism in __________ (your specific scenario) because ___________ (main reason for agreement).
-Summarize the main point of disagreement between the two (from the topic sentence), including why they disagree
-Wrap up by summarizing their big point of agreement, including why they agree. For these last two sections, They Say, I Say has excellent templates on p. 46
● ¶3 -Summarize at least two sources generally advocating idealism using the same format as paragraph 2. Be sure to use Author C and Author D this time.
III. Analysis Paragraphs (2 minimum)
● ¶4 In this paragraph, you will analyze the main themes and ideas of your sources that talked about pragmatism.
-Use a topic sentence that highlights the takeaway of your analysis. You might note that your two sources disagree on some aspect, but still agree on some other more important aspect. Use templates from They Say/I Say (p. 23-27) to organize your analysis of the texts. The goal here is to understand how the main ideas of these texts function both with and against one another.
Pro tip: go back and write this topic sentence after you’ve written your analysis.
-To perform this analysis, look at the questions in Allyn and Bacon p. 295. Of the seven questions there, answer the three or four that seem most useful to your thinking with regard to these two sources.
-Wrap up with a nice summary sentence using a template from They Say, I Say p. 138 or a transition word from They Say/I Say p.110
● ¶5 In this paragraph, repeat the process from paragraph 4 using the sources for idealism.
IV. Synthesis (3 minimum)
Using your research sources, your interaction with this research, and your own ideas, synthesize these thoughts into your own position on the assigned topic by coming up with and discussing three main synthesis points. Your synthesis does not need to be definitive and absolute; however, your position must state and argue for several principles that reflect your emerging position on the topic. Papers that do not take a position and end with an evasive position that both sides have merit will doubtless be met with disapproval by the portfolio readers. You must demonstrate that these NEW positions have been affected by all of

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